Shaw U alumni voice opposition to rezoning, demanding an alternative plan.

Shaw U wants to rezone 27 acres of its campus & redesignate it as a "Mixed Business District" with buildings up to 30 stories.

June 20th 2023.

Shaw U alumni voice opposition to rezoning, demanding an alternative plan.
Shaw University, the first HBCU in the South, is seeking to rezone 27 acres of its downtown campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. This includes a request to redesignate the property as a “Mixed Business District” and increase the existing heights of its buildings to 30 stories.

At the same time, the university has yet to provide a campus plan. The matter was initially scheduled to be voted on by the Raleigh City Council in May, but was delayed in order to encourage the university to engage with concerned constituents. This call for transparency has not been met, as Dr. Paulette Dillard, president of Shaw, declined the invitation to have a virtual town hall with the 2,000+ petitioners who signed the letter in opposition to the campus rezoning at

In response, the Save Our Shaw coalition hosted the “Citizens United Against Gentrification Rally” on Saturday, June 10th in order to stand in solidarity against displacement and gentrification. This was a powerful show of solidarity, with alumni, community members, activists, and advocates marching around the perimeter of Shaw’s campus and demanding that city leaders and university administration prioritize the students and community over profit-driven development schemes.

Eugene Myrick, a Shaw University alum and spokesperson for the coalition, commented on the event: “We are thrilled with the turnout and the energy of the rally. Shaw is not just a physical space, but a cultural and historical landmark that should be protected AND respected. The Save Our Shaw coalition has been working to bring together community members, organizations, and other stakeholders to encourage modernization without commercialization in addition to preventing the potential displacement of long-time residents in Southeast Raleigh.”

He went on to say: “We will not stand idly by as our university and surrounding neighborhoods are destroyed by incompetent and absent Board of Trustee Members. We will continue to stand up and fight for justice and equality for Shaw University, current & future students as well as all of the members of our community.”

The Save Our Shaw Coalition is determined to keep up their organizing and advocacy efforts in order to ensure that the city’s development policies prioritize the needs and well-being of Shaw University students and the surrounding community. The Raleigh City Council is scheduled to vote on Shaw’s rezoning request on June 20th at 1pm. They are asking those who understand the significance of HBCUs to email their opposition to the erasure of Black history to [email protected].

This news was first reported on The Save Our Shaw Coalition is determined to ensure that their voices are heard and the rights of Shaw University students and the community are respected.

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