Ian A. Mance is a staff attorney with the Southern Coalition’s criminal justice team. He joined SCSJ in 2013 by way of a Soros Justice Fellowship, during which he focused on utilizing traffic stop data to challenge racial profiling practices by law enforcement. His efforts working with community organizers in Durham helped lead to a formal finding of “racial bias and racial profiling” by the Durham Police Department and a series of policy reforms aimed at deterring abusive stop-and-search practices. He has played a key role in the adoption of mandatory written consent to search policies in multiple jurisdictions in North Carolina. As a staff attorney, Ian has defended protesters charged with crimes and litigated cases involving excessive force, illegal searches, prison and jail conditions, jury diversity, and wrongful convictions. He has also written multiple amicus briefs for the NAACP in cases involving the use of deadly force by police officers.
Ian leads SCSJ’s Open Data Policing initiative, which works directly with defense attorneys, police chiefs, and community organizers to leverage traffic stop and search data to increase racial equity in policing. In 2015, he launched www.OpenDataPolicing.com, a first of its kind website that publishes racial traffic stop and search data for tens of thousands of police officers in three states and encompasses nearly 50 million individual traffic stops. He has served as a witness on police data in multiple criminal cases and is a regular speaker at state and federal criminal defense conferences on the use of the data in criminal cases.
Ian is a 2013 graduate of the UNC School of Law and served as Articles Editor for the North Carolina Law Review. From 2006 to 2010, he worked as a Program Associate at the Raleigh office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where he coordinated a campaign that led to the reform of use-of-force policies in 18 NC sheriffs’ departments and provided assistance to the Legal and Racial Justice Programs. Prior to his time at the ACLU, he served as Shelter Manager of the Hospitality House, northwestern North Carolina’s only homeless shelter.
Peggy D. Nicholson is Director of the Youth Justice Project, which works to ensure equity, fairness, and justice for North Carolina youth in high-quality education, juvenile, and criminal systems. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Political Science and African Studies, and earned her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2011. During law school, Peggy participated in the Child Advocacy and Criminal Justice Clinics and was President of the Public Interest Law Association. After law school but prior to joining SCSJ, Peggy was Supervising Attorney of Advocates for Children’s Services of Legal Aid of North Carolina, where she provided legal assistance to students and parents experiencing school push-out, conducted community education and outreach on school-to-prison pipeline issues, and collaborated with other education justice advocates across the state.
Partnering with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the south to defend and advance their political, social and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing and communications.