This year is the 150th Anniversary of the 15th Amendment and the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, yet the struggle for the ballot continues for African Americans. The Human Relations Commission is sponsoring a series of events examining voter suppression efforts in the U.S. and North Carolina.
A virtual event, African Americans and the Ballot, will be held Thursday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Click the link below to sign up:
Panelists include Theodore M. Shaw, Director of the Center for Civil Rights at UNC School of Law, Allison Riggins, the Interim Executive Director/Chief Counsel at the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Dr. James L. Leloudis II, Director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Panelists will provide an overview of the history of voting rights laws in the United States; and more specifically in North Carolina.
In addition, panelists will provide an update on recent attempts at voter suppression around the country and an update on the challenges to voting laws in North Carolina.
The Human Relations Commission is co-sponsoring the event along with the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition.
The HRC’s Community Read for this summer is “Give us the Ballot: A Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” by Ari Berman, a senior reporter for Mother Jones and a fellow at Type Media Center. He was the first reporter to cover voter suppression efforts in 2012, bringing national attention to the issue. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone and other national publications and is a frequent contributor to MSNBC, C-SPAN and NPR.
“Give Us the Ballot” chronicles the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as it transformed the American democratic process, while counterrevolutionaries sought to suppress voting rights that, “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision.”
In 2013, the Supreme Court declared a key provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. As lawmakers continue to devise new strategies to suppress minorities’ voting rights the battle over race, representation, and political power rages on in America.
The HRC is hosting a zoom event with Berman on Aug. 19 from 6-7 p.m. Click the link below to register:
The HRC is hosting a Community Read event on Sept. 13, from 3-5 p.m.
This event is free and open to the community and will include a discussion of the Voting Rights Act, attempts to suppress voting rights and the ways we as a community can address the issues presented in the book. The discussion will be led by members of the Orange County Human Relations Commission. Click the link below to register.
Pre-registration is required for both events.