Blog Archive: 2012

Center urges Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools to prioritize diversity in new assignment plan

On December 18, Managing Attorney Mark Dorosin submitted a letter to Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board regarding the upcoming 2012-2013 student reassignment plan.

"Racial or socio-economic isolation is a known barrier to securing the prerequisites to a quality education . . . Moreover, the idea of “community schools” not only ignores the continuing legacy of residential racial and socio-economic segregation in housing opportunities, but also takes a shortsighted and narrow view of what constitutes a community."

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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Wed. December 19, 2012 8:11 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Fair Housing, Orange County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Rogers Road Remediation: Challenges Remain

Rogers Road citizens rally for their community

The Center for Civil Rights continues to advocate for the Rogers Road Neighborhood, a 150-year-old, majority African American community divided between Chapel Hill and Carrboro that has hosted Orange County’s landfills for over 40 years.

In 1972, the county sited an unlined landfill near the community upon a promise to residents that it would close the landfill within 10 years. In 1982, the county instead extended the life of the landfill and has since expanded it to include two municipal waste landfills, two construction and demolition debris landfills, a leachate pond, a hazardous waste collection site, a materials recovery facility, facilities for mulching yard and clean wood waste, and facilities for managing scrap tires, old appliances, scrap metal, and salvaged construction materials.

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Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Mon. December 3, 2012 2:14 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Orange County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Center, students continue Election Protection presentations, prepare for Nov. 6 Hotline

UNC Pro Bono Students Dan Hemme and Nate Creger at Pitt County Election Protection Presentation

Center for Civil Rights attorneys and UNC Law Pro Bono Students have continued to present voter education programs in communities across the state. These non-partisan public education and information presentations are part of Center’s participation in the national Election Protection coalition.

In addition to this community outreach, the Center will again be coordinating the North Carolina call center for the Election Protection Hotline on Election Day, November 6. Voters anywhere in the state 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. Trained UNC Law students and faculty, with other community volunteers, will be available to answer voter questions and document and address voting problems or irregularities.

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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Fri. November 2, 2012 11:16 AM
Categories: Pro Bono, Voting Rights

Fisher Amici speak on Constitution Day Panel at UNC Law School

CCR attorneys Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix, and UNC School of Law Dean Jack Boger, together with the Office of University Counsel filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (“UNC”) in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on October 10, and a ruling is expected next spring.

On Constitution Day, September 17, Center attorneys Dorosin and Haddix, Center Deputy Director Charles Daye, and Dean Boger joined Steve Farmer, UNC Vice Provost for Admissions, on a panel at UNC Law School to discuss Fisher v. Texas and the continuing need for race-conscious and diversity-promoting higher education admission policies.  Steve Farmer also wrote an op-ed that was published in The Hill on October 8, entitled Fisher v. Texas: It's wrong to curb diversity.

Watch the video of the panel:

Fisher v. University of Texas, Constitution Day 2012 Discussion from UNC School of Law on Vimeo.

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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Wed. October 17, 2012 2:45 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Race and the Law Series

Center files Extraordinary Writ to Fourth Circuit

On October 9, the Center for Civil Rights, on behalf of Plaintiffs in the Everett v. Pitt County Schools desegregation case, petitioned to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for a Writ of Mandamus ordering the District Court in Greenville, NC to comply with the appellate court’s May 2012 ruling regarding the county’s 2011-2012 student assignment plan.

More about the history of this case.
Read the Petition for Writ of Mandamus (PDF). 

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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. October 16, 2012 3:10 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Center Launches Voter Education Presentations

Center Attorney-Fellow Bethan Eynon and UNC Law Students Kevin Delaney, Ernest Washington after making a Voter Education presentation at the Durham NAACP

The Center for Civil Rights has launched a pre-election voter education outreach program with the goal of ensuring that every eligible voter is able to meaningfully exercise the right to cast a ballot on Election Day. Through September and October, law students and Center attorneys will travel throughout Central and Eastern North Carolina to host voter education programs. These 30-minute presentations will focus on several common voting rights issues, including registration, early voting, absentee ballots, residency requirements, provisional ballots, campaign activities at the polls, voter identification laws, redistricting, access to and assistance at the polling place, and how criminal history affects the right to vote.

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Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Fri. September 28, 2012 2:48 PM
Categories: Law Students, Pro Bono, Voting Rights

Halifax advocates mark anniversary of Center's report, continue struggle for education equity

Education advocates gather in Halifax, NC to mark the one-year anniversary of the Center's report and the county's renewed struggle for education equity

This summer marked the one-year anniversary of the UNC Center for Civil Rights’ report, “Unless Our Children Begin to Learn Together: The State of Education in Halifax County.” To commemorate this milestone, education advocates in the community held a press conference at the Old Halifax County Courthouse, where the report was first presented, to review what had been accomplished in the year and the challenges that remain to bring high-quality, equitable education to Halifax County.

At the press conference, CEES Vice President Gary Grant, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, called upon county and school elected officials, parents, teachers, and students to continue the struggle for equity: “We bear witness to the fact that the problems of poor and barely mediocre student performance at the three public school systems has not been addressed. Nor has the root cause, the continuing extreme racial segregation among the three school districts in Halifax County. The quality of education has been undermined on a county-wide basis for much too long at too great a cost to too many of our children.”

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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Mon. September 17, 2012 4:17 PM
Categories: Community Leaders, Education, Halifax County, Leandro, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Bethan Eynon Joins the Center as Community Inclusion Fellow

Bethan Eynon

The first month of my first year in law school, the Center held an interest meeting for students about the Wills Project, where even first semester law students were encouraged to write advanced directives for low-income clients. I had found law school to be dry and passionless, and saw this as an opportunity to take the sort of social justice action that I had envisioned when I applied to law school.

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Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Tue. September 4, 2012 10:32 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion

Foreseeable Failure: Wake County’s first week

Wake County’s first week of school has been an overwhelming fiasco. Despite the administration’s repeated protestations to the contrary, the root of the school opening debacle is the school board’s insistence on adopting a student assignment plan so focused on eliminating diversity that other important values were eliminated too: transparency, community engagement, attention to legitimate public concerns, and efficient resource management. Subverting these core values to prioritize so-called “neighborhood schools” and “choice” has left Wake County students behind.

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Posted by Elizabeth M. Haddix on Fri. August 31, 2012 9:35 AM
Categories: Education, Race Discrimination, Wake County

Brandy Creek Residents Sue for Refund of Taxes

Land Value Increases in Brandy Creek

Residents of the Brandy Creek and Wallace Fork Road Community have opened the newest chapter in their struggle for justice against the harms caused by the failed plan to develop Carolina Crossroads entertainment district and the Roanoke Rapids Theater in their neighborhood. Residents of the community filed a lawsuit today in Halifax County Superior Court against the county, the City of Roanoke Rapids, and Weldon City Schools seeking a refund of illegally inflated property taxes collected in 2007, 2008 and 2009. After the 2007 property revaluation, their land values and property taxes went up an average of over 800%, and as high as 1400%, an intense hardship which decimated the community.

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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. August 24, 2012 3:57 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes
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