The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) has provided grants to two organizations, totaling $50,000, for their efforts related to the Confederate monument, Silent Sam, which is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Trustees made a one-year grant of $25,000 to The Daily Tar Heel (DTH Media Corp.) and a one-year grant of $25,000 to Lawyers’ Committee on Civil Rights Under Law.
“Our student journalists have been out front on the Silent Sam story for years, and The Daily Tar Heel is the university’s most consistent watchdog — especially as local news outlets have closed or pulled back,” said Erica Perel, general manager of The Daily Tar Heel. “Sometimes, watchdog journalism takes the form of investigative stories, and sometimes it is day-to-day coverage. And when public bodies break the laws meant to ensure transparency, it takes the form of litigation. With the support of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, our journalists will have the resources they need to stay on this important story as it continues to unfold.”
“These Confederate monument cases are part of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law's core racial justice mission,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “These monuments, like other Confederate symbols, are the current face of white supremacy, perpetuating the destructive ‘lost cause’ ideology. Challenges to state laws restricting removal of these symbols provide critical tools for our client communities in their broader efforts to dismantle structural racism and build just and equitable access to the ballot box, education, housing, criminal and environmental justice, and economic opportunity. We look forward to working in partnership with Z. Smith Reynolds to promote racial justice and equity across North Carolina.”
“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is committed to strengthening democracy by ensuring that public institutions and processes are effective, transparent, accountable, accessible and inclusive,” said Maurice “Mo” Green, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “The work that these two organizations are doing around the issue of Silent Sam is contributing to what we believe constitutes a healthy democracy and involved populace.”
The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recognizes that editorial independence is essential to the integrity of our grantee’s work and does not exert editorial control over content that grantees publish.