Since its inception by Julius L. Chambers in 2001, the UNC Center for Civil Rights has brought together faculty and students to promote its three core objectives: 1) equipping future attorneys with necessary skills to secure equal opportunities for minorities and low-income individuals, 2) influencing public policies and developing programs that remove racial and economic inequalities, and 3) representing, educating, and advocating for minority and low-income individuals to remove barriers and improve their own communities. The proposal to ban the UNC Center for Civil Rights from engaging in litigation work will not only impact the Center’s ability to uphold its core mission, but also contravene the charge of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to serve the broader community through “public service.” Such a decision will impinge upon the student government’s duty to promote the general welfare of the student body by interfering with the education and training of our School of Law students and tarnish the University’s reputation as an open and welcoming community by directly targeting a program which has historically supported minority and low-income communities. Therefore, the Undergraduate Student Government and The Graduate and Professional Student Federation, the student government associations of UNC Chapel Hill, jointly call upon the UNC Board of Governors to support the Center for Civil Rights, the University, and their missions by deciding the question under deliberation in favor of the Center’s ability to continue to practice litigation.
Elizabeth Adkins, Student Body President and Chair of the Joint Council
Madelyn Percy, Graduate and Professional Student Federation President
Brian Coussens, Graduate and Professional Student Federation Vice President
Katharine Shriver, Chair of the 99th Undergraduate Senate