Blog | Center for Civil Rights

Center Files Amicus Briefs in NC School Voucher Case

The UNC Center for Civil Rights (the Center) represents the North Carolina NAACP as amicus to the NC Supreme Court on State defendants’ appeal of a 2014 order finding NC’s voucher program unconstitutional. Over 70 school districts, as well as the NC School Boards Association, filed suit in 2013 to challenge the program, while taxpayers and parents filed a separate action. Oral argument at NC’s highest court took place on February 24, 2015, and a decision is pending. Read the 2014 (PDF) and 2015 (PDF) amicus briefs.


Read More... (Center Files Amicus Briefs in NC School Voucher Case)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Fri. March 6, 2015 3:25 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Segregation

Statement of Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights

The criticism of The UNC Center for Civil Rights by some members of the Board of Governors’ Committee on Centers lies along two axes of allegedly inappropriate activities. First, they allege that The Center does advocacy work, which they contend does not belong within a university, because it is one-sided. Second, they contend that the Center sues the State, and that is inappropriate.


Read More... (Statement of Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights)
Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Fri. February 27, 2015 3:26 PM
Categories: General

Concerned Citizens of Duplin County Files Civil Rights Complaint with the US Department of Education over School Facilities Plan

On December 24, 2014, the Concerned Citizens of Duplin County (CCDC), a community-based organization focused on educational equity, diversity, and opportunity for children in Duplin County Schools (DCS), represented by the UNC Center for Civil Rights, filed a complaint (PDF) with the U.S. Department of Education under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint states that the facilities plan adopted by the Duplin County Board of Education “will have a discriminatory impact on non-white DCS students, who will continue to be denied access to quality facilities, and who will be increasingly and disproportionately concentrated in racially segregated schools.” The complaint asks the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the claim and to stop the implementation of the proposed facilities plan.


Read More... (Concerned Citizens of Duplin County Files Civil Rights Complaint with the US Department of Education over School Facilities Plan)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Thu. January 22, 2015 11:05 AM
Categories: Education, Race Discrimination, Segregation

UNC Center for Civil Rights to Host National Election Protection Hotline

Election Protection Hotline

UNC School of Law students, with other community volunteers, are staffing a toll-free, non-partisan hotline to answer voter questions on Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, as part of Election Protection, a national voter advocacy effort. Voters can call 1.866.OUR.VOTE (866.687.8683) or 1.888.VE.Y.VOTA (888.839.8682) with questions about their rights and the voting process. The hotline is open now for early voting, and will remain active through the closing of the polls on Election Day.

This November is the first major election after the passage of North Carolina House Bill 589, which significantly changed the voting laws in North Carolina. The Election Protection Hotline will provide resources to support voters at the polling place. Voters can call the Hotline to report any problems they encounter or witness at the polls, verify their registration status, or find their polling location.


Read More... (UNC Center for Civil Rights to Host National Election Protection Hotline)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. October 29, 2014 11:55 AM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights

Brunswick County Landfill Case Settles

Clients and counsel celebrate after settling the Brunswick County case

The Royal Oak case resolved on June 16, 2014 with Brunswick County’s approval of the settlement agreement in ROCCA et. al. v. Brunswick County.


Read More... (Brunswick County Landfill Case Settles)
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. September 5, 2014 4:32 PM
Categories: Brunswick County, Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Race Discrimination

UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Jones County

Jones County Report

Trenton, the smallest town in sparsely populated Jones County is not known for much, but made headlines in 1999 for a civil rights struggle to annex excluded communities. This latest report (PDF) documents the progress and persistent obstacles to racial integration in Trenton and across the county. With this installment, the UNC Center for Civil Rights continues its series of county level profiles on the legacy of racial segregation. Building on last year's statewide State of Exclusion report (PDF), this series includes reports on Lenoir (PDF), Davidson (PDF), and Moore (PDF) counties; all are available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.


