CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A rally was held at UNC-Chapel Hill Thursday to save the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

Next week, the full UNC Board of Governors will vote on a key measure, which could essentially shut down the legal center.

The center takes on many pro-bono cases representing clients in civil rights lawsuits against state and local governments.   

Earlier this month, a UNC Board of Governors’ committee voted that the center could no longer sue state and local governments, saying that's not the purpose of the center. Instead, it should be geared more to academic research.

Many say stopping the center from engaging in lawsuits could effectively shut the center down, leaving many low income families without legal representation.    

The full board of governors will vote on the issue next week. At that time, they could also discuss alternatives for the center.

Supporters of the center have a week of events planned for next week. They include reaching out to officials, a march on campus, plus a protest when the full Board of Governors meets on Sept. 8.