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Meredith College removes name of white supremacist from building

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A North Carolina women's college announced on Wednesday that it is renaming a building named after a white supremacist who supported unequal funding for schools based on race.

The board of trustees of Meredith College in Raleigh voted at a meeting last month to rename Joyner Hall after finding out about the background of James Yadkin Joyner, according to an announcement on its web page.

“We know some may disagree with the Board’s decision, but the ongoing harm done by Joyner’s initiative makes it untenable to continue to honor him – especially as an educator,” the announcement said.

The move is part of Meredith's Initiative on Anti-Racism. Nearly two years ago, the board joined historians, researchers, diversity consultants, and representative faculty, staff, and alumnae to begin a review of building names on Meredith’s campus, which was built in 1925-26.

“The racist ideas James Yadkin Joyner, who served as a trustee for 55 years, stood for throughout his lifetime, are antithetical to Meredith College’s mission, vision, and values,” the announcement said.

In addition to the renaming of Joyner Hall, the Board endorsed placing signs with QR codes on each campus building to provide historical context about all of the individuals for whom the buildings are currently named.

Campus buildings at UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University are also named for Joyner.

The announcement was signed by Yvette Brown, the chair of the college's board of trustees, and Jo Allen, the college's president. Both are Meredith alumnus.

WUNC's Joe Jurney contributed to this story.

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