Dear Carolina Community,
You are cordially invited to join members of the campus and local community for the dedication of the James Lewis Cates Jr. Memorial at 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, in the Pit. Earlier this year, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz announced that the University will remember Cates, a 22-year-old Black man from the Chapel Hill community who died a victim of racial violence, with a lasting marker on campus.
We are dedicating the memorial on Nov. 21 to commemorate the day 52 years ago when Cates was stabbed outside the Student Union and later died. I appreciate the students, faculty, staff and community members who have long advocated that the University recognize and honor Cates’ life. For decades, many people on our campus never knew about this tragedy. I am grateful to the Cates family, the UNC Board of Trustees, our students, faculty, staff and to everyone who helped make this ceremony possible.
Honoring Cates with a permanent memorial is part of our continued efforts to Build Our Community Together, the first initiative in the University’s strategic plan Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good. This memorial bolsters our work to create a more inclusive community by continuing to tell the University’s full story. I hope you will join us on Monday to remember and reflect on James Cates and this historic day at Carolina.
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer