UNC Asheville to rename Vance, Hoey buildings

Press release from UNC Asheville:

Today, the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees voted to adopt a resolution to remove the names of Vance and Hoey from UNC Asheville campus buildings immediately and will work collaboratively with the campus community to study all building names on campus and propose new names for the renaming of both buildings prior to the May 2021 Board of Trustees meeting.

The adoption of the resolution took place during the Board of Trustees’ regularly scheduled August meeting.

In the resolution, the Board of Trustees requested that UNC Asheville Chancellor Nancy J. Cable appoint a task force to study and review all UNC Asheville campus buildings and to suggest renaming options in support of the University-wide strategic commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. The resolution states, “The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees desires all members of the UNC Asheville community to feel a sense of belonging, particularly those who often find themselves as targets of discrimination.”

Vance and Hoey Halls are named after former North Carolina governors Zebulon Baird Vance and Clyde R. Hoey, respectively. Vance was a Confederate military officer during the Civil War and owned enslaved people; Hoey was a segregationist and actively opposed civil rights legislation. Both Vance and Hoey maintained racist stances that do not align with UNC Asheville’s core values.

The resolution emanated from a variety of calls to action in this area including from the Student Government Association and from the UNC Alumni Board of Directors Chair Kenya Edwards in letter to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the University’s 21,000 alumni.

“This is a moment to take action to help our campus – both now and in the future – to be equitable, just, and welcoming for all persons of color,” said Rick Lutovsky, chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees.

The adoption of the resolution by the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees comes as the University begins discussions with faculty, staff, and student groups on a working draft of its racial justice roadmap. In a communication to the campus community, Chancellor Cable and members of the senior leadership team stated: “Working together with a shared commitment to mutual respect, we can successfully face significant challenges. Our work fighting COVID-19 has proven that, and must continue; but our fight to end racism must be brought to the fore…and we look forward to deeper, harder conversations in the coming days and weeks.”

UNC Asheville students, led by members of the women’s basketball team, are organizing a peaceful rally on the University Quad at 6 p.m. today in solidarity with nationwide protests demanding societal change and an end to racism in the wake of the most recent police shooting, this time of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“We stand united with our student-athletes, the many other students fighting against the violence committed against people of color, and all those who condemn racial injustice, bigotry, and the abuses of power that sustain structural racism. We acknowledge the many who have been engaged in this fight for years, and we are proud of our community, both on campus and in Asheville, for coming together in a determined effort to enact change,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Cable and her senior leadership team in an email to students, faculty, and staff.

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