April 11, 2021

New student-led initiative to spearhead fundraising efforts

The Sonja Hayes Stone Center has long provided a space for Black-identifying students and the UNC community to celebrate Black culture. Following in the building’s spirit of being fully donor funded, the Stone Center Space Initiative (SCSI) is a student-run, student-led initiative created for Black-identifying students and Black organizations to connect, collaborate, and celebrate blackness at UNC-Chapel Hill. The students of the SCSI are seeking to raise donations to complete the building’s final stage: the garden-level. The Stone Center garden-level room will lay the groundwork to invest in future collaborative and networking endeavors. The intention is to incorporate both contemporary ideas from current students while simultaneously doing justice to the original vision of past students through surveys, research, and meetings. The coalition is looking to transform this room into a space that will have the facilities to foster collaboration between Black organizations, host social events, and build community on a campus where Black students have few places to come together. For years, students at UNC have rallied, marched, and raised the funds necessary to complete this ongoing endeavor. Like their predecessors, the SCSI has chosen to pick up this mantle of past student-led efforts to see this vision finally come to fruition.

The mission statement for the garden-level space:

Our mission as a student-run space is to alleviate the social harms inherent in the Black academic experience by building an inclusive space dedicated to empowering, protecting, and advancing Black students.
SCSI members:
Saskia Stampel (she/her): Sean Douglas Leadership Fellow for the Stone Center
Moriah James (she/her): Black Graduate and Professional Student Association (BGPSA)
Alyssa Portes (she/her): Afro-Latinx
Theresa Izediuno (she/her): Organization for African Student’s Interests and Solidarity (OASIS)
Savanna Kanu (she/her): Queen in You
Sherrod Crum (he/him): Black Entrepreneur Initiative at UNC
Sterling Logan (she/her) Black Law School Association (BLSA)
Betseat Tadiwos (she/her): Black Congress
Landon Bost (he/him): Carolina Association of Black Journalists and B4

Stone Center