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Gov. Bev Perdue has included $10.3 million in her 2012 budget proposal to help compensate people impacted decades ago by the state’s sterilization program.

House Speaker Thom Tillis has also expressed support for a compensation plan. But what remains unclear is if the Republican-led General Assembly will be able to find the funding to provide the recommended lump sum payments of $50,000 for each surviving eugenics victim.

Charmaine Fuller Cooper, executive director of the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, is hopeful the short session that begins Wednesday will finally bring meaningful compensation to the nearly 2,000 victims, who may still be alive.

But Fuller Cooper says it would be wrong for lawmakers to take that funding from other support services like in-home care and affordable housing for seniors that many of these eugenics victims are also reliant on.

To hear a portion of our interview with Charmaine Fuller Cooper, click below. To hear the full interview, including her final recommendations for compensation and education, visit the radio interview section of the N.C. Policy Watch website:

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House Speaker Thom Tillis along with Forsyth Co. Rep. Earline Parmon host a Charlotte town hall on eugenics Wednesday evening.

The meeting comes less than a week after the Eugenics Compensation Task Force submitted its final report to the Governor’s office, recommending paying $50,000 to each living victim of the forced sterilization program.

The figure is to be used as a baseline for the Governor and legislators to consider during the short session in May.

Charmaine Fuller Cooper with the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation says in addition to the financial compensation, the state must set aside funds for more aggressive outreach to identify the victims, as well as both permanent and traveling exhibits to educate the public about the defunct program.

Wednesday’s meeting is being held in Charlotte because Mecklenburg County sterilized more people than any other county in North Carolina.

The town hall, which is open to the public and interested media, will get underway at 6:00 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

To hear Charmaine Fuller Cooper discuss the need for continued public education about the forced sterilization program, as well as her concerns that such a tragedy could happen again,  click below:

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The state Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended Tuesday paying victims of the state’s sterilization program $50,000 apiece.

The recommendation follows a 93-page report issued in August that called on the state of North Carolina to move beyond just an apology and provide “meaningful compensation.”

North Carolina sterilized more than 7,600 people between 1929 and  1974, many of whom were poor, undereducated, institutionalized, sick or disabled. The state believes fewer than 2,000 victims are still alive and could be entitled to some compensated.

The NC NAACP issued a press release calling on the state’s leaders to fast-track the recommended payments and end an ugly chapter in the state’s history: Read More

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Nine years after then-Governor Mike Easley apologized for North Carolina’s shameful eugenics program, a state task force has recommended providing lump-sum payments to the surviving victims.

In a 93-page preliminary report delivered to Governor Bev Perdue on Monday, the task force said “that the state of North Carolina must move beyond just an apology” and provide “meaningful compensation” to those who were sterilized by the state.

While the panel wants more time to consider what’s fair, it notes that $20,000 to $50,000 per victim is the range that has been considered in the past. Additionally, the task force wants funding for:

  • Mental Health Services for Living Victims
  • Funding for Traveling N.C. Eugenics Exhibit
  • Continuation and Expansion for the N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation

Charmaine Fuller Cooper, Executive Director of the North Carolina Justice for Victims of Sterilization Foundation, recently appeared on News & Views to discuss efforts to compensate the roughly 1,500 to 2,000 victims who are still alive.

Cooper believes the next hurdle will be getting state legislators to approve the Eugenics Task Force’s recommendations, especially given North Carolina’s current budget woes.

To list to part of our studio interview, click below. To read the Governor’s Eugenics Compensation Task Force Preliminary Report, click here.

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