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Official branch statement on the UNC Board of Governors' decision to defund and dismantle DEI programs

The UNC Board of Governors voted May 23 to repeal and replace its existing diversity, equity and inclusion policy, potentially undermining access to resources for nearly a quarter of a million students in the UNC system. 

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP strongly denounces this decision and urges the board to reconsider its dismantling and defunding of these programs.

The vote repealed two DEI policies adopted in 2019 that required each of the state’s 17 campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, to hire a chief diversity officer and set goals for advancing diversity and inclusion, among other provisions.  

The new policy requires UNC schools to “ensure equality of all persons & viewpoints,” and promote “nondiscrimination in employment practices” and also mandates that all UNC schools comply with a series of amendments passed by the North Carolina General Assembly in the past year that limit what can be discussed or taught about race, racism and sex in government institutions.

This decision comes amid a national political push to undermine and eliminate DEI programs, with legislative and other governing bodies targeting publicly funded universities in particular.

The UNC-Chapel Hill University Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s stated mission is “to celebrate all members of the Carolina community, to broaden our collective understanding, and foster a sense of belonging by uplifting diverse identities, cultures, experiences, and perspectives. To help create and sustain a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

The Board of Governors’ decision is a failure of leadership for our university community, other public universities across the state of North Carolina, and our diverse communities here in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Once again, we strongly urge them to reconsider it.

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