SCSJ’s Daryl Atkinson discusses ‘The New Jim Crow’ on HuffPost Live

SCSJ Senior Attorney Daryl Atkinson appeared on HuffPost Live at 6:30 PM EST with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and HufffPost Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim to discuss Michelle Alexander’s critically acclaimed book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Era of Colorblindness and the opportunities for criminal justice reform.

Alexander’s book reveals the phenomena of mass incarceration, over-criminalization, and the second class status of people with criminal records—America’s latest symptoms of unresolved structural racism and white supremacy—by exhaustively detailing the policies, practices, and political choices that buttressed our country’s latest system of racial caste. Thoroughly researched and deservedly praised, The New Jim Crow effectively lays bare “how historically both [Americans’] conscious and unconscious biases and anxieties have played out over and over again to birth these vast systems of social control.”*

The New Jim Crow’s thesis and concurrent call for criminal justice reform to redress racial injustice have become increasingly influential and galvanized a national debate about the efficacy of mass incarceration and the failed war on drugs. Moreover, the book has spurred many Americans to take new notice of the injustice of our current criminal justice system and its relationship to our unresolved racial history. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Alexander’s seminal work has birthed a grassroots movement that can support successful interventions and reforms championed by organizations like the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. SCSJ is currently spearheading a multidisciplinary campaign to eliminate racial bias in the criminal justice system, end mass incarceration, and remove unjust barriers faced by persons with criminal records.

You may watch the HuffPost Live program here:

ban the box

Ban the Box to increase tax revenue and reduce crime

‘Ban the Box’ to increase tax revenue and reduce crime

Guest Commentary

ENGAGE: Write a letter to the editor

For 1.6 million North Carolinians, the worst part of job searching is not the interview, but the moment they drop off the application. Nearly every employment application contains a small box on the front page that reads, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” By marking that box, applicants with a criminal record, no matter how old or irrelevant the crime, are effectively checking away their chance at a job. To increase tax revenue and reduce the likelihood that formerly incarcerated people will return to a life of crime, North Carolina needs to ban that box.

Ban the box initiatives follow a simple logic: Study after study show that the most effective way to reduce crime is not to build more prisons or hire more police officers, but to provide more jobs. Formerly incarcerated people who cannot secure jobs are more than twice as likely to return to criminal activity than their employed counterparts. Additionally, more people with jobs means stronger family ties, greater economic security, and increased tax revenue. A Philadelphia study on Ban the Box reported that hiring 100 formerly incarcerated people would add $1.9 million to income tax revenue, $770,000 to sales tax revenue and save $2 million per year in criminal justice costs incurred through recidivism.

“Criminal record history acts as a tremendous barrier to people providing food, shelter and clothing for their families,” says Daryl Atkinson, senior attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a group that spearheaded the Ban the Box movement in North Carolina.

Atkinson is himself a formerly incarcerated person.

“Ban the Box has been proven to help people get back to work and improve public safety because if people are able to take care of themselves, they don’t go back to crime. If we are serious about good allocation of tax dollars, we need to ensure that more people with records can get back to work and be productive members of society.”

Employers have a right to know if the person they are hiring has a criminal history. We wouldn’t want someone convicted of embezzlement to land a job as a comptroller. Ban the box doesn’t mean that employers lose the right to do a background check, it simply moves that step further down the job application process, after the applicant has had the opportunity to present his or her qualifications and skills.

“When you go to prison you are serving your debt to society, but the way the system is set up, that debt continues after you get out,” says Steven Manning, a Durham resident who served three and a half years in prison from 2001-2005 for possession of a firearm by a felon. “When companies deny you a job because of what you did in the past, that creates a revolving door back to prison. I can fill out 20-30 applications and not get a call back because of my record.”

The city and county of Durham, N.C., implemented Ban the Box initiatives in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Since then, the City of Durham has hired 700 times more people with criminal records than previous years. The County of Durham has seen a 300 percent increase. Importantly, not one of these new hires has been terminated due to illegal activity and neither has there been an increase in workplace crime. In fact 96 percent of applicants with criminal records were ultimately hired, even after background checks. This indicates that the majority of criminal history was determined to be irrelevant, either because the crime was unrelated to the job or occurred many years ago and the applicant has demonstrated rehabilitation.

