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Cumberland County is taking steps to join Durham County and a growing list of governmental bodies around the country that have “banned the box.” 

The “ban the box” campaign is, of course, a movement to convince employers of all kinds to alter their hiring practices so that questions about an applicant’s criminal record are not asked right up front on the initial job application. The concept is simple and sound: Read More

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The good folks at Disability Rights NC issued a press release today that highlights a new 16 page report from the U.S. Department of Justice. The findings come just under a year after DRNC issued its own damning report on North Carolina’s shameful treatment of the mentially ill.

This is from the release: Read More

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Democrats were confident they would have the votes needed to sustain Governor Perdue’s veto of the controversial voter ID bill.

They did indeed have the votes (67-52)  to turn back Republican efforts to pass House Bill 351, requiring all North Carolina voters show a photo-id before being allowed to vote at the polls.

But knowing that defeat was at hand, House Majority Leader Rep. Paul Stam voted with the Democrats on Tuesday. This enabled Stam to use a procedural maneuver to have the override vote reconsidered on another day.

The House Minority Leader implored Stam not to stoop to such a tactic. Rep Joe Hackney said it was time to put the partisan Voter ID legislation to rest, so lawmakers could move on to other issues and not be forced to make the same arguments “over and over” in the next session.

Rep Stam’s answer:

“It’s not settled till it’s settled right.”

And so, even though the GOP’s veto override failed, House Bill 351 remains alive for the remainder of the 2011-12 session.

To hear the exchange between Reps. Hackney and Stam, click below:

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The tornadoes that devastated so much of the region hit Shaw University in downtown Raleigh hard. The 145-year old college closed its doors for the semester due to the widespread damage across campus.

Shaw University founded in 1865

Shaw, which is the oldest black college in the South, played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Fifty one years ago last Friday April 15th, Ella Baker persuaded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to invite university students to the Youth Leadership Conference at Shaw on Easter weekend. At this conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was born and history was in the making. Read More

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If you’ve been following the Wake County School diversity debate, here’s a new phase you may need to know: “controlled choice.”

Controlled choice plans create zones and allow families to choose within their zone, provided that admitting students to the school of their choice does not upset the racial and ethnic balance at that school.

Michael Alves, a consultant out of Massachusetts, will present the concept on Tuesday to the Wake County Board of Education’s Student Assignment Committee. He tells WRAL:

“The idea is to be fair,” Alves said, who has worked for nearly 30 years with other large school systems on assignment plans. “You subject everything to a practicality test. It has to be a plan that is implementable. It has to have a fairness test.”

The Wake Education Partnership and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce invited Alves to visit with local business leaders and elected officials to discuss key elements needed in any choice plan.

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber says he has not yet seen the details, but would be skeptical of any plan that relies on “selective real estate” over sound research.

If you’re interested in learning more, Tuesday’s open meeting is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wake County Public School System Administration Building.