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Wednesday, July 22, 2020 through Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 through Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Announcing the Bettye M. McLaurin Scholarship

Bettye McLaurin
Bettye McLaurin
The Bettye M. McLaurin Memorial Scholarship for Professional Development has been established at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in her honor.

Donations to support this scholarship may be sent to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28216. Please reference the Bettye M. McLaurin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Motivated by her passion for early childhood education and its impact on long-term success, Mrs. Bettye Sue McConnaughey McLaurin set out to improve early learning initiatives for North Carolina’s most precious resource, its children. A statuesque, warm and outgoing leader who never lost focus on that goal, McLaurin was a powerful voice for the least of these – in North Carolina and across the nation – right up until her passing at the age of 90 on June 27, 2020. More ↠

RVO Earns National Accreditation

By Wilson Cherry

Wislon Cherry
Wilson Cherry

Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc. has earned national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This accreditation applies to its facilities located in Rowan County (RVO) and Cabarrus County (CVO).

CARF utilizes an intensive and thorough audit, survey, inspection and review of the agency’s policies, procedures and trainings, as well as consumer and staff records. CARF certification encompasses a wide range of mental health services and facilities; including individual service providers within the facilities. Particular emphasis is placed on health and safety, inspections, drills, activities, various staff and consumer trainings, critical incident reporting and service delivery. More ↠

John Lewis and the Promise and Failure of
Civil Rights and Black Politics

By Makheru Bradley
Makheru Bradley
On July 17 two iconic civil rights figures, Congressman John Lewis (80) and Rev. C.T. Vivian (95) transitioned to the spiritual world. Many pundits have discussed the symbolism of these icons passing on the same day, largely because their activism was