It’s not often that we see an initiative that can reduce crime, strengthen families, and increase revenue, but Ban the Box accomplishes all those objectives and more. It’s about second chances and breaking the cycle of poverty and crime that grips so many generations. When one person secures a stable job, that person’s children are also more likely to finish school and gain secure employment.

With that in mind, the Second Chance Coalition, a statewide alliance of advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations, community leaders and interested citizens, have come to advocate for Ban the Box statewide.

“As a person who leads an organization that works with formerly incarcerated persons, I support the Ban the Box Initiative,” says Dennis Gaddy, executive director of Community Success Initiative, a non-profit that helps formerly incarcerated people reintegrate into society and a leader of the Second Chance Coalition. “Under the current system, when an individual checks the box, there are so many things we still don’t know. How long has it been since the crime was committed? What has that person accomplished since then? Ban the Box allows people a second chance at work — I’m for Second Chances!!”

To get involved in Ban the Box initiatives this year in North Carolina, visit :

— Tessie Castillo is the communications and advocacy coordinator for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition. Learn more at

criminal records

Eliminating the Second-Class Status of People With Criminal Records

Daryl Atkinson ’07 is a man on a mission to ensure that equal justice under the law is realized for those with a criminal past. His mission is simple: restore the civil rights and human rights of people with criminal records. This may appear to be a mighty feat as America has the highest rate of incarceration in the world with more than 2 million people in prison and 65 million people with a criminal record. For Atkinson, however, this is an eternal battle for justice, and his law degree has equipped him with the tools to wage this battle in a strategic and calculated manner.

Atkinson’s Personal Journey: From the Jailhouse to the White House

Atkinson’s decision to pursue a career in the law was not taken lightly. He desired to become an attorney in order to redress a moral injustice – the impact of the war on drugs. In 1996, Atkinson pled guilty to a first-time, non-violent drug crime and served 40 months in prison (based upon a mandatory minimum sentence). He remembers receiving ineffective legal counsel from an attorney he paid a substantial retainer. Ultimately, Atkinson left this experience feeling victimized by his attorney and the criminal justice system because he received the same sentence that he would have if he appeared pro se. After this experience he was determined to “know the rules of the game” by gaining a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the law.

Atkinson was determined to never forget his past and committed to ensuring more people were fully restored after leaving the prison gates. He compares his personal experience to the prodigal son, a powerful biblical account of redemption. Similar to the prodigal son who returned home to a feast and received a signet ring (which reflected the restoration of his societal status), Atkinson was welcomed home to a loving family and nurturing community.

This support was critical to his success. He has no delusions of grandeur that there is anything special about him. His successes are a direct result of his network of support. He believes if more people had access to food, clothing and shelter post-release then they could make good strategic choices, as he was able to do. Unfortunately, for too many people, this is not a reality; hence, they are not fully restored to their sense of humanity nor their citizenship. Atkinson was determined to create a pathway to liberty for all. His pledge to attend law school soon became a reality.

Atkinson was drawn to the University of St. Thomas School of Law due to our social justice mission. He describes the mission as “icing on the cake.” While at UST, he was an exemplary student who modeled leadership and academic excellence. He was an active member of the Black Law Students Association through which he promoted community engagement and supported education programs.

Upon graduation, he began his work in North Carolina and beyond of advancing justice for those with a criminal past. Atkinson focused his efforts on his passion: using legal services and advocacy to eliminate the second-class status of people with criminal records. He is a founding member of the North Carolina Second Chance Alliance, a burgeoning statewide coalition of advocacy organizations, service providers, faith-based organizations and community leaders that have come together to achieve the safe and successful reintegration of adults and juveniles returning home from incarceration. Moreover, Atkinson serves on the North Carolina Indigent Defense Services Commission and the Commission for Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. Most notably, Atkinson helped develop the Collateral Consequence Assessment Tool (C-CAT), an online searchable database that allows the user to identify the collateral consequences triggered by NC arrests, indictments and convictions. C-CAT was one of the first databases of its kind and served as a template for the American Bar Association’s National Inventory of Collateral Consequences of Conviction.

Today, Atkinson serves as a senior attorney at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ), where his work focuses on criminal justice reform. SCSJ follows a community-lawyering model where lawyers, social scientists, media specialists and community organizers work together to advance social justice. Atkinson has developed a multifunctional toolbox that includes community education and organizing, public policy advocacy, direct representation and impact litigation. These tools provide Atkinson with many advocacy strategies for advancing the cause of justice.

