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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.

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.

Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. March 26, 2014 10:20 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Voting Rights

Spotlight on Exclusion in Lenoir County

Following last year’s State of Exclusion report, on Monday March 24, 2014, the UNC Center for Civil Rights released its profile of Lenoir County, the first in a series of in-depth examinations of exclusion and the legacy of racial segregation in individual counties. In the middle of the Black Belt of Eastern North Carolina, Lenoir County is divided between its mostly white rural population and the concentrated African American populations in Kinston and La Grange. This new report focuses on the impact of the racial segregation on public education, political representation, and utility service.  Profiles of other 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.

Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. March 24, 2014 11:44 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

Managing Attorney Mark Dorosin Interviewed in Halifax County Education Documentary

"School Days: Education in Halifax County Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" is a short documentary by Tom Adams from the Center for Documentary Studies. Center Managing Attorney Mark Dorosin was interviewed and talks about the history of school desegregation in Halifax County.

Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Thu. March 13, 2014 11:56 AM
Categories: Halifax County

Why the loss of Voting Rights Act protections is so destructive

This post was originally posted on the Progressive Pulse by Mark Dorosin, managing attorney of the UNC Center for Civil Rights on Monday, March 11, 2014. This blog post is part of a series called Place Matters.

Previous Posts:

Place Matters

The Voting Rights Act subjected 40 percent of North Carolina’s counties to the mandatory “pre-clearance” regulations of Section 5, requiring approval of the Department of Justice or the courts before electoral changes that might weaken the voting power of African American. The evisceration of this landmark legislation by the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder—and subsequent the omission of North Carolina from the covered jurisdictions in newly introduced voting rights legislation—leaves racially excluded communities particularly vulnerable to political isolation and electoral powerlessness.

Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. March 12, 2014 9:33 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

Environmental injustice in NC extends its unhealthy reach across North Carolina, especially in African American communities

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.

Place Matters

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

Data shows clear disparities between majority minority communities and the surroundings

This post was originally posted on the Progressive Pulse on Monday, February 24, 2014.

Place Matters

The previous post in this series, Place Matters, laid out the importance of place-based strategies to address inequality across North Carolina. Geographic solutions must be guided by precise data to target specific solutions to particular communities. The State of Exclusion report is a first step in using available statewide data to identify specific communities and the issues they face.

Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. February 26, 2014 2:10 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination

Center for Civil Rights Files Amicus Brief in School Voucher Case

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

Place Matters

This post was originally posted on the Progressive Pulse by Alexandra Sirota, the Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center at the N.C. Justice Center on Thursday, February 20, 2014.

Place Matters

In research released last year, the UNC Center for Civil Rights builds a compelling case for how our built environment truly reflects (or doesn’t) equality of opportunity in North Carolina, particularly for communities of color.

Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Mon. February 24, 2014 4:27 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Race Discrimination

Raleigh Proposes to Sell off Public Housing; Fair Housing Advocates Oppose Plan

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
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