COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The UM Board of Curators is set to vote Thursday on the addition of a contextualization sign to the University's controversial Thomas Jefferson statue.
Over the past few years, there have been calls to remove the Thomas Jefferson statue on Mizzou's campus, but instead of removing the statue, a task force has recommended adding a sign with context next to Jefferson.
After protests last summer called for the removal of the statue, UM System President Mun Choi created a task force to come up with a solution. Since August 2020, the task force has met six times to discuss potential solutions.
Back in June 2020, Choi stated the statue would not be removed from campus.
"We learn from history," Choi said in a release in June 2020. "We contextualize historical figures with complex legacies. We don’t remove history."
Protesters who called for the statue's removal said in a petition, "a memorial for a racist has no place on our campus" and "thousands of black students pass by (the statue) everyday, forced to deal with imagery of the past in the future where we should be promoting equality, diversity and inclusion."
Previously, two people were arrested for vandalizing the statue and area with paint and graffiti.
According to the task force's final report, the wording of the sign would include why the statue is on the campus and also Jefferson's accomplishments and shortcomings. The sign would outline the fact Jefferson was a slave owner who owned over 600 slaves throughout his life and had six children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings.
The sign would also include a QR code with additional information about Thomas Jefferson's life.
The UM Board of Curators is set to vote on the approval of the sign around 12:30 p.m.