Second Chance Lobby Day

Make your voice heard!

In order to successfully advocate for laws that increase reentry-focused resources to local communities and reduce barriers to reentry, we need community members like you to speak up for second chances.

Here at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, we’re committed to tackling racial discrimination and eliminating obstacles facing those with criminal records as they attempt to re-enter the mainstream of society. In doing so, we want to help create a grassroots movement that can support successful interventions and reforms because we believe that power still lies in the hands of the people. We’re proud to support the NC Second Chance Alliance‘s 2015 Second Chance Lobby Day and we invite and encourage you to join us in traveling to Raleigh to speak with state legislators about the serious issues that uniquely challenge formerly incarcerated people and those affected by mass criminalization.

Whether you come to Lobby Day as an individual with a criminal record, a child or family member of an individual with a criminal record, a reentry service provider, a civic leader, or simply a concerned citizen, we want you to have the opportunity to make your voice heard by speaking directly with legislators in order to help them recognize the many faces of reentry.

Changes that you can help bring about:

  • Ban the Box” policies for state and local public hiring
  • Expanded eligibility for Certificates of Relief
  • Reinvestment of Justice Reinvestment Act savings into community-based reentry services and local reentry councils
  • Reasonable wait times for expunctions of first-time nonviolent offenses
  • Raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 17

We know our work is not done so long as good men and women remain isolated from opportunities to be productive members of society and to more fully contribute to their families and communities.  We also know that the individuals and communities that are most intimately affected by mass incarceration and its collateral consequences are THE most qualified to explain how it continues to negatively effect them. Please join us on May 5th to make your voice heard.


25th Annual Pauli Murray Human Relations Award Ceremony

The Orange County Human Relations Commission Invites You to Attend:

25th Annual Pauli Murray Human Relations Award Ceremony

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.

Richard Whitted Human Services Building

300 West Tryon Street, Hillsborough NC


Youth: Emma Catanzaro

Adult:  Elizabeth “Binnie” Davis & Walter Faribault, Jr.

Business:  Music Maker Relief Foundation


Special acknowledgements will be made to all previous award recipients


Awards will be given to the 2014 student essay and poster contest winners:

Emily Abramowitz

Miriam Abramowitz

Evan Dorsi

Lena Hu

Whitney Martin

Augusto Perera

Ayla Richards

Hannah Wilkins

Rebecca Zuo



Musical Presentation by Music Maker Relief Foundation

Reception to follow catered by Vimala’s Curryblossom Café

For more information, call (919) 245-2487

Hearing on new regulations for abortion providers in North Carolina

Hearing on new regulations for abortion providers in North Carolina.

On December 19, the Department of Health and Human Services will hold a public hearing on proposed regulations for abortion clinics in North Carolina. Your help is needed to make sure that any new regulations put women’s health first. RSVP to join the ACLU in Raleigh early Friday morning on December 19 to make your voice heard. Once you pledge to join us on December 19, we’ll send you additional details on when and where to meet as we stand together to stand up for women’s health and reproductive freedom. RSVP at –

Justice Reinvestment

Justice Reinvestment National Summit #JRsummit

On November 17-19, 2014, policy makers, experts, and other key decision makers from more than 30 states will meet to discuss the past, present, and future of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

The live webcast will be available here on November 18 at 9am PST, and you can also participate in the conversation on Twitter at #JRSummit.

