With the UNC Board of Governors meeting Friday morning to consider a controversial proposal to return the Silent Sam Confederate monument to the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, thousands of UNC community members – most young alumni – are pledging to withhold donations to the school should the statue return.
More than 2,200 people have signed onto a letter announcing the move, sent to UNC Chancellor Carol Folt and the UNC Board of Trustees early Friday morning.
To the Chancellor and Board of Trustees:More than 2,200 members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community, the vast majority young alumni, have pledged to withhold all philanthropic contributions to the university until a solution is reached that will permanently remove Silent Sam from campus.The pledge, with a full list of signatories attached, aligns the signers in solidarity with the TA Strike, UNC Black Student Movement, and Students of the Silent Sam Sit In.The pledge has been circulated widely throughout alumni networks, with nearly 70% of signatures coming from young alumni who graduated graduated in 2000 or later. Additional signers include current and former faculty and staff.Many of the alumni who have pledged not to make any additional donations to the university were student leaders when they were on campus. Many have already begun to build successful professional careers that represent significant lifetime giving potential for the university.Pledge signers believe we should have an influence on the way UNC-Chapel Hill expresses its values as the future of the donor base – and that Silent Sam does not represent the Carolina Way, or a Carolina that’s open to all.Signatories pledge not to participate in any university giving campaigns, including the current “For All Kind: Campaign for Carolina” that purports to build a university where “opportunity is for all kind.”Please heed the feedback of this significant community base and adopt a plan for Silent Sam that preserves our beloved university’s inclusive future. I hope to hear from you soon.Sincerely,Leah JosephsonClass of 2011Co-chair, Ann Arbor Carolina Club