Chancellor Carol L. Folt and other Carolina administrators on March 17 announced the launch of Carolina Conversations, a coordinated effort to ensure that Carolina stands always as a place that is inclusive and welcoming for all.
In an email to the campus community Folt, along with Provost James W. Dean Jr. and vice chancellors Winston Crisp and Felicia Washington, outlined the initiative, which was inspired by the rising level of national and local discourse surrounding events and issues of equity and inclusion related to race, intellectual diversity, religion, identity and culture.
“Over the course of the year, you have made it clear how firmly you believe that our community must continue to champion equality for all of us, no matter our race, culture, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or political belief,” the email stated. “We are proud of the way our students, staff, faculty and alumni have engaged with conviction around these issues. It is our deep seated determination to see every member of our community treated fairly and with respect, and we want to work with you to make sure conversations about such important issues take place routinely on our campus.”
Carolina Conversations includes a comprehensive and interactive website to both share information about the initiative and collect feedback on events and ideas for future programming. A calendar will aggregate all campus events related not only to Carolina Conversations, but also to events across campus related to discussions of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Carolina Conversations will also organize a series of ongoing events to encourage dialogue and discussion. My Carolina Voice events will create opportunities for students, faculty and staff to gather and share their views openly with University administrators and one another. Carolina Pulse, interactive, reception-style gatherings will invite facilitators from various corners of campus to guide diverse groups of individuals as they share their views and reactions to recent events and trends occurring on or off campus.
Students will also have the opportunity through Carolina Conversations to participate in My Chance, which offers special funding and assistance to students who wish to facilitate their own small events, discussions or gatherings with individuals or groups that cross cultural boundaries.
The website carolinaconversations.unc.edu will launch March 20.