Skip to main content
Shifa Rahman, left, and fellow protestor Blaise hold protest signs at the base of the William Marsh Rice statue on the campus of Rice University on Jan. 17, 2021. Rahman has spent an hour on campus every day calling for the removal of the statue since Aug. 31, 2020.

Texas universities promised action after summer’s racial reckoning. But they’re still reluctant to shed Confederate relics.

Students of color said they feel most of their calls to eliminate racist symbols from campuses have been ignored or intentionally mired in lengthy, bureaucratic processes intended to delay answers to difficult questions.

The statue of former Texas A&M president Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross stands fenced off from the rest of campus. The fence was put up by the university following calls to remove the statue as a part of furthering racial and diversity programs. Jan. 15, 2021
Qynetta Caston, a student at Texas A&M University, stands in front of a fenced-in statue of former college president Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross on campus. The fence was put up by the university following calls by students to remove the statue as a part of furthering racial and diversity programs. Jan. 15, 2021.

Monuments matter

“It’s like the administration really believes that white supremacy is a reformable thing, rather than something that needs to be completely wiped away.”

— Shifa Rahman, a Rice University junior
Shifa Rahman, left, holds a protest sign at the base of the William Marsh Rice statue on the campus of Rice University  on Jan. 17, 2021. Rahman, often joined by other students, has spent an hour in the main quad on campus every day calling for the removal of the statue since Aug. 31, 2020.

Never-ending diversity committees

Lexy Bogney, a senior at Baylor University, serves as secretary and community coordination chair for the Baylor NAACP and is a member of The Commission on Historic Campus Representations.
A group of prospective students takes an official campus tour in front of the statue of Judge Baylor at Baylor University in Waco on Dec. 23, 2020.

Building new statues

Evan Bookman poses for a portrait outside Beretta Hall on the campus of Texas State University on Jan. 20, 2021.
Audra Collins in front of the Physics, Math, and Astronomy Building at the University of Texas at Austin.

Policing

“Systemic racism [has] been developing for centuries. There are no magic wands to wave.”

— UH spokesperson Shawn Lindsay
Brian Kirksey, vice president of the black student union at the University of Houston, poses for a portrait on campus on Jan. 14, 2021.

“Picking and choosing”

Your New Year’s resolution list isn’t complete without …

Donate now