Pauli’s Power

Feb 5, 2021

Pauli Murray was a powerhouse for social justice. She worked tirelessly as a lawyer, an activist, a poet, and a priest to push for racial equality and gender rights, and influenced the likes of Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

She rarely received appropriate recognition during her lifetime, but global awareness of Pauli’s legacy grows more by the day. Now, a faculty movement at UNC Chapel Hill aims to honor the social justice warrior by naming a building after her. But the proposed commemoration comes with a complicated history.


Karen Ross, great-niece of Pauli Murray

Barbara Lau, Executive Director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice

Glenda Gilmore, Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History Emerita, Yale University and author of Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950 (W. W. Norton & Company, 2008)

Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Durham-based poet, Fellow with the National Humanities Center, and Black feminist scholar