racial equity

Community Talks About School Equity

On Saturday, February 20, the second community forum on school equity was held: "Excellence with Equity: The Schools Our Children Deserve." The event was cosponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools PTA Council, Organizing Against Racism (OAR)-Orange, the NAACP Youth Council, Movement of Youth, and the Special Needs Advisory Council (SNAC). The event was live-tweeted by OrangePolitics and a number of other attendees.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Queries Police Chiefs and Sheriff on Racial Equity

During its regular monthly meeting, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the North Carolina NAACP hosted Chief Walter Horton of the Carrboro Police Department, Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department, and Sheriff Charles Blackwood for a discussion of law enforcement issues. A diverse group of more than 50 people attended, including many members of the NAACP and other local social justice advocates. Orange County commissioner and civil rights attorney Mark Dorosin, Chapel Hill Town Council member Maria Palmer, and Carrboro alderperson Damon Seils also attended.

The NAACP solicited questions in advance and posed them to each of the three law enforcement administrators in turn, and then questions were taken from the audience via index card. The questions focused on racial disparities in police stops, searches, and arrests on our streets and in our schools; the implicit bias that contributes to those disparities; de-escalation and use of force; and how to bring complaints to the attention of law enforcement.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board Needs a Focus on Racial Equity

In a previous post, I detailed the initial steps that the Carrboro and Chapel Hill Police Departments are taking to move toward racial equity in policing. But what about other local government functions?

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education has been in the news recently because of its decisions about board composition. First, in filling the vacancy left by outgoing school board member Mia Burroughs, the school board selected a wealthy, white man, one of only two white men in a field of 15 applicants, many of whom were well-qualified women and people of color. Then, they selected two white men as chair and vice chair, passing up a woman of color who has served on the board much longer than the selected vice chair.

Local Law Enforcement Begins Hard Work Toward Racial Equity

It is clear from recent police forums and from experiences shared by people of color in our communities that we have a serious problem with racial equity in policing in Orange County. The most recent example is a guest column by Stephanie Perry in Sunday’s Chapel Hill News (12/21/14). Perry serves with me on the board of Orange County Justice United. We heard other stories like this during the Carrboro community forum on policing in October.

Law enforcement behavior that is disproportionately affecting communities of color is unacceptable to me. It is especially troubling to see that these disparities exist in our communities regardless of how enlightened we think we are. I am cautiously optimistic about the steps I see the Carrboro and Chapel Hill Police Departments taking.

Carrboro

 

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