Blog Posts: Heirs' Property

Community Leader Florine Bell walks students through Lincoln Heights, NC, Halifax Co. excluded community

Ms. Florine Bell outside an abandoned home on Branch Avenue in Lincoln Heights, NC

UNC Law 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 County.

Standing 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.


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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

Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina

Concerned citizens listen to speakers about continued poverty concerns in the state

The Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina organized by the NAACP, the NC Justice Center, and the UNC Center on Poverty Work and Opportunity, on January 19 and 20 visited six counties in North Eastern North Carolina to hear from some of the most excluded and exploited residents of North Carolina about their experience of poverty. Story after story revealed the truth that poverty is not an individual or personal problem, does not result from laziness or personal morality, but too often results from specific government action or inaction. The most recurring problems we heard were issues the UNC Center for Civil Rights focuses on - manifestations of community exclusion, including lack of access to water and sewer, segregated and underfunded schools, and unreasonably high electric bills.


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Posted by Peter Hull Gilbert on Wed. January 25, 2012 2:07 PM
Categories: Annexation, Community Inclusion, Education, Environmental Justice, Halifax County, Heirs' Property, Segregation

Addressing the Challenges of Heirs' Property – Fall Break 2011 Wills Trip

The Center for Civil Rights, in collaboration with the UNC Law Schools Pro Bono Program and Legal Aid of North Carolina, helped coordinate and lead the sixth pro bono Wills Project. The project provides intensive practical skills training for law students, and then takes them into under-resourced communities across the state to help prepare wills, powers of attorney and living wills for Legal Aid eligible clients. In October, 22 law students, working under the supervision of Center staff, Legal Aid and volunteer private lawyers, staffed wills clinics in Chatham and Moore County, and served 29 clients and drafted and executed 76 advanced directives.

The Center's interest in the Wills Project, which it helped initiate in 2009, is twofold: to prospectively address the challenges that heirs' property presents in the excluded communities with which we work; and to help engage and train the next generation of civil rights lawyers.


Read More... (Addressing the Challenges of Heirs' Property – Fall Break 2011 Wills Trip)
Posted by Mark Dorosin on Fri. November 4, 2011 3:33 PM
Categories: Community Inclusion, Heirs' Property, Law Students, Pro Bono

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