Read More... (UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Jones County)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. July 11, 2014 11:31 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Segregation, Voting Rights

State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County

State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County

The UNC Center for Civil Rights continues its series of county level profiles on the legacy of racial segregation, focusing this time on Moore County (PDF). Building on last year’s statewide State of Exclusion report (PDF), this series includes prior reports on Lenoir (PDF) and Davidson (PDF) counties; all are available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.

Moore County, in the southern part of the Piedmont of North Carolina, is the center of the Sandhills region, known today primarily for its luxurious golf resorts, especially Pinehurst, home to this year’s U.S. Open Golf Tournament. Despite significant strides, Moore County remains nearly as deeply divided as described by the New York Times in 2005, the last time it hosted a U.S. Open. Most basic amenities have been extended to the excluded communities nearest the wealthiest golf resorts, but when looking at the county as a whole, racial and economic segregation persists. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation on affordable housing, public education, environmental justice, and access to municipal services. The UNC Center for Civil Rights continues to represent several excluded communities in the county; the history of the Center’s work there informs the report, but like prior reports all conclusions are based upon publically available data.


Read More... (State of Exclusion: Profile on Moore County)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. June 6, 2014 4:07 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Moore County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights

UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Davidson County

Profile on Davidson County

Following last year’s State of Exclusion report, in March the UNC Center for Civil Rights released a profile on Lenoir County (PDF), the first in a series of in-depth examinations of exclusion and the legacy of racial segregation in individual counties. Today we are releasing the second profile in that series on Davidson County (PDF). This release, the study on Lenoir County, and last year’s statewide report, are all available at www.uncinclusionproject.org. Profiles of additional counties will follow in the coming weeks, each highlighting particular aspects of that county’s history, ongoing impacts of exclusion, and progress toward full inclusion of all residents.

Between the Charlotte and Triad metropolitan areas, Davidson County is divided between its mostly white rural population and the more concentrated African American populations in the cities of Lexington and Thomasville. This report focuses on the impact of racial segregation on affordable housing, public education, political representation, and utility service. Almost all subsidized housing in Davidson County is clustered in Lexington and Thomasville, with very little subsidized housing available anywhere else in the county. One effect of clustering subsidized housing in already concentrated areas of poverty and non-white population is to exclude African Americans, Latinos, and low wealth residents from neighborhoods of higher opportunity that have greater access to employment, higher median incomes, and better educational opportunities. This county-wide pattern of exclusion perpetuates racial segregation and frustrates the purposes of the Fair Housing Act.


Read More... (UNC Center for Civil Rights Inclusion Project Spotlight on Exclusion in Davidson County)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. April 28, 2014 3:12 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Voting Rights

NC Court of Appeals Allows Deposition of Former County Manager in Brunswick Environmental Justice Case

On April 1, 2014, the North Carolina Court of Appeals dismissed Brunswick County’s consolidated appeal of two trial court orders compelling the County to produce former County Manager Marty Lawing for deposition. This appeal is the second of two filed by the County, both of which have now been dismissed by the Court of Appeals. The first appeal involved the County's motion to dismiss the case, which the trial court denied.


Read More... (NC Court of Appeals Allows Deposition of Former County Manager in Brunswick Environmental Justice Case)
Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Tue. April 1, 2014 9:38 AM
Categories: Brunswick County, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing

Speak Out at the Voting Rights Act Hearing on Friday

On Friday, March 28, 2014 in Rocky Mount, NC, the Center will participate in a public hearing on voting rights in North Carolina. The goal of the hearings is to gather testimony that can ultimately become part of the U.S. congressional record to restore or revise the Voting Rights Act (VRA) or other legislative measures to address restrictive voting practices and ensure effective, non-discriminatory electoral administration. Similar efforts led by the Lawyers’ Committee in 2005 and 2006 helped secure the reauthorization of the VRA at that time. Recently, Congress introduced new legislation that would eliminate NC from the VRA’s Section 5 coverage formula.


Read More... (Speak Out at the Voting Rights Act Hearing on Friday)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. March 26, 2014 10:20 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Voting Rights
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106


If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.