This post was originally posted on the Progressive Pulse by Tazra Mitchell of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center at the N.C. Justice Center on Thursday, February 28, 2014.
Imagine living in a community that includes the most undesirable and hazardous amenities a place has to offer such as a waste transfer station, a sewage treatment plant, and several landfills. Now, imagine being represented by county officials who decide to provide water and sewer services to an animal shelter but not to the residents—who happen to be more than three-quarters African American. And, these facilities primarily serve the majority-white residents in adjacent communities. Unfortunately, the residents of Royal Oak in Brunswick County don’t have to imagine this; they face this reality every day.
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. March 5, 2014 3:22 PM
Categories: Brunswick County, Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Race Discrimination, Segregation
UPDATE: On Friday February 21, Judge Robert Hobgood granted the Plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction and stopping the implementation of the voucher program. No voucher payments will be made in 2014-15. The State and the pro-voucher Institute of Justice, which intervened in the case, is expected to appeal the ruling. The Center looks forward to continuing to represent the NC NAACP in defending this landmark victory.
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. February 25, 2014 10:30 AM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Race Discrimination
On Tuesday January 21, the Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 to approve the Raleigh Housing Authority’s (RHA) plan to sell 60 units of subsidized low-income housing and turn them into “market-rate” homes. The homes are in Capitol Park, formerly Halifax Court, on the north side of downtown Raleigh. The homes were originally constructed about 15 years ago using money from a federal HOPE VI grant. The RHA plans to sell the 60 units for $300,000, a tiny fraction of their tax value of $8 million. The plan also calls for the loss of an additional 115 public housing units in diverse areas across Raleigh.
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. February 21, 2014 3:28 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination, Wake County
The following letter was posted by Attorney Scott Holmes after speaking at a forum we hosted yesterday on the Moral Monday trials. Read his original post on his blog.
Dear Friends of Civil Rights,
Thank you for inviting me to come spend time with you at the UNC Center for Civil Rights to talk about our adventures representing Moral Monday protesters. It was such an honor and pleasure to return to the same room and the same halls were I began my journey as an attorney. Your energy and commitment keeps my fire for justice burning hot and bright. I had some thoughts about questions that were asked during the panel and wanted to share those thoughts and ideas with you.
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Thu. February 20, 2014 4:03 PM
Categories: Criminal Justice, First Amendment, Law Students, Race and the Law Series, Wake County
On February 12, 2014, the North Carolina Court of Appeals granted the Royal Oak plaintiffs' motion to dismiss Brunswick County's first appeal in Royal Oak Concerned Citizens Association (ROCCA) et al. v. Brunswick County. The decision means that the case will proceed to trial. ROCCA expressed great joy in this important victory. ROCCA and named plaintiffs Dennis McMillian, Curtis McMillian, and Mark Hardy are represented by the UNC Center for Civil Rights, Jack Holtzman of the Fair Housing Project of Legal Aid of North Carolina, and Ray Owens of Higgins & Owens, PLLC.
Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Wed. February 12, 2014 11:14 AM
Categories: Brunswick County
ElectriCities, the organization of North Carolina cites that are also electric utilities, announced recently that it is negotiating the sale of 32 eastern N.C. member cities’ ownership interest in four power plants to Duke Energy. These cities are the local power utility for many low-wealth and excluded communities across what’s commonly referred to as the “Black Belt” of eastern North Carolina. They are also home to the highest electricity rates in the state; many residents report paying more than $500 per month for electricity. In 2009, ElectriCities customers paid $240 million more than they would have if rates were the state average.
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Thu. February 6, 2014 12:16 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion
Each year, the Center hosts law student interns for the summer, fall, and spring semesters, as part of its mission to train the next generation of civil rights lawyers. This blog post is part of the Next Generation Series, which include reflections from our interns on their assigned casework.
This past December, first-year law student Brian Gwyn and second-year law student Evan Benz dedicated a week of their winter break to volunteering at the Center. Read Evan and Brian’s reflections on working at the Center below.
Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Mon. February 3, 2014 10:41 AM
Categories: Next Generation Series
Center attorneys Mark Dorosin and Bethan Eynon with community leader Gloria Hill after the Northwest Water Supply Inc. annual members meeting.
In 2013, residents of rural Hoke County, North Carolina reached out to the Center for assistance in addressing their concerns about water quality, access to sewer service, and the administration of the local water utility, Northwest Water Supply, Inc. On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, following a series of meetings and energized grassroots organizing, the residents elected three dedicated community advocates to the nonprofit’s Board of Directors.
Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Tue. January 28, 2014 2:45 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion