Office of the Student Body President and Undergraduate President
Suite 3109 Frank Porter Graham Student Union
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Video Message from Student Body President Lamar Richards in Response to the Shooting of Daunte Wright
Watch the message here: go.unc.edu/Daunte
Hello, Tar Heels. My name is Lamar Richards, and I serve as your Student Body President here at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Here, today, it is with a heavy heart, with sadness, with exhaustion, and with frustration that I speak to you all in response to the tragic shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
The systemic oppression of the Black community — our brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers — continues to be manifested through recent tragedy upon tragedy. Shooting upon shooting. Killing upon killing.
And yet again, I pray. Yet again, I pray for peace. For understanding. For reckoning. For resolution.
I pray that my little brother is never driving on a road alone and has to place what he knows will be his last call to our mother, pleading for his life. Yet again, I pray.
Faculty and staff — I implore you to provide members of the Black community affected by this tragedy with flexibility and understanding as it relates to ongoing academic requirements and deadlines.
Additionally, I ask that you serve as a source of compassion and encourage the use of our counseling professionals in CAPS during what continues to be a difficult time for UNC’s Black community.
I acknowledge the pain — the suffering — the aching — of the Black community here at Carolina — I now speak to you directly.
To me, words are simply that — words. We’ve been hearing words for far too long. Statements are simply that — statements. We’ve been reading and releasing statements for far too long. And although I choose to speak to you all directly today, you will not be seeing a video like this from me again. Because, at heart, the question is not if this will happen again — it is when it will happen again. And again. So, instead, I have chosen to fight alongside you for the equity, justice, and peace that we deserve. That we require.
Today, I want to acknowledge that the shooting — the poaching — of Black Americans by those sworn to serve and protect, uphold and empower, is nothing that we have not seen in our past. It has happened before. And will happen again.
But at this moment, it is my solemn commitment — to you — to our community — that words not be the result of our intentional work and service to you, but rather actionable steps to directly uplift the Black community — our Black organizations — our Black student groups here at Carolina. Actionable steps to implement and advocate for safe, intimate spaces for Black students, as well as means of direct support for the Black community here at Carolina.
It is these actionable steps that my Administration has already begun its work on — to serve those that have waited for far too long. We have begun advocating — standing up — acting in direct response to those that have suffered for far too long.
I hope to report back to you soon with results of action — of direct means of support, not just more words. Until then, I continue to pray. For my family. For those I love. For my community — the Black community — here at Carolina.
Yet again, I pray. Yet again, I grieve. Yet again, I hope. To see justice — realized.