Perhaps because of the large number of outspoken and thoughtful people in our community, we have often found ourselves at ground zero in battles over civil liberties. In the 1980's Chapel Hill elected the first openly-gay elected official in the state, but Carrboro bested that by electing North Carolina’s first out mayor a decade later.
More recently, Chapel Hill grappled with free speech issues in the wake of 9/11, approved and then dismantled red light cameras in 2003-4, and was challenged by fundamentalists over support for gay marriage in 2005.
So I was in Ohio and of course HB2 came up. Back in NC the Sierra Club has just released a statement about HB2:
To: North Carolina Sierra Club Chapter Leaders
As you know, HB2 has been the leading news story in North Carolina for several weeks. This bill goes against the diversity, equity and inclusion principles of the Sierra Club. Our Chapter DEI Committee and Steering Committee have unanimously voted to take a position opposing HB2 as a way to affirm our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Here is our statement:
"The Sierra Club is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. North Carolina House Bill 2 clearly seeks to undermine these principles through discriminatory policies, including but not limited to denying equality for LGBT individuals; denying the right of individuals to pursue age, sex and racial discrimination cases in state courts; and reiterating legislative opposition to the ability of local governments to raise the minimum wage so as to help achieve economic equity. The North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club strongly opposes this bill and calls for its repeal."
It looks like a growing number of people are using today's confederate flag rally in Chapel Hill as a way to fight hate.
For every confederate flag seen at Silent Sam today they will donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center or a similar non-profit.. That is, they will use the rally as a way to drive donations to organizations established to fight hate and foster togetherness. The idea is to let the rallyers know that wherever they gather to support a symbol of oppression, they will be directly helping to fund organizations that fight oppression.
How does one participate? Simple: Ii you are at the rally, use the hashtag #ChapelHillAgainstHate to post your count of flags. If you want to help with a donation, make a donation to SPLC or a similar organization then post about it on social media using the hashtag #ChapelHillAgainstHate. Watch the hashtag this afternoon to get an idea of flag counts and see who is playing.
The more people who post with the hashtag, the better chance there is of getting the word out, of getting the attention of the press, of the rallyers, of people wanting to fight hate.
An event announcement from Orange/Chatham public defender James Williams:
- Do you know how to respond to police during a traffic stop?
- Did you know regardless of your citizenship status, you have constitutional rights?
- Do you know you are not required to consent to a search of yourself?
Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. Rodney Coleman
While everyone is welcome, it is being planned primarily by and on behalf of young people. It is really important to encourage our youth, particularly mid-teens to mid-twenties to attend. Representatives from the bench, bar, law enforcement, and community will be among the panelists. Refreshments will be provided.
Saturday, February 28, 2015 -
4:00pm to 6:00pm
Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson Street, Chapel Hill
Starting next week, I'll be hosting a series of four Town Hall events that each focus on a different issue in our community: downtown Chapel Hill, social and environmental justice, economic development and working together in Orange County.
I want these events to be an opportunity for residents to engage and take an active role in shaping the future of our town. All you need to bring is an open mind and ideas for how we can build a more vibrant, livable community. Here's the schedule:
Issue: Downtown Chapel Hill
When: Wednesday, Feb. 25th at 5:30 p.m.
Where: DSI Comedy, 62 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Click here to see full event details and RSVP for the downtown Chapel Hill Town Hall.
Issue: Social and Environmental Justice
When: Saturday, Feb. 28th at 1 p.m.
Where: Rogers Road Community Center, 101 Edgar Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
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