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By now, many of you have probably already heard of the unfortunate Wisconsin shooting at the Sikh temple. The gunman Wade Page, who lost his military career due to a history with alcohol, has ties to North Carolina and held White supremacist views.

It’s difficult when these things happen and we learn from his friends that Page was “a very kind, very smart individual — loved his friends. One of those guys with a soft spot,” who had problems dealing with alcohol, was a loner, lost multiple jobs, and had his home in Fayetteville foreclosed on. And while that all paints him to be almost a sympathetic figure, a lot of people, including myself, are really just filled with frustration and anger both towards him and for him. Why would he see taking lives of others as a solution to any of his problems (if that was what it was)? And why do we perpetuate a racist and xenophobic society, one equally unkind to the socioeconomically distressed, that would drive him to such hateful actions?

And it’s in thinking about all these strong emotions that I find it amazing to see such a calm, peaceful, friendly, welcoming response from the Sikh community:

And it gives me hope.

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APIAVote, a national non-partisan organization that works to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in electoral and civic participation, is hosting a training session called the Norman Y. Mineta Leadership Institute in Raleigh, N.C., at the North Carolina Justice Center, the parent organization of NC Policy Watch.

Partnering with local organizations such as the National Association of Asian American Professionals-RTP (NAAAP-RTP), Asian Pacific Americans for Progress-NC (APAP-NC), Blueprint NC, and the NC Justice Center, APIAVote seeks to encourage Asian Americans to become more active and engaged in the electoral process and democratic way of life, regardless of political affiliation.

The workshop seeks to provide a framework for civic engagement and effect tools for community organizers to build civic engagement programs in Asian American communities.

The training will be followed by a livestream of the APIAVote Presidential Town Hall broadcasted from George Mason University, where Republican and Democratic Presidential candidates are invited to speak to the AAPI community.

Visit here for more information about APIAVote events.

Registration for the training is here.

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Does the thought of investigating the judicial system in NC excite you? Do you wake up in the morning wanting to ensure a just and transparent court system through investigative reporting and related communications work?

Well, then we have a job for you!

NC Policy Watch, a media project of the North Carolina Justice Center, is searching for a Courts and Law Reporter.

Check out the job listing here.

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With the U.S. Supreme Court “split decision” today over Arizona SB 1070, We Are NC, an alliance of organizations and individuals working on immigration issues in North Carolina, will be holding a press briefing to address the impact of the SCOTUS decision on N.C. The Supreme Court struck down three provisions of the controversial Arizona law. They indicated that the fourth, dealing with how local law enforcement checks immigration status, could face further legal challenges.

WHAT: We Are NC telephonic press briefing for all media
WHO: We Are NC, with guests Jess George (Latin American Coalition), Alvaro Huerta (National Immigration Law Center), Raul Pinto (ACLU of NC), Angelica Velazquillo (an undocumented activist from North Carolina), and George Reed (NC Council of Churches).
WHEN: Monday, June 25, 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Dial-in Number: 1-712-432-3100; Conference Code: 969745

[…]
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
we.are.nc.online@gmail.com, 919-926-8459.

The SCOTUS opinion is available here.

We Are NC is also involved in planning a vigil response later tonight

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While the Obama administration has taken some steps in its stance on immigration issues, the U.S. Supreme Court continues to be somewhat sluggish in its decision regarding Arizona’s SB1070.

In similar spirit as protestors in Arizona, local NC groups and individuals in an alliance called “We are NC” will be holding events throughout the state, including an event in downtown Raleigh at 7pm in a “Teach-in and Silent Vigil.”

More information on the Raleigh event can be found on their facebook event page.

And also check out this documentary short following a local NC undocumented youth as part of a master’s thesis by UNC student Josh Davis. His full project, “the undocumentary,” here.