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The faculty of the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies condemns the recent UNC Board of Governors settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans and calls for a complete reversal of this procedurally questionable, financially irresponsible, and morally bankrupt decision. As scholars whose work focuses on the experiences of people of African descent in the United States, other areas of the African Diaspora and on the African continent, we are well acquainted with the ways in which various societal forces have distorted history in the service of racist practices and hierarchies. The UNC System’s Board of Governors decision is a troubling affront not only to accurate historical knowledge, but also to the dignity, humanity and contributions of African Americans to the University of North Carolina, as well as to the state of North Carolina. As members of a unit whose mission is to enlighten and educate students, and the larger community, in ways that challenge hate and discrimination, we are deeply concerned that this recent decision directly undermines the work we do. We stand adamantly opposed to this wholly unacceptable and deeply problematic decision. We call upon the UNC Board of Governors and UNC-Chapel Hill leadership to rescind this settlement and take steps to repair the damage it has caused to our campus community.

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