In a disappointing but not surprising decision, Superior Court Judge W. Russell Duke, Jr. dismissed Silver et al. v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners, the lawsuit filed last August by the Center on behalf of the Coalition for Education and Economic Security (CEES), the Halifax County Branch of the NAACP, and three parents and guardian in Halifax County, NC.
Read More... (Superior Court Dismisses Halifax Leandro Litigation)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Wed. February 3, 2016 3:19 PM
Categories: Education, Halifax County, Leandro, Segregation
On Tuesday, December 22, in Halifax, NC, Judge Russell Duke will hear a number of pretrial motions from the Halifax County Board of Commissioners, including a motion to dismiss, in Silver et al. v. Halifax County Board of Commissioners. The hearing will be the first to address substantive issues since the Coalition for Education and Economic Security (CEES), the Halifax County Branch of the NAACP, and three parents and guardians filed suit against the Board of Commissioners in August, to vindicate the state constitutional right of all Halifax County children to the opportunity for a sound basic education. Read the Plaintiffs’ brief in opposition to the Board of Commissioners’ motions.
Earlier this month, Judge Duke denied eight of nine motions to have out-of-state attorneys from the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Latham & Watkins LLP join the Center for Civil Rights in representing the Plaintiffs.
Center attorneys Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix, as well as Eileen O’Connor from Lawyers’ Committee, will represent the Plaintiffs at Tuesday’s hearing.
Read More... (Pretrial Hearing in Halifax County Sound Basic Education Suit)
Posted by Brent J. Ducharme on Fri. December 18, 2015 4:46 PM
Categories: Education, Halifax County
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.
Read More... (Halifax County Settles Lawsuit with Brandy Creek Residents)
Posted by Jennifer Watson Marsh on Wed. December 11, 2013 12:01 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes
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
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.
Read More... (59 Years after Brown vs. Board of Ed, the Spectrum of Segregation Persists)
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
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
At the press conference, CEES Vice President Gary
Grant, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, called upon county and
elected officials, parents, teachers, and students to continue the
equity: “We bear witness to the fact
that the problems of poor and barely mediocre student performance at the
public school systems has not been addressed. Nor has the root cause,
the continuing extreme racial segregation among the three school
Halifax County. The quality of education
has been undermined on a county-wide basis for much too long at too
cost to too many of our children.”
Read More... (Halifax advocates mark anniversary of Center's report, continue struggle for education equity)
Posted by Taiyyaba A. Qureshi on Mon. September 17, 2012 4:17 PM
Categories: Community Leaders, Education, Halifax County, Leandro, Race Discrimination, Segregation
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.
Read More... (Brandy Creek Residents Sue for Refund of Taxes)
Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Fri. August 24, 2012 3:57 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Halifax County, Halifax Taxes
Ms. Florine Bell outside an abandoned home on Branch Avenue in Lincoln Heights, NC
students spent their Spring Break on the Wills Project, providing free wills,
powers of attorney, and living wills for low-wealth clients in Halifax, Lenoir,
Pitt, Avery and Watauga counties. The biannual Wills Project is sponsored
by the UNC Pro
Bono Program, Legal Aid, and the
UNC Center for Civil Rights. Before meeting
their first clients, students on the Eastern NC team were led on a walking tour
of Lincoln Heights, and excluded community in Halifax County, by community
advocate Ms. Florine Bell. Ms. Bell has
been a minister and organizer in Lincoln Heights for several years and has
spent her life fighting for economic, legal, and social justice in Halifax
outside the Lighthouse of Deliverance Church on Branch Avenue, Ms. Bell gave a
brief history of Lincoln Heights. Community Inclusion Attorney Fellow Peter Gilbert then gave an overview
of community exclusion, the layered effects of disempowerment faced by Lincoln
Heights, and the Center’s work there and in other excluded communities.
Continue reading for more pictures, student remarks, and a video of Ms. Florine Bell's introduction and Center Attorney-Fellow Peter Gilbert speaking about community exclusion.
Read More... (Community Leader Florine Bell walks students through Lincoln Heights, NC, Halifax Co. excluded community)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Tue. April 10, 2012 3:56 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Community Leaders, Education, Environmental Justice, Halifax County, Heirs' Property, Law Students, Pro Bono, Race Discrimination, Segregation