Racial & Economic Justice

Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board Randee Haven O’Donnell et al on

It is great to see local representation on this important board. This is the press release.May 2, 2018

Today North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality will introduce members of the Secretary’s Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board during a ceremony in the agency’s Green Square Lobby.

The scope of the Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board is to assist the Department in achieving and maintaining the fair and equal treatment and meaningful involvement of North Carolinians regardless of where they live, their race, religion or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

“These Board members have been tasked with working directly with me and DEQ staff to help us elevate the voices of the underserved and underrepresented as we work to protect the public’s health and natural resources” said DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. “I am looking forward to working with each and every one of these distinguished board members to provide science based environmental stewardship for the health and prosperity of all North Carolinians.”

immigrants and Chapel Hill

Yesterday I visited the Roots Restaurant on Franlin St and talked to  a sister of some of the guys who were recently detained by ICE. You can help them out by donating. https://www.gofundme.com/deportation-defense-fund And today I read a facebook post by Ruby about another situation. "Rosa del Carmen Ortez-Cruz came to the U.S. from Honduras in 2002, fleeing extreme domestic violence – she was stabbed multiple times by a former partner, spending over a month in the hospital at age 19. She is the mother of four children, three of whom are U.S. citizens. Not only is Honduras one of the most dangerous countries in the world, but Rosa cannot return because her abuser has threatened her life.

Nonprofit Leadership in Orange County: So White

At a meeting last week with many local nonprofit leaders, I learned something not too surprising – the nonprofits in Orange County are largely run by white folks with accompanying huge disparities in assets and revenue when compared to those run by people of color. Across the Triangle, such nonprofits primarily serve communities of color. And according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this is the case across the US. I’m not going to tell you why you should care that, like other sectors, the wealth of our nonprofits is concentrated in the hands of white people.  It has been written about here (racial wealth gap) and here (nonprofit diversity).  But I do want to share our local stats so we have an accurate picture of what we’re facing.

Another Aspect of Equity: Our Town and County Advisory Boards

This article was posted on-line in the Herald-Sun on Saturday July 29, 2017.

More than 630 residents serve on our towns’ and county’s 71 advisory boards. Advisory board volunteers give their time and knowledge and provide an important service by helping our elected officials and staff make decisions that influence the vibrancy of our community.

According to the Town of Carrboro website, “These volunteers perform a vital role in our community by contributing their time, expertise and talent.... They serve willingly and without compensation. They interpret town codes, they counsel and advise elected officials and they listen to citizen appeals.”

Orange County’s advisory boards “assist the staff of Orange County in achieving a greater understanding of the nature and causes of community issues” and “promote public awareness of contemporary issues Orange County must address to achieve the Orange County Board of Commissioners’ goals and priorities.”

Feed the hungry, but why are they hungry?

{Cross posted from Chapel Hill News}

Food For the Summer
Food for the Summer

This summer, thanks to Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, the InterFaith Council for Social Service, No Kid Hungry NC, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and with funding from UNC’s Food for All, our community launched an effort to provide lunches to as many of the 30 percent of children who qualify for free and reduced meals during the school year as possible.

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