Census and Redistricting Institute (CCRI)
SCSJ created the Census and Redistricting Institute (CCRI) to provide individuals and community organizations with the tools needed to participate in the redistricting process and to advocate effectively for fair representation. Following a groundbreaking national Expert Preparation and Community Education Program in 2010, SCSJ continued to meet the strong demand for community training in preparation for the release of census data and redistricting plans. Forging strong working relationships with a multitude of community organizations in North Carolina and in other states, SCSJ facilitated new collaborations among community organizations, academic experts, and lawyers, thereby strengthening cooperation among Latino, Asian-American, and African-American community groups.
Fair Redistricting Collaborative
In January 2011 SCSJ convened the Fair Redistricting Collaborative, a joint project of three non-profit organizations (SCSJ, One Voice and Southern Echo) that protects the voting strength of African-American, Latino, Native American, and Asian voters. The initiative utilizes strictly non-partisan, education-based and data driven support to community-based organizations and voting rights activists.
SCSJ facilitated community involvement in redistricting by providing training on the redistricting process, demographic analysis of existing plans and potential alternatives, and legal advice. Creative ways were sought to engage what might otherwise be competing groups in a united effort to empower all affected groups. Efforts were made to ensure that communities understood and were able to avoid “prison gerrymandering,” where non-voting prison populations are counted in a way that unfairly disadvantages the voting strength of Black and Latino communities. Finally, where the redistricting process resulted in unfair maps in certain jurisdictions, SCSJ represented the NAACP and other non-partisan organizations in redistricting litigation to achieve through the courts what could not be obtained through the political process. Compliance with the Voting Rights Act is a key goal.