Blog | Center for Civil Rights

From EdNC: Local groups sue Halifax Commissioners, hold press conference

Check out EdNC's article on the Halifax County lawsuit filed by community groups and parents over violations of Halifax students' constitutional right to a sound basic education. The article provides a good summary of the case and a video of the press conference held by community members.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. August 28, 2015 10:32 AM
Categories: Education, Halifax County, Segregation

Halifax County Board of Commissioners Sued for Not Providing Sound Basic Education

Today, as children in Halifax County begin a new school year, the Coalition for Education and Economic Security (CEES), the Halifax County Branch of the NAACP, and three parents and guardians of children attending public schools in Halifax County filed suit (PDF) against the Halifax County Board of Commissioners in Silver et al. v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners, to vindicate the North Carolina constitutional right of all Halifax County’s schoolchildren to the opportunity for a sound basic education.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Mon. August 24, 2015 4:29 PM
Categories: Education, Halifax County, Segregation

Former Center Fellow Leah Aden Fights for Voting Rights

Leah Aden, NAACP LDF Assistant Counsel and Former Center Fellow, won an important battle (PDF) for fair elections in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Monday. Ms. Aden represents Fayette County, Georgia voters in their effort to secure fair district-based voting as the voting method for the upcoming special election. Ms. Aden argued the County should be prevented from using the at-large method of voting during the upcoming special election because it will impermissibly dilute the voting power of Black voters in Fayette in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which celebrates its 50th Anniversary of being signed into law on August 6.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. August 5, 2015 10:24 AM
Categories: Next Generation Series, Race Discrimination, Voting Rights

NC Supreme Court Finds Segregating School Voucher Program Constitutional

By a 4-3 vote North Carolina’s Supreme Court overturned the ruling that the education voucher program, which sends public taxpayer dollars to private schools, is unconstitutional. In North Carolina, taxpayer support will now flow freely to schools that are not required to have trained or certified teachers, any identified or minimum curriculum, any accreditation, criminal background checks for employees, and that can discriminate on the basis of religion. Center submitted an amicus curiae brief arguing the program was unconstitutional because it increases segregation in public schools.


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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Mon. July 27, 2015 2:06 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Segregation

After Charleston

The tragic massacre of nine African Americans as they worshipped in an historic Charleston, South Carolina church is yet another reminder of the persistence of racism in America. Its aftermath is also a window into our distorted and tortured discourse on race. In the days, weeks and months preceding this horrific event, across the country Americans wrestled with a series of deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement, until Rachel Dolezal’s racial identity captivated our attention. But the issue of a white woman’s self-professed identification as black has been swept away by the brutal execution of nine African Americans by a young white supremacist.

- Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights, University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill


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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Fri. June 26, 2015 2:31 PM
Categories: General, Race Discrimination

Appeals Court Releases Pitt County Schools from Federal Desegregation Orders

In a disappointing 2-1 decision (PDF), the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the 2013 ruling of the U.S. District Court declaring that Pitt County Schools had fully complied with historic desegregation orders and releasing the district from federal court oversight.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Thu. June 4, 2015 2:25 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination

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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. October 29, 2014 11:55 AM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights
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