Freedom of Thought

The Un⁠i⁠vers⁠i⁠⁠t⁠y of Nor⁠t⁠h Carol⁠i⁠na a⁠t⁠ Chapel H⁠i⁠ll offers rac⁠i⁠ally-exclus⁠i⁠ve programs and scholarsh⁠i⁠ps

By: Gabriel Nadales / January 30, 2023

Gabriel Nadales

National Director, Our America

Freedom of Thought

January 30, 2023

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently offered a Nutrition Fellowship that was open only to “BI-POC” students (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color). At Our America, we drafted a letter to the university asking them to open it to all students regardless of race or ethnic background. Fortunately, before we could send the letter, UNC did the right thing, rescinded the racial requirement, and opened the program to all students.

UNC, through one of its media managers, stated that the program “provided eligibility criteria which did not accurately reflect Carolina’s commitment to inclusion.”

Equal opportunity is an important value, not only at Our America, but for the entire country since it means that everyone gets to play by the same rules. On top of that, including all Americans regardless of their race or ethnic background helps foster respect and empathy within a community. Diversity makes us stronger. 

That is why we were pleased to know that UNC recognized its mistake and set the record straight in favor of diversity. 

Unfortunately, not long after issuing its statement, Our America noticed that UNC-Chapel Hill also offers a scholarship open only to minority students.

That’s why we sent this letter to Chancellor Dr. Kevin M. Guskiewicz, Provost Dr. Christopher Clemens, and Interim Associate Dean and Director Dr. Bob Pleasants.

In our letter, we praised the university for opening its nutrition fellowship to all students but also demanded that their reasoning be applied to the scholarship applicants. 

There is no legitimate reason for UNC, or any institution, to discriminate against any student merely because they happened to be born into a particular racial group. While we praise UNC’s decision to open one of its programs to all students regardless of their racial background, all of the programs and scholarships they offer should be open to all students.