The event is co-hosted by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

Agenda Overview:

Tuesday, November 18

9 – 9:45 a.m. P.T.
“Welcome and Keynote Address”
Adam Gelb, The Pew Charitable Trusts
Denise O’Donnell, Bureau of Justice Assistance
Michael Thompson, Council of State Governments Justice Center
Keynote: Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason, Office of Justice Programs

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. P.T.
“Seismic Shifts: California Realignment and its Aftershocks”
Jenifer Warren, The Pew Charitable Trusts

10:45 – 11:45 a.m. P.T.
Breakout Sessions

12 – 1:30 p.m. P.T.
“Delivering on the Promise of Justice Reinvestment: The Corrections Directors’ Perspective”
Michael Thompson, Council of State Governments Justice Center

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. P.T.
Breakout Sessions

3 – 3:45 p.m. P.T.
“Fighting Crime on a Budget: What Works?”
Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform

4:15 – 5:15 p.m. P.T.
Breakout Sessions

Wednesday, November 19

9 – 10 a.m. P.T.
“Criminal Justice in the Press”
Moderator: Bill Keller, The Marshall Project

10:15 – 11:30 a.m. P.T.
Breakout Sessions

11:45 – 12:30 p.m. P.T.
“Bipartisan Discussion and Closing Remarks”
Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the House
Van Jones, Rebuild the Dream

Budget & Tax Center monthly labor market report

Are you wondering how North Carolina’s economy and labor market is REALLY doing, how it affects your work and your community, and what can we all do about it? Join the Budget & Tax Center for our monthly labor market webinar briefing on Monday, November 24th at 4:00 p.m. The Division of Employment Security will release the latest data (from October) on North Carolina’s labor market next week.

Please register for the webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Webinar: Expungement Policy & Practice in the South

In the era of criminal record background screening, many individuals with records of arrest and prosecution seek to limit the public’s access to criminal record information through a legal remedy of expungement or sealing.  These legal remedies may require the suppression or destruction of criminal records but the laws vary from state to state. Further, most states require the record holder to seek this remedy by going back to court.

The New Southern Strategy Coalition will provide an overview of expungement/sealing policy trends in the South and include case studies of four southern states. Advocates from Maryland and South Carolina will highlight policy advocacy efforts to improve current expungement laws, and legal practitioners from Georgia and North Carolina will share legal service delivery models that were created after reforms were passed in their states.  Let’s discuss ways you can help improve laws or expand access to this legal remedy in your state!

Michelle Natividad Rodriguez, National Employment Law Project

Roberta Meyers, Legal Action Center, National H.I.R.E. Network
Ashley Thomas, South Carolina Appleseed Legal Services
Caryn Aslan, Job Opportunities Task Force
Doug Ammar, Georgia Justice Project and
Daryl Atkinson, Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Click here to register.


Allison Riggs on The Ed Show

ACLU W. W. Finlator Awards, feat. Keynote Address by SCSJ’s Allison Riggs

Wake County ACLU Civil Liberties Award Recipients

Moral Monday Arrestees

In order to recognize all those attendees who were arrested during the Moral Monday protests, we ask that you put a * by the appropriate name below if this includes you or your guest(s).

Keynote Speaker: Allison Riggs, Senior Staff Attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice

ACLU of Wake County, W. W. Finlator Award Dinner
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Casa Carbone, 6019 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27612

Social Hour / Cash Bar will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. – Cost is $45 per person

Please list names of all attendees and return this form to arrive no later than Saturday, November 15:

Name(s)     _________________________________________________________________________________________________





                                                                                Email and/or phone:

Payment for __________ dinner guests at $45 each*        Total enclosed_____________________________________________

Dinner includes salad, rolls, and a selection of the following entrées: meat lasagna, vegetable lasagna, fettuccine alfredo, soft drinks, coffee/tea and dessert.  All entrées will be available, no advance selection is necessary.  Please alert us to dietary restrictions and we will do our best to accommodate.

Make checks payable to:         ACLU of Wake County, PO Box 10491, Raleigh, NC  27605

DIRECT QUESTIONS TO:               Josh McIntyre, 919-834-4478 (evenings and weekends) or

*TICKETS ARE NOT ISSUED. Guests’ names will be added to a registration list. Reservations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and acknowledged as promptly as possible. SEATING IS LIMITED!!



