Human Rights

Freedom Riders movement celebrates 60th anniversary

By Alanna Joyner / May 26, 2021 /

This month marks 60 years since 13 Freedom Riders–including a young John Lewis– set out on two buses from Washington, DC to challenge the segregation of public transportation.   In the weeks that followed, the Freedom Riders were threatened, arrested, and attacked by violent mobs throughout the Deep South. They attracted the attention of the nation…

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As Andrew Brown Jr. is laid to rest, the family and Elizabeth City community continue to demand answers

By Alanna Joyner / May 4, 2021 /

Andrew Brown Jr., the 42-year-old Black man who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies, was laid to rest on Monday in Elizabeth City. In the wake of Brown Jr.’s funeral, the Family and community members are continuing their demands for justice and transparency. Last Wednesday, a state judge ruled that Brown Jr.’s family were allowed…

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In police killing of Andrew Brown Jr., a small NC town crisis on national stage

By Alanna Joyner / April 27, 2021 /

In the wake of the conviction of Derek Chauvin, North Carolinians have taken to the streets of Elizabeth City after Pasquotank County deputies shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., an unarmed Black man in his car, while serving a warrant Wednesday.  While the guilty verdict from the Chauvin trial felt like a victory for some,…

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N.C. Policy Watch: Despite a federal stay on evictions, landlords are ousting their tenants

By Alanna Joyner / April 7, 2021 /

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolinians across the state continue to struggle with paying rent and getting rental assistance, all while staying afloat.  The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) federal eviction moratorium and the state’s residential eviction moratorium extensions through June 30th has given many North Carolinians much needed…

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Five years later, Democratic lawmakers fighting to promote LGBT rights

By Alanna Joyner / April 5, 2021 /

Last week, Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly introduced four bills that would protect LGBTQ North Carolinians from discrimination, violence, and harassment. The ground-breaking package of LGBTQ-inclusive bills, called the Equality for All Act, establishes statewide nondiscrimination protections, bans on “conversion therapy” and the “gay/trans panic” defense, and more. From WRAL: “These four bills…

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Patsy Takemoto Mink: First Woman of Color in Congress

By Alanna Joyner / March 24, 2021 /

In honor of Women’s History Month, Progress NC is highlighting women who have fostered change, encouraged debate and have transformed our state through their contributions to arts, sciences, politics, etc. Similar to the women highlighted in previous blog posts, Patsy Takemoto Mink was no stranger to firsts. Mink was the first woman of color to…

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Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray: Civil Rights Activist, Poet and Lawyer

By Alanna Joyner / March 18, 2021 /

In honor of Women’s History Month, Progress NC is highlighting women who have fostered change, encouraged debate and have transformed our state through their contributions to arts, sciences, politics, etc. Durham-based civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, was the first Black person to earn a doctorate in law from Yale Law School, a founder…

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Maya Angelou: Award-winning poet and author, civil rights activist

By Alanna Joyner / March 10, 2021 /

In honor of Women’s History Month, Progress NC is highlighting women who have fostered change, encouraged debate and have transformed our state through their contributions to arts, sciences, politics, etc. A revered North Carolina poet laureate, world-famous author and civil rights champion who made an impact on American culture and society for more than 50…

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John Merrick: Prominent Business Leader from Durham

By Alanna Joyner / February 24, 2021 /

In an effort to celebrate Black History Month, Progress NC is highlighting prominent Black leaders from North Carolina, who have shaped our state through their contributions to arts, sciences, politics, etc. In the early 1900’s, Black-owned businesses in Durham, North Carolina can be traced back to the efforts of two African-American entrepreneurs:Charles Spaulding and John…

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Ella Baker: The Mother of the Civil Rights Movement

By Alanna Joyner / February 18, 2021 /

In an effort to celebrate Black History Month, Progress NC is highlighting prominent Black leaders from North Carolina, who have shaped our state through their contributions to arts, sciences, politics, etc. Ella Baker, known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”, inspired and guided several leaders, including W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall,…

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