President Connie Ledoux Book was among a wide range of local educational, business, religious and government leaders who on Monday joined together to call for the removal of the monument from Courthouse Square in downtown Graham.
President Connie Ledoux Book and a diverse group of key Alamance County leaders on Monday joined together to call for the removal of the Confederate monument from Courthouse Square in downtown Graham. In a letter to the Alamance County Commission and Graham City Council, the leaders supported relocating the monument “in a respectful and appropriate manner.”
In her call for its removal, Book said the monument is a barrier to realizing the goal of an inclusive and equitable environment for members of the Black community and other people of color in Alamance County.
“Our society is becoming more fully aware of the stark realities of racism and injustice,” Book said. “Now is a time for truth, healing and a new commitment to the concepts of liberty and justice for all. I am convinced we cannot fully achieve the aspirations of our democracy with divisive symbols such as this Confederate Monument in Graham in our midst.”
President Book joined Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis ’08 and other community leaders on Monday morning to deliver their message at Alamance Foods in Graham, just one of the businesses whose leaders have signed on to support the call to remove the monument. Fifty leaders from educational entities, businesses, local government, religious faiths and community organizations, including Book and President Emeritus Leo M. Lambert, have signed the statement of support.
Earlier this month, Alamance County Manager Bryan Hagood recommended to the Alamance County Commission that the county relocate the monument to avoid violence. The monument has been the site of multiple protests and counterprotests for a number of years. A number of members of the commission have said they are not in favor of moving the monument.
“As leaders, we want the county to move forward to a bright, prosperous future and not cling to a symbol that will inevitably hold us back,” the statement reads. “The county manager has wisely warned of the risks of deadly violence and recommended that the monument be relocated. We wholeheartedly agree and support urgent action.”
Baltutis has invited other community leaders to sign onto the letter of support for the monument’s removal. Read the full letter here.
President Book’s statement in support of removing the Confederate monument
Today I am joining leaders from across Alamance County in signing a letter asking the Alamance County Commission to relocate the Confederate Monument in Courthouse Square in downtown Graham. This monument has long been a source of conflict in our community and it stands as a symbol of racism for many.
I want to be clear on the University’s position that members of the Black community and other people of color in Alamance County deserve an inclusive and equitable environment. They deserve an environment in which they feel safe and protected by our justice system to conduct business, pursue an education, and live fulfilling lives. The Confederate Monument is a barrier to realizing this goal.
The state of North Carolina and many cities across the nation have taken similar actions with historic monuments and statues. Indeed, the Alamance County Manager is recommending removal of the monument in a respectful manner to a more appropriate location that places it in proper historical context.
I am joining educational leaders, elected officials and business leaders from across Alamance County in making this request of the county commissioners. Also joining me on behalf of Elon in signing this letter is President Emeritus Leo M. Lambert.
Our society is becoming more fully aware of the stark realities of racism and injustice. Now is a time for truth, healing and a new commitment to the concepts of liberty and justice for all. I am convinced we cannot fully achieve the aspirations of our democracy with divisive symbols such as this Confederate Monument in Graham in our midst.
Connie Ledoux Book