Blog Posts: General

Center Co-chairs "Representing Arab and Muslim-Americans in the Trump Era" CLE

The Agenda from the "Representing Arab and Muslim-Americans in the Trump Era" CLE
The Agenda from the "Representing Arab and Muslim-Americans in the Trump Era" CLE

On April 11, the UNC Center for Civil Rights facilitated a seminar for lawyers on how to best represent Arab and Muslim-Americans under the current administration. Speakers included Christopher Brook of the ACLU of North Carolina, Bradley Banis of Barnwell, Whaley Patterson & Helms, Joseph Zeszotarski Jr. of Gammon, Howard & Zeszotarski, Manzoor Cheema of Project South and Catherine Kim of the University of North Carolina School of Law. Topics ranged from challenging naturalization and green card delays to counseling clients facing questioning by law enforcement to the Muslim immigrant bans. The Center was proud to cosponsor the CLE with the North Carolina chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and Project South.


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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Mon. April 17, 2017 4:19 PM
Categories: General, Professional Development

Recap: "Justice for All" Benefit Concert at the Haw River Ballroom

Naeema Muhammad, co-director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network.
Naeema Muhammad, co-director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network, speaks about her experience working alongside the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

On Sunday, April 9th, the UNC Center for Civil Rights gathered with friends and colleagues for "Justice for All," a benefit concert hosted at the Haw River Ballroom in Saxapahaw, NC.  Non-profit community outreach network Mighty Neighborly organized the concert in response to the UNC Board of Governors' ongoing effort to prohibit the Center for Civil Rights from engaging in any direct representation or advocacy on behalf of individuals, families or communities. 

Justice for All performers included Keny Roby, I Was Totally Destroying It, shirlette ammons, The Backsliders, Elizabeth Haddix and the Gurley Flynns, Pre-Raphaelites, Happy Abandon, Laurelyn Dossett, Molly McGinn, and Alice Gerrard.

Between musical performances, a number of speakers shared their support for the Center for Civil Rights.  Speakers included Senator Floyd McKissick, Senator Angela Bryant, Representative Graig Meyer, Professor Gene Nichol, North Carolina Environmental Justice Network co-director Naeema Muhammad, and the Center's managing attorney, Mark Dorosin.

Center staff thank the concert's performers, speakers, and organizers, as well as all who attended, for their support.  Photos from the event are below.


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Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Wed. April 12, 2017 10:24 AM
Categories: General, Law Students

Center Receives UNC Diversity Award

The UNC Center for Civil Rights was among those honored at the University Diversity Awards on Tuesday, April 4th. UNC Law Professor and Librarian Donna Nixon presented the Center with the University’s 2017 Diversity Award for Department or Unit. Director Ted Shaw, accompanied by the Center staff, accepted the award and spoke on the importance of continuing civil rights advocacy even as we recognize the 49th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. April 5, 2017 4:43 PM
Categories: General

CLARIFYING THE RECORD

To support the Board of Governors effort to prohibit the Center for Civil Rights from engaging in any direct representation or advocacy on behalf of individuals, families or communities, one BOG member circulated a memo to that mischaracterized the Center's work and mission. The following is to provide some context and clarification of that memo. 

Claim: The Center for Civil Rights has no oversight to ensure that it pursues UNC’s educational mission rather than the “personal causes and interests of center personnel.”
Fact:The Executive Director of the Center is a tenured member of the law school faculty and oversees the work of the Center, including its direct representation and advocacy. Additionally, before any litigation can commence, Center staff must submit a justification memo to the Dean of the Law School. The Center cannot engage in litigation without the Dean’s approval.

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Posted by Mark Dorosin on Thu. March 23, 2017 3:13 PM
Categories: General, Law Students

The UNC Center for Civil Rights Commemorates the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday

In 2017, as our nation commemorates the birth of D. Martin Luther King, Jr., we stand on the precipice of the inauguration of a new president of the United States. Our country is walking an uncertain path, divided by race, class, and partisanship. We collectively tend to remember Dr. King as one whose dreams gently prodded the United States away from segregation and discrimination by appealing to a sympathetic majority of Americans who supported his agenda. We further like to think about his work as having been largely accomplished, as we live in a largely post-racial society. We at the UNC Center for Civil Rights acknowledge the profoundly significant progress we have made as a nation on issues of race. Yet we also recognize the persistence of structural inequality and stubborn racism that continues to define important aspects of American life.

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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Tue. January 17, 2017 9:17 AM
Categories: General

Looking at the Path Ahead

The long and contentious election season is over, and Donald J. Trump is the President-elect of the United States. The 2016 election will have profound results for our country and the world. Among the most important impacts will be the civil and constitutional rights of the citizens and people of the United States.

The UNC Center for Civil Rights is a non-partisan entity. Its mission is the advancement of civil rights in North Carolina, the south, and the nation, and the training of new generations of civil rights lawyers. While we are non-partisan, we are compelled to acknowledge the effects of partisan politics on civil rights. We did not create this reality, and if we could choose, there would be no partisan alignment on civil rights issues.


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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Tue. November 15, 2016 4:49 PM
Categories: General, Race Discrimination

2015 UNC Center for Civil Rights Year in Review

As we approach the end of 2015, I have been reflecting on the events of the last year and a half, and the work of The Center for Civil Rights.  Since coming to UNC in June of 2014, I have been immersed in the history and the contemporary workings of North Carolina. As an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for twenty-five years, and the Justice Department before that, I litigated civil rights cases all over the South, including North Carolina.  I have deep family roots in the state, including relatives known and unknown. Yet, it is one thing to know a place from a distance and even to spend time there, and quite another to live here.
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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Mon. December 21, 2015 10:34 AM
Categories: General

Addressing Trump's Remarks on the Exclusion of Muslims

Statement of Theodore M. Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights Regarding Donald Trump’s Position on the Exclusion of Muslims

The Center for Civil Rights does not take positions on partisan political matters. Political neutrality, however, does not require that we stand mute in the face of discriminatory statements and actions that marginalize individuals on the basis of race, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability, age, or any other protected classification. This is especially true for the Center for Civil Rights, which has as its mission the protection of individuals against unlawful discrimination and the advocacy of civil and human rights.


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Posted by Theodore M. Shaw (Ted) on Wed. December 9, 2015 9:29 AM
Categories: General, Race Discrimination

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

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

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