North Carolina-based Meredith College will rename one of its buildings that currently holds the name of a trustee who advocated for white supremacy and supported unequal funding for schools based on race.
The Meredith Board of Trustees “took into consideration both history and ongoing impact” while voting to rename Joyner Hall last month, the liberal arts school said in a statement.
Named after James Yadkin Joyner, the superintendent of North Carolina’s public schools in the early 1900s, the move to rename the building is part of Meredith’s anti-racism initiative launched in the summer of 2020.
“The ongoing impact of Joyner’s role as an enthusiastic advocate for white supremacy carries generational and lasting harm to BIPOC students … Therefore, part of our work is to recognize and account for that damage,” Meredith stated.
In addition to renaming Joyner Hall, the school will install signages with QR codes on each campus building to educate the Meredith community about the people after whom they are named.
Reckoning With the Past
Several colleges and universities across the country have stripped the names of enslavers from campus buildings in the recent past.
In North Carolina alone, institutions such as the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University, have renamed buildings named after racists.
Last week, the University of Richmond announced that it will change the names of half a dozen buildings associated with racist ancestors. The move comes a year after an online petition to review the names of two campus halls was snubbed.
“It will take time to heal the differences in our community, and we ask everyone to respect the opinions and experiences of others, during this process and beyond,” the school wrote in a statement.