As a reinvigoration and expansion of the College of Arts and Science’s 2019 “Reckoning” initiative, IAAR-SLATE is a program for undergraduate education that is responsive to ongoing concerns about social equity. The program takes place as the campus and nation are wrestling with the persistence of institutional racism, racial inequality and racial violence. Students involved in IAAR-SLATE activities participate in an array of unique learning experiences, strengthening their grasp of the realities of racism and the importance of a racially diverse society that is just and humane.
We aim for Carolina students to become critical thinkers and actors in matters of racial equity and to achieve this we employ a critical and robust pedagogy. Faculty and community experts are vital to student learning in IAAR-SLATE. They serve as leaders in student education. Through focused class assignments led by faculty, independent research projects under faculty mentorship, and dialogues led by community leaders, thousands of students in the program will gain important insights about histories and legacies of race and racialization, forms and impacts of structural racism and models and possibilities for achieving racial equity. Students also gain an appreciation for the significance of scholarly research (including research that informs classroom assignments) and community lived experience as mechanisms for advancing truth about racial equity.
The College’s Reckoning program was an outgrowth of UNC-Chapel Hill’s struggles over the presence of a confederate monument, Silent Sam, and the racial violence caused by and surrounding that monument. Because we pick up where the Reckoning program left off and because Black experiences have a particular salience to the racial and racist landscape at UNC that includes the monument, we devote much of IAAR-SLATE’s content to interrogating race and racism in the social, cultural, political, economic and historic dimensions of Black lives. This necessarily includes understanding and exploring other race-identified or racialized groups comparatively or in relationship to Black people.