Racial & Economic Justice

CHCCS to Form Task Force on Safety and SROs

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system (CHCCS) will create a task force to decide how the district wants to address the issue of school safety, and whether School Resource Officers (SROs) and security guards should play a part.

Meeting July 23, the Board of Education voted unanimously to create the task force after hearing staff presentations and receiving a surge of emails from community members with both positive and negative views of keeping SROs in schools.

SROs are members of local police departments who work in the schools based on a contract with the school district, and are funded by the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The contract is currently lapsed and with CHCCS going virtual for the first 9 weeks of the year, the district has some time to consider whether it wants to renew existing arrangement with the police departments. In contrast, security guards are hired by the district as CHCCS employees.

Racial Equity Toolkits–A Local Example

Last year our School of Social Work class, a service learning course with the Community Empowerment Fund, learned how to use a racial equity toolkit to assess 5 local community policies or programs and hopefully produce an analysis that was informative and useful to our elected officials.

Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board Randee Haven O’Donnell et al on

It is great to see local representation on this important board. This is the press release.May 2, 2018

Today North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality will introduce members of the Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board during a ceremony in the agency’s Green Square Lobby.

The scope of the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board is to assist the Department in achieving and maintaining the fair and equal treatment and meaningful involvement of North Carolinians regardless of where they live, their race, religion or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

“These Board members have been tasked with working directly with me and DEQ staff to help us elevate the voices of the underserved and underrepresented as we work to protect the public’s health and natural resources” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “I am looking forward to working with each and every one of these distinguished board members to provide science based environmental stewardship for the health and prosperity of all North Carolinians.”

immigrants and Chapel Hill

Yesterday I visited the Roots Restaurant on Franlin St and talked to  a sister of some of the guys who were recently detained by ICE. You can help them out by donating. https://www.gofundme.com/deportation-defense-fund And today I read a facebook post by Ruby about another situation. "Rosa del Carmen Ortez-Cruz came to the U.S. from Honduras in 2002, fleeing extreme domestic violence – she was stabbed multiple times by a former partner, spending over a month in the hospital at age 19. She is the mother of four children, three of whom are U.S. citizens. Not only is Honduras one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but Rosa cannot return because her abuser has threatened her life.

Nonprofit Leadership in Orange County: So White

At a meeting last week with many local nonprofit leaders, I learned something not too surprising – the nonprofits in Orange County are largely run by white folks with accompanying huge disparities in assets and revenue when compared to those run by people of color. Across the Triangle, such nonprofits primarily serve communities of color. And according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this is the case across the US. I’m not going to tell you why you should care that, like other sectors, the wealth of our nonprofits is concentrated in the hands of white people.  It has been written about here (racial wealth gap) and here (nonprofit diversity).  But I do want to share our local stats so we have an accurate picture of what we’re facing.

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