The Center was invited to write for Teach For America's blog, Pass
the Chalk, to commemorate the Brown v. Board of Education anniversary.
We wrote about the spectrum of segregation and resegregation in North
Carolina as an example of this disturbing nationwide trend.
Halifax community members at a rally for education equality
Although racial segregation in public schools was held unconstitutional in 1954 by
Brown v. Board of Education
massive resistance by segregationist state and local governments
prevented meaningful implementation of this landmark ruling for over a
decade. It wasn’t until the late 1960s, and in response to community
activism, litigation, and intervention by the federal government, that
the doors of educational opportunity were finally forced open to create
equal access for children of color.
Today, almost 60 years after
its promise of an integrated and equal education remains unfulfilled. The cross-exposure of black and white students
—an important measure of integration—peaked in the mid-1980s but, by 2000 was even lower than in 1968.
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Thu. May 16, 2013 12:09 PM
Categories: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Education, Halifax Taxes, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Wake County
Center Education Fellow Taiyyaba Qureshi, with Jason Langberg, Director of Legal Aid NC's Push Out Prevention Project, and Eldrin Deas, PhD Candidate at UNC SChool of Education, authored an article in
this month's Poverty and Race Research Action Council Journal on the need for education officials to be accountable through meaningful engagement with education stakeholders. The full article is available in the March/April PRRAC Journal.
Accountability in education must
include the idea that school systems have certain obligations to their
stakeholders. Traditional notions of accountability are mostly focused on
measuring performance outputs of students, teachers and principals, and fail to
identify metrics by which elected and appointed policymakers can be held
accountable for their actions. Unfortunately,
this trend has become even more prevalent as so-called market-based reforms (e.g.,
expanded high-stakes testing, merit pay, privitization) are adopted on the
federal, state and local levels. These policy changes in fact “de-form” democratic
principles of good governance and fairness, which require that school system
leaders be held accountable to the community. Over the past four years,
education policymakers and community advocates in Wake County, North Carolina
demonstrated that such accountability is essential to creating a healthy
relationship between the school district and the community it serves and to
producing high-quality, equitable outcomes for students.
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Wed. March 20, 2013 9:16 AM
Categories: Education, Wake County
Since our last post, there have been several important rulings in Royal Oak Concerned Citizens et. al v. Brunswick County:
- On September 13, 2012, Judge Thomas Lock denied Defendant’s Motions to Dismiss Mark Hardy and ROCCA's Complaints.
- On November 14, 2012, the Court denied Defendant’s motion seeking to prohibit Plaintiffs from taking the depositions of a County Commissioner and the Assistant County Manager.
- On January 18, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel Defendant to produce complete responses to a number of discovery requests, in part because Defendant had not produced an entire category of important documents: emails and other internal communications.
- On February 18, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel the production of two more fact witnesses whom Defendant had refused to produce on the same “legislative immunity” grounds it had asserted last fall.
- On February 28, 2013, Plaintiffs filed a Motion in the Cause for Costs on grounds Defendant was in willful non-compliance with Judge Tally’s February 7, 2013 Order.
- On March 5, 2013 , Judge Tally denied Defendant's motion seeking to prohibit Plaintiffs from deposing former County Commission Chair Bill Sue and County Manager Marty Lawing.
Finally, on March 8, 2013, Judge Thomas Lock will hear, Defendant’s Motion to Reconsider. The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Superior Court in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Thu. March 7, 2013 2:50 PM
Categories: Brunswick County, Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination
For Black History Month, we honor our hero and Founding Director,
Julius Levonne Chambers, by weekly features of one of his many civil
rights arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Chambers graduated
from UNC Law School in 1962 and went on to shape the contours of of
civil rights law in North Carolina and nationwide. Learn more about
Chambers on our History page and on an annotated bibliography of his
works. Today, Shaw v. Hunt, 517 U.S. 899 (1996), a landmark congressional redistricting case.
for the first time have gotten to a point where black people will have a voice,
or an opportunity to have a voice in the election of Congresspeople . . .What we're talking about ensuring at once, at least for once, a chance now to have a chance to have a voice in the election of your representatives." - Julius Chambers, arguing Shaw v. Hunt.
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Thu. February 7, 2013 5:30 PM
Categories: Race and the Law Series, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights
The Center for Civil Rights joined a national coalition of
education and civil rights advocates calling on the US Department of Education
to encourage school diversity as a factor in grants through the Department’s
Investing in Education ("i3") fund.
The Center and coalition members called on the Department to
include “promoting diversity” as a priority to be used in evaluating i3 grant
Read the coalition’s comment letter.
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Thu. January 17, 2013 9:48 AM
Categories: Education, Segregation
In a recent "Race and the Law" series, Center staff and UNC Law School
professors reenacted excerpts from the oral arguments in the Fisher v. University of Texas. The case was heard at the US Supreme Court on
October 10, 2012. UNC School of Law Dean Jack Boger. CCR Attorneys Mark
Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix, and the UNC Office of University Counsel filed an an amicus brief on behalf of the University of North Carolina in this case.
Deputy Director Charles Daye played the role of Chief Justice Roberts.
Center attorneys Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix and UNC Law
professors Eric Muller, Erika Wilson, Al Brophy, and Catherine Kim
played other Justices. Community Inclusion Fellow Bethan Eynon read the
position of Petitioner Fisher, Education Fellow Taiyyaba Qureshi took
the part of Respondent University of Texas, and Equal Justice Works
Fellow Peter Gilbert acted as US Solicitor General.
Watch the video below:
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Mon. January 14, 2013 12:01 AM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Race and the Law Series, Race Discrimination
Jennifer Marsh is a civil rights lawyer and the Center’s new Director of Research, Community Services and Student Programs. Prior to joining the Center, Jennifer served as the Project Manager and Senior Attorney for the Racial Justice Act study conducted by Michigan Law School. She provided her reflections on the landmark hearing last month that commuted three death sentences under North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act.
On Thursday, December 13, 2012, Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks issued a ruling under the North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act (RJA). The order commuted the death sentences of three notorious murderers and resentenced them to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Passed in 2009, the RJA states that “no person shall be subject to… a sentence of death… pursuant to any judgment that was sought or obtained on the basis of race.”
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Tue. January 8, 2013 4:00 PM
Categories: Criminal Justice, Race Discrimination
Alvin Corum (L) and John Gresham (R)
Dr. Alvis Corum was a longtime
tenured faculty member and the Dean of Learning Resources at Appalachian State
University when he learned of a plan to relocate and split up the Appalachian
Collection, a seminal collection of books, reports, music, and artifacts of the
historic culture of the Southern Appalachian Region. When he protested, Dr. Corum was removed from his deanship
and stripped of his administrative duties. Dr. Corum and his attorney John Gresham brought a successful free speech claim that resulted in a landmark civil rights ruling recognizing the right to bring claims directly under the North Carolina constitution.
The Center hosted Dr. Corum and Mr. Gresham for a "Race and the Law" event, where the spoke about the history of the case. Continue reading for a video of the talk.
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. January 4, 2013 9:59 AM
Categories: Community Leaders, First Amendment, Race and the Law Series