The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Upendo Lounge

Chris Faison on the possibilities for the Stone Center

Excerpt Description: Chris Faison details possibilities for growth and change for the space of the Stone Center and the need to fully fund the center to achieve those possible changes.

Interviewee Name: Chris Faison

Interviewer: Charlotte Fryar

Excerpt Transcript: “It’s interesting, when you think about now, and having this large center, and–I know that the location that people wanted it on was, I think, where Caudill Labs is now, which would have probably been better. I think that one of the things that people who did fight for this center, I think, are still trying to come to terms with, is the fact that maybe not only that the location is not exactly where they wanted it to be, but it tries to serve a lot of purposes. And I think when it comes to the space part, I know Upendo–part of Upendo Lounge has now been rededicated back for black students, which is really great. I know people like Winston Crisp have really pushed for that on the administrative side. But, I think the question now becomes–the Stone Center’s basement is not even complete. The Stone Center doesn’t have a fundraiser. There’s things that–so the director, Joseph Jordan has to do that. So, I think it would be nice to see, now that the Upendo space has been focused on, a real focus on the Stone Center to get past just saying, ‘Oh, we have a building….’ Just like anything, I guess, the fact that past ten years later, it’s definitely become more a part of the fabric of the university. But I think that it would really be nice for–and not to expect for it to have a lot more resources than any other center, but it just would be nice for it to be funded a little bit more well, especially for there, also–and I don’t know if the basement would be this space, but it would be nice for there to be another space for students, not just for African American students, but students in general. But maybe for students in color, because Upendo Lounge is maybe the size of this room.
CF:Yeah, it’s small.
Faison: And so–and does that say something about how we view the students at this university? So, I think that one space is nice, but it would be nice to–and I know lots of different subgroups want to have space, and I know we can’t have space for every single subgroup on campus. So I think that the Stone Center would be a nice experiment, and could we have a space for students that feel underrepresented in lots of different ways?”

Organization: Black Student Movement

Excerpt Length: 2:12

Interview Date: 12/9/2016

Interview Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Campus Space: The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, Upendo Lounge

Citation: Interview with Chris Faison by Charlotte Fryar, 9 December 2016, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.