Keynote Remarks: Allison Riggs

 Allison Riggs is a staff attorney, since 2009, with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) whose work is focused on voting rights and environmental justice. Her voting rights work over the last four years has been focused on redistricting, and she has litigated redistricting cases on behalf of State NAACP Conferences in Texas, Florida and North Carolina. She has also been involved in defending the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  She received her undergraduate, Master’s Degree and J.D. from the University of Florida. During law school, she was the student coordinator for the Restoration of Civil Rights Project–a student organization that provided assistance to applicants seeking to have the state of Florida restore to them their civil rights following a felony conviction.

W.W. Finlator Award: Scott Holmes

The 2014 recipient of the W.W. Finlator Award is C. Scott Holmes.  Holmes is a trial attorney with 16 years of experience who has successfully represented clients in a broad spectrum of complex litigation matters. Holmes graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina Law School in 1998. He graduated with highest honors from UNC Chapel Hill for a thesis in history and won the Worth Award for excellence in philosophy. While at UNC Law, he received the Alan Berman Scholarship for Commitment to Civil Rights, and helped organize conferences on race, class and gender.

Holmes is a noted and respected advocate for civil liberties, peace and justice and a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of North Carolina and the NAACP.

Most recently, Holmes, Director of the N.C. Central University Civil Litigation Law Clinic, provided pro bono representation for multiple defendants arrested at the state capitol for exercising the right to assemble and speak as advocates for voting rights and a broad range of social justice concerns.  In addition, he has represented people in Durham charged with more than eighty charges of panhandling, he has represented undocumented youth members of the NC Dream team seeking inclusion, and has challenged racial profiling in the State Highway patrol and excessive force by the Durham Police

His advocacy, doubtless, contributed to a September 12, decision by Judge Donald Stephens, senior resident Superior Court judge of Wake County, dismissing charges against Leonard Beeghley based on the judges understanding that the legislative building clearly qualifies as what the United Supreme Court described in a 2013 ruling as: “a traditional public fora … (an area) have historically … open to the public for speech activities.”

Holmes is also a long time member of the Durham Friends Meeting, a Professor of Restorative Justice, a ballet dancer, and musician.


Wake County Civil Liberties Award: Moral Monday Arrestees

The Wake County Chapter of the ACLU invites any individual arrested since the beginning of the 2013-2014 legislative session in conjunction with the exercise of his or her right to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech at the North Carolina State Legislative Building to stand and be recognized as a co-recipient of the 2014 Wake County Civil Liberties Award.

Those arrested in exercise of their fundamental freedoms have demonstrated a commitment to advocacy and defense of civil liberties and social justice that is not only worthy of recognition, but essential to the continuity and vibrancy of our democracy.  These individuals’ persistence in reminding elected officials of their duty to promote equality and respect in the community is commendable.



Center for Prosecutorial Integrity CPI

Center for Prosecutorial Integrity’s Innocence Summit

 Innocence Summit 2015

Make plans now to attend CPI’s annual Innocence Summit, June 12-13, 2015!

The 2014 Innocence Summit was a huge success — read rave reviews and see photos, above. At the 2015 Innocence Summit, the nation’s leading prosecutors, researchers, defense attorneys, citizen activists, exonerees, and others will come together to debate how the Innocence Movement can overcome old obstacles and achieve new successes.

Theme: Best Practices for Innocence Reform

Why: Because our criminal justice system needs to apply scientifically-validated best practices in order to stop wrongful convictions and restore the presumption of innocence

Where: Crowne Plaza, Washington National Airport (Arrive a couple days early or stay for the long weekend, you’ll get to take advantage of the Summit’s deeply discounted room rates. Advance look HERE.)

When: June 12-13, Friday morning through Saturday afternoon

What: Keynote presentations, panel discussions, workshops, networking opportunities, and a Friday evening banquet. Plus, plenty of opportunities to delight in the sights of our Nation’s capitol!

Registration opens: February 2, 2015

Summit Schedule: To be announced

CPI Center for Prosecutorial Integrity