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Photograph of John Dunne, Unattributed

John Dunne

One of the three protagonists of the book The Free Men by John Ehle, John Dunne's leadership during the integration protests of 1963 and 1964 helped bring about change in the town of Chapel Hill.


Photograph of Karen Parker

Karen Parker

In 1963, Karen Parker enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill, becoming the first black female undergraduate in Carolina's history. Parker was arrested and jailed twice for her participation in the sit-ins to integrate Chapel Hill businesses.


Students for a Democratic Society

Formally created in spring 1965, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) played a key role in the challenge to the North Carolina Speaker Ban law. Throughout the controversy SDS was under scrutiny by the FBI and by campus police.

Photograph of Paul Dickson

Paul Dickson

Paul Dickson played a critical role in organizing fellow students in opposition to the North Carolina Speaker Ban law. Philosophically in support of the fight against Communism, Dickson still felt that freedom of speech was paramount and fought to let Communists speak on campus.

Photograph of Preston Dobbins

Preston Dobbins

A community organizer before enrolling at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dobbins brought his experience to the 1969 struggle to achieve more rights for black students and non-academic workers at UNC.


Photograph, Mary Smith speaking at a public rally in Memorial Hall

Mary Smith and Elizabeth Brooks

Cousins Mary Smith and Elizabeth Brooks were employees of the Pine Room in Lenoir Dining Hall. They campaigned, along with students, for improved working conditions and pay for foodworkers and other "non-academic" workers on campus.

Photograph of Tommy Bello

Tommy Bello

Elected president of the student body in March 1970, Tommy Bello was in office less than two months before the campus was swept up in the national reaction to the shootings at Kent State University. His leadership helped the student body through this time of turmoil without escalated violence.

Photograph of Anne Queen, Director of the Campus Y

Anne Queen

Under the leadership of its director, Anne Queen, the Campus Y sponsored many programs concerned with the crucial issues of the day, including Vietnam, the death of Martin Luther King Jr., and the foodworkers' strike.