On June 30, 2014, Atkinson’s advocacy work drew national attention. He was honored with a White House Champions for Change award. According to a White House news release, “The Champions have distinguished themselves through their extraordinary dedication and hard work to help those with criminal records re-enter society with dignity and viable employment opportunities.” Attorney General Eric Holder recognized Atkinson’s transformative journey in his remarks when he said, “Daryl overcame his own involvement with the criminal justice system and has since worked to build a better future not only for himself – but for countless others who deserve a second chance.”

Atkinson describes himself as a modern-day abolitionist due to his vow to deconstruct the current criminal justice system and end the second-class status of people with criminal records. He quotes the statistics of the United States having only 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prison population. He warns: “We are either a country with really bad citizens or we are doing something terribly wrong in our criminal justice system.”

Pearls of Wisdom for the Next Generation of Social Engineers

Despite all of his accolades and victories in the fight for justice, Atkinson believes he has not accomplished anything until we radically transform the criminal justice system. He warns, “We have plenty of work to do.” Atkinson believes that he is only passing a baton with his advocacy. He provides an image of a relay race in completing the “unfinished business” of protecting the civil and human rights of felons.

He is handing the baton to the next generation of law students by challenging them to become social engineers. He offers pearls of wisdom for running this race: 1) Find a creative way to finance your legal education to remain free from the golden handcuffs associated with student loan debt. This will allow you to seek the career that aligns with your vision for justice and life’s calling. Atkinson knows the generous scholarship he received from St. Thomas empowered him to do the work he is doing today. 2) Be driven by what you are most excited about even if it is not the most popular or lucrative area of the law. Your passion will drive you to wake up and do the work.

Similar to the David-and-Goliath story, Atkinson wages war against the “Goliath” of mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. He has modeled courage and boldness as he re-imagines a nation without second-class citizenship for those who have a criminal past. He has his sword (his legal training), buckler (his passion for justice) and shield (his faith). Atkinson is well equipped to bring this giant to its knees as he spreads his vision for justice.

This press clipping originally appeared in the St. Thomas Newsroom on February 3, 2015.

Artika Tyner ’06 J.D., ’12 Ed.D., is assistant professor of public policy and leadership in the St. Thomas College of Education, Leadership and Counseling, and former diversity director at UST School of Law.

zero tolerance drug policies

Zero tolerance drug policies cannot alleviate poverty

This post is a response to Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell’s recent guest column, “First steps key in long journey to eliminate poverty.” 

Zero tolerance drug policies cannot alleviate poverty

Dear Mayor Bell,

Ray Gronberg e-mailed me last week asking me to respond to new language in the city’s anti-poverty initiative calling for a “zero tolerance” crackdown on drug activity in Northeast Central Durham. I gave him my honest reaction, which was that such a policy seemed counterproductive if the intent was to help lift people out of poverty. I had no idea that the short paragraph I sent him in reply would be framed as a story in and of itself.

As you know, it is an empirical fact that a person saddled with a criminal record for a low-level drug offense will have more difficulty finding employment and is thus more likely to remain in poverty. (In the last year, my office has assisted hundreds of people in Durham in seeking expungement of their criminal records in order to improve their employment prospects. A large percentage of those individuals were convicted of nothing more than minor non-violent drug offenses.) When the city says it intends to take even more of a “zero tolerance” approach to drugs in NEC Durham, I take that to mean even more aggressive efforts by the police to arrest anyone suspected of drug involvement and aggressive efforts from the District Attorney to prosecute. I think this is a mistake, as it will only expand the pool of people who are currently experiencing difficulty finding legitimate work opportunities.

In your column in the Herald-Sun this morning, you repeatedly questioned where I live and whether I am in a position to speak to these issues. For most of the past 5 years, I lived in Northeast Central Durham, within sight of the corner of Alston and Main, the intersection that Durham PD has labeled the “Bull’s Eye” of its aggressive drug enforcement efforts since 2007. Rarely a week went by that I did not see police officers pulling young black men out of their cars or placing them against walls, often quite forcefully, and patting them down for drugs.

This experience, in part, informed my decision to join the FADE coalition and support their organizing efforts against racial profiling and police misconduct in the community. The FADE coalition’s approach involved holding community meetings and listening sessions and taking its lead from the people living in those neighborhoods most saturated with police activity. These meetings began happening well before the anti-poverty initiative was ever announced. They informed the policy proposals, including written consent, that we brought to the City in October 2013.

I know from the hundreds of people I have met with over the last year and a half that to be young, male, and black in East Durham is to live in a state of regular surveillance and under the abiding suspicion of law enforcement. Though most focused on that demographic, this state of suspicion extends to others as well. I recently assisted a 50-year old black woman who was pulled out of her car on Alston Avenue, illegally searched, and accused of being a drug dealer all because officers saw her handing a plate of BBQ to a friend. This sort of thing does not happen on Ninth Street. In East Durham, however, it is a regular consequence of our “zero tolerance” approach.

Self-report drug use studies indicate that whites are using illegal drugs in this city at numbers equal to or greater than blacks. Yet there is no “zero tolerance” policy for Durham’s white neighborhoods. Police rarely kick in doors or drag people out of their cars in the areas surrounding Duke University. The same article that quoted my remarks also quoted the Duke dean of students saying that the university’s approach to drug offenses is “much more therapeutic than it [is] punitive.”

On this point, I believe Duke has it right. Rather than treating people involved in drug activity as our enemies, I believe we should hold them accountable for the harm they cause in their neighborhoods while also supporting them and trying to help them redirect their energy in a more positive direction. There are already multiple efforts ongoing in the City of Durham right now to do just that, including SpiritHouse’s Harm Free Zone initiative and Scott Holmes’ Restorative Justice Circles of Support program.

While recognizing that many people have different opinions on this issue, I believe the city would be better off supporting those efforts rather than doubling down on policies that are proven failures. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem. We have had forty years of zero tolerance and of letting police take the lead. Drugs are as available in our communities as they’ve ever been and our struggles with poverty are more intractable than ever. I believe it is time for a new approach, and that is why I responded to Ray’s questions in the way I did.


Ian Andrew Mance
Soros Justice Attorney-Fellow
Southern Coalition for Social Justice
1415 W. NC Hwy. 54, Ste. #101
Durham, NC 27707

racial equaltiy

Stop Punishing People After They Have Been Released From Prison

Stop Punishing People After They Have Been Released From Prison

January 30, 2015 by Jeremy Haile

This post first appeared on is proud to collaborate with as we focus on poverty coverage over the next two weeks. Every day, visit to discover a new action you can take to help turn the tide in the fight against poverty.

In America, we punish people for being poor. But we’re also one of the few democracies that punishes people for being punished.

Consider the felony drug ban, which imposes a lifetime restriction on welfare and food stamp benefits for anyone convicted of a state or federal drug felony. Passed in the “tough on crime” era of the mid-1990s, the ban denies basic assistance to people who may have sold a small amount of marijuana years or even decades ago and have been law-abiding citizens ever since.

The Sentencing Project found that the legislation subjects an estimated 180,000 women in the 12 most impacted states to a lifetime ban on welfare benefits. Given racial disparities throughout the criminal justice system, banning benefits based on a prior drug conviction has brutally unfair consequences for people of color. For example, African-Americans are three to four times more likely to be arrested for drug offenses than whites, even though they use and sell drugs at roughly the same rates. A study by researchers at Yale Medical School found that denying food assistance to women with felony drug convictions compromises public safety.

The felony drug ban is just one of many collateral consequences that formerly incarcerated individuals face as they strive to re-enter society. Continuing to punish people after they have been punished is not only vindictive but also counterproductive to building safe and healthy communities.

The REDEEM Act, introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY), would lift the ban on benefits for some people convicted of nonviolent drug offenses and allow the sealing of criminal records. Learn more about the REDEEM Act today.

The views expressed in this post are the author’s alone, and presented here to offer a variety of perspectives to our readers.

The New Jim Crow

Durham City Wide Study of The New Jim Crow

These are tumultuous times for the criminal justice system. Huffington Post reports that exonerations of wrongfully convicted people are at an all time high. Meanwhile, Marissa Alexander has finally been released from a nightmare of incarceration resulting from firing a single warning shot at a known abuser. In the background, police are not being charged for killing the people they are sworn to protect -even when the murder is caught on tape as in the case of Eric Garner. The “Drug War” continues to separate families, racially profile young black men, and cost taxpayers billions of dollars to incarcerate people of color on simple drug possession charges.

If there is a single thing that can be said about “criminal justice” right now, it is that the system is woefully broken.

 Durham City Wide Study of The New Jim Crow

In the midst of this unrest, our partners at SpiritHouse are hosting a Durham City Wide Study of The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book examining race and the criminal justice system. Click here to learn more about the event and take part. Watch a preview of the book below.


What is being done to combat this situation?

As these injustices continue to pile up, communities across the U.S. are coming together to fight back.

  • The #BlackLivesMatter movement has raised awareness about our troubled criminal justice system and its apparent indifference to the lives of Black men, women, and children.
  • Organizations like SCSJ continue to hold Clean Slate Clinics to assist people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system to regain control of their lives by getting free legal assistance to obtain certificates of relief, expungements, and other documents necessary to overcome the massive barriers to finding employment, housing, and education with a criminal record.
  • Universities such as UNC are holding panels to discuss how white supremacy reinforces racism in academic settings.
  • Arizona State University has a new course examining white supremacy and how it reinforces racist systems in the U.S.
  • YOU can join the movement to reverse the tide by participating in Durham’s City-Wide Reading of The New Jim Crow. Act now!

List of Community Partners

Individuals: Trude Bennett, Martin Eakes, Irv Joyner, Alison Moy, Mary Moore, Vivian Timlic – NAACP Diane Standaert

Organizations: Action NC, Center for Documentary Studies (Staff), Central Park School for Children Equity Team, City Well Church of Durham, Communities in Partnership Old East Durham, Durham Anti-Racist White Caucus, Durham People’s Alliance, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, FADE Coalition, First Presbyterian Church of Durham, Golden Belt Neighborhood, Muhammad Mosque No. 34, North Carolina Central University Black Law Student Association, North Carolina Public Defender Association Committee On Racial Equity, Project TURN, Self Help Credit Union, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church


Post by SCSJ Deputy Director Shoshannah Sayers

marijuana cases

Durham police report offers irrelevant detail on local marijuana cases, ignores racial profiling

Most of the people arrested and charged only with misdemeanor marijuana possession in 2013 and the first half of 2014 had prior criminal records, a new report from the Durham Police Department says.

That said, it was much more common for police to stack a possession charge with other, sometimes more serious charges when they caught a person with some pot.

Other drug offenses — everything from paraphernalia possession to trafficking in heroin — are regular pairings with a misdemeanor marijuana charge.

Police commanders drafted the report to answer a query from City Manager Tom Bonfield, who wanted a closer look at why 86 percent of the department’s misdemeanor marijuana-possession arrests from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014 were of blacks.

The document, available online at, included maps showing that marijuana arrests were more common in east Durham and a scattered few areas in the northern and western part of the city.

East Durham is predominantly black, a fact that lends itself to the suspicion the department is engaging in racial profiling when it comes to marijuana enforcement.

But the eastern portion of the city also experiences a disproportionate share of the city’s most serious, “Part 1” crimes: homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor-vehicle theft.

The report looked at the actions of officers that preceded an arrest, finding that about 40 percent of the 739 pot-possession busts they made over 18 months were the result of “self-initiated” work of officers.

Another 12 percent followed a complaint by residents.

Of the “self-initiated” busts, 35 percent followed a vehicle stop. The department has acknowledged that officers stop more black motorists than whites.

Department analysts also focused on the pot-only arrests out of the 739, a subgroup of 191 cases that targeted 182 different people.

Of those, seven were arrested twice on pot-possession charge in the 18 months, and one person was arrested three times.

Criminal-background checks found that 143 of the 182 — about 79 percent — had been arrested at least once before being picked up on the marijuana charge.

Forty eight of the 143 were already convicted felons.

Collectively, the 143 had 908 previous arrests and 402 convictions.

“Put another way, nearly four in five persons charged with only misdemeanor marijuana possession had been arrested on average 6.35 times each before the marijuana offense,” the report said.

Department and city officials have spent much of the last year and a half dealing with racial-profiling allegations raised by groups like the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Fostering Alternatives to Drug Enforcement.

Fostering Alternatives — also known by the acronym FADE — advocates deprioritizing marijuana-law enforcement, on the grounds that a single possession charge can end up becoming a lifetime barrier to employment or housing.


Youth Justice

SCSJ announces partnership with Youth Justice North Carolina

SCSJ has always maintained a strong commitment to addressing issues of racial equity in education, eliminating racial bias in the criminal justice system, ending mass incarceration, and removing unjust barriers faced by persons with criminal records.  We are now excited to announce a new strategic partnership with Youth Justice North Carolina which will augment our existing programming with passionate advocacy on behalf of youth and their families, cutting edge tools and resources to end the school-to-prison pipeline and an expansion of our focus to feature juvenile justice and education justice issues. As of the first of this year, the two organizations are merging.

Youth Justice North Carolina is an organization of law and policy experts, practitioners, and advocates whose mission is to “ensure equity, fairness, and justice for North Carolina youth in high-quality education, juvenile, and criminal systems.”

For more information on this partnership, please visit

lives matter

Black and Brown Lives Matter: March for Justice & Racial Unity

Date:    Tuesday,  December 23

Time:    12noon  (Press Conference 11:30am)

Begins: Ebenezer United Church of Christ

734 Apple St.  Burlington, NC

Concludes: First Christian United Church of Christ

415 S. Church St. Burlington, NC

Distance: 1.2 Miles


Join the marchers and lift up a voice asking for justice and equal protection under the law for all people.  Join the marchers and lift up a voice for racial unity and peace in our hometown.  Join the marchers and make a difference.


More details from Noah Read:


Local clergy and community groups will march in support of the national
movement to end racial disparities, focusing on our criminal justice system

Community members and coalition members of the local faith-based Partnerships to Empower People and the NAACP’s Alamance People’s Assembly will gather for a short press conference and a 1.25 mile march from Ebenezer Baptist Church to First Christian UCC in Burlington, NC.

We march in solidarity with those peaceful protesters across our nation calling for equal protection under the law. To further this goal, we support a commitment to the improvement and full enforcement of all laws prohibiting racial profiling, to the full investigation of all possible cases of excessive force in policing, and to the reversal of current trends in the militarization of local law enforcement.

We also march in support of all community members, especially members of law enforcement, who believe that the only way to avert future tragedies, remedy today’s unsustainable conditions, and heal our historic wounds is to embracing as our best hope the formidable work of building relationships across all barriers. Or as it says in the book of Isaiah, we hope to join those who

“…will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities… (and) will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.”

To that end, this event is an urgent invitation for our community to begin that work.

#     #     #

When: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 Press Conference begins at 11:30 am. The March will run from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm with a short prayer service at 1:00 pm.

Where: Press conference, March begins at Ebenezer, UCC, 734 Apple Street, Burlington, NC. March ends at First Christian Church, UCC, 415 South Church Street, Burlington, NC. Van transportation will be provided to take people from Ebenezer to First Christian. Bus transportation will be provided to return to Ebenezer from from First Christian.

Those who are unable to walk the March are encouraged to join us before the March for the 11:30 press conference and after the march at 1:00, for a brief prayer service at First Christian.

Contact: Noah Read, Alamance NAACP – or 336.260.4399

This information is also posted on the Alamance NAACP website here:

and on Facebook here:

Noah Read

Alamance NAACP Political Action Chair


Hanukkah #BlackLivesMatter

Durham: Peaceful #BlackLivesMatter protest on 1st night of Hanukkah

Some 100 people gathered in downtown Durham Wednesday evening for a peaceful protest on the first night of Hanukkah, part of a nationwide “Chanukah Action to End Police Violence” event.

Carolina Jews for Justice was an organizer locally for the protest by the Major the Bull statue at CCB Plaza.

About 20 menorahs were lit during the hour-long event, the servant candle at the center lighting the first candle of the menorah on the first night of the Jewish holiday.

Crystal is leaving Saturday for a trip to Israel, and will be there for the rest of Hanukkah. He wants to work with others to bring to reality the blessing of peace for all people.

The miracle of Hanukkah, he said, is that the few beat many, but also that they took the first step.

“There are great movements of change when people make the first step together,” he said.

Organizers also distributed “8 Nights, 8 Actions,” a way to dedicate each night of Hanukkah to “Black Lives Matter” issues and people, created by “Chanukah Action.”


Dec. 16, 2014 @ 08:31 PM

Follow on Twitter: @dawnbvaughanThis press clipping first appeared on on December 16, 2014.