Blog Archive: 2013

Halifax County Settles Lawsuit with Brandy Creek Residents

On Monday, December 2, 2013, the Halifax Board of County Commissioners voted to approve a settlement to resolve an ongoing lawsuit with the residents of the Brandy Creek. Gary et al. v. Halifax County, was scheduled to go to trial in January. The settlement is a milestone in the residents’ struggle for justice following the failed plans to develop the Carolina Crossroads entertainment district and the Roanoke Rapids Theater in their neighborhood. The community was represented by the UNC Center for Civil Rights and Halifax County attorney Bettina Roberts-Flood.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. December 11, 2013 12:01 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes

UNC Center for Civil Rights Joins Amicus Curiae Brief to Defend Narrowly Tailored use of Race in College Admissions

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with the UNC Center for Civil Rights and thirty other national civil rights organizations filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. The case involves a challenge to a 2006 statewide referendum in Michigan that sought to amend the state constitution to prevent the Michigan colleges from any consideration of race in college admissions, eliminating the narrowly tailored race conscious admissions upheld by the Supreme Court in Grutter v. Bollinger and recently reaffirmed in Fisher v. University of Texas. The Center submitted briefs on behalf of UNC Law School in Grutter and of UNC-Chapel Hill in Fisher.


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No Comments | Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Tue. September 24, 2013 3:38 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Education, Race Discrimination

This didn't happen by accident - by Rob Schofield from NC Policy Watch

Powerful new study reveals the depths of segregation in NC and the need for intentional action to address it

Sometimes, it’s hard to say what divides North Carolinians more: race or what to do about race. A new and powerful report by some data wonks at the University of North Carolina helps to shine a light on both of these divisions. The report is entitled “The State of Exclusion: An Empirical Analysis of the Legacy of Segregated Communities in North Carolina” (PDF) and the portrait it paints is not an especially encouraging one.

A team led by researcher Peter Gilbert examined hundreds of “census blocks” and population “clusters” throughout the state in an attempt to explore and explain some of the key aspects of North Carolina’s readily-evident residential segregation by race:
Where does it exist? Why does it exist? What are its impacts?

What they found shouldn’t surprise us, but it should serve as a wake-up call to all North Carolinians of good will. The three-pronged message:

  1. Despite decades of important progress, North Carolina remains intensely segregated in many, many areas.
  2. This segregation produces significant and measurable negative consequences.
  3. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.

Read the executive summary of the report (PDF).

This post was re-posted from NC Policy Watch. - It was written by Rob Schofield


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No Comments | Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. September 18, 2013 10:14 AM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Segregation, Voting Rights

Center's Leandro III Brief Asks State to Remedy Constitutional Violations

The UNC Center for Civil Rights filed its brief with the North Carolina Supreme Court in opposition to the State’s most recent appeal in the ongoing Leandro education litigation. The case, which began almost 20 years ago, affirmed the State’s constitutional obligation to provide a sound basic education to North Carolina children. In 2005, the Center intervened in the ongoing case on behalf of parents and children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Branch of the NAACP, with the support of the North Carolina State Conference and the national NAACP.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Tue. September 3, 2013 12:31 PM
Categories: Amicus Curiae, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Education, Leandro, Race Discrimination

A Reflection on the Pitt County Unitary Status Trial

Plaintiffs and attorneys at the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Greenville, NC.

After over five years of representing our clients, and an important victory at the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2012, the Center’s school desegregation case, Everett et al v. Pitt County Board of Education, went to trial in U.S. District Court in Greenville. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Dechert LLP co-counseled on the case.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. August 2, 2013 4:04 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

On July 22, CCR represents Plaintiffs in historic Pitt County school desegregation trial

On July 22 a trial over the issue of racial segregation of students in Pitt County Schools (PCS) will begin at the Eastern District Federal Courthouse in Greenville, N.C. The UNC Center for Civil Rights (CCR) and co-counsel are representing a group of African-American parents and the Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children (the plaintiffs) to reverse a PCS student assignment plan that they assert resegregated several schools in the district. At the same time, PCS will seek a declaration of “unitary status” and an end to over four decades of federal judicial oversight. A school district is considered unitary when it has eliminated the effects of past racial segregation to the extent practicable.

This is the first major unitary status case in North Carolina since 1999. Over 100 school districts across the South are still under court supervision, and many advocates involved in those districts will likely be monitoring this lawsuit to see how the case unfolds.

The UNC Center for Civil Rights are joined as Plaintiffs' counsel by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and Dechert LLP.

Media inquiries may be directed to the UNC Law School Communications Office (Allison Reid, 919.843.7148, allison_reid@unc.edu) or UNC Center for Civil Rights (Bethan Eynon, 919.590.9139, eynon@email.unc.edu). Time permitting, Center for Civil Rights attorneys will post updates on this blog as the trial progresses.


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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Wed. July 17, 2013 2:05 PM
Categories: Education, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation

Next Generation Series: Orange County Landfill Closing Is A Victory for the Rogers-Eubanks Commmunity

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. Read more about our current and past interns.

The historic Rogers-Eubanks community claimed a long overdue victory when the Orange County Landfill closed on Saturday, June 29, 2013, forty-one years after it opened. With a slow click of the master lock held by three community members – David Caldwell, Gertrude Nunn and the Reverend Robert Campbell – the landfill gates were secured.

Rogers-Eubanks community members prepare to lock the landfill gates. The signs they hold read, "Thanks Orange County for Closing This Landfill, Let's Keep It Closed Forever. Reject NC Senate Bill 328."

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Posted by Bethan R. Eynon on Wed. July 10, 2013 4:36 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Next Generation Series, Orange County

Senate Bill 328 Threatens Fundamental Fairness and Entrenches Racial Disparities in the Siting of Solid Waste Facilities

Senate Bill 328 seeks to remove the requirement that the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) consider the cumulative impact of solid waste facilities on minority or low-income communities in determining whether to issue a permit for those facilities. The bill is currently in the Senate and quickly making its way through the legislative process, and is the latest in a series of proposed legislation this session which seek to repeal or narrow statutes enacted to prevent the perpetuation of racial discrimination.


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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Mon. June 10, 2013 12:12 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Environmental Justice, Race Discrimination

59 Years after Brown vs. Board of Ed, the Spectrum of Segregation Persists

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 Brown, 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.


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Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Thu. May 16, 2013 12:09 PM
Categories: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Education, Halifax County, Pitt County, Race Discrimination, Segregation, Wake County

SAVE THE DATES! Two-Part "Race and Civil Rights" conference

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the UNC Center for Civil Rights are hosting a two-part conference this summer and fall designed to engage the nation's leading civil rights and racial justice advocates.


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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. April 12, 2013 1:56 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Criminal Justice, Education, Environmental Justice, Fair Housing, Juvenile Justice, Race and the Law Series, Race Discrimination, Segregation
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