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Leah Cox

Dear Carolina Community,

March has not begun quietly.

For the past several days we have all been riveted by the situation in Ukraine, the loss of innocent life, and our fears about what this might mean for global security in the weeks, months, and years to come. Our hearts go out to all who are impacted by these developments.

At the same time, we must not lose sight of what is happening here in our own community. In the past few weeks, classes, residence halls and administrative offices have been evacuated due to bomb threats targeting more than 50 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) and faith-based institutions. Many of these institutions are right here in North Carolina. While no bombs have been found, the trauma felt by our friends, colleagues and family members who are part of these communities still exist.

To echo the words of our UNC System President Peter Hans, “We will not be intimidated by these threats.”  As members of the North Carolina higher education community, we stand by our colleagues to provide support and we will continue to speak out against these threats and the damage they do to our mission to provide a superior education to our young people.

At the same time, these recent events should not overshadow the fact that in March we celebrate and acknowledge the strength and contributions of women to our nation, past, present, and future. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation for a National Women’s History week. In 1987 Congress passed legislation designating March as Women’s History Month.

This year, the National Women’s Alliance chose the theme Providing Healing, Promoting Hope, which is a tribute “to the ceaseless work of [women] caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.”

We encourage you to remember the many women known and unknown who have taken risks, made change, led movements, and sacrificed a great deal to make our world better.

Sincerely,

Leah Cox, PhD
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion/
Chief Diversity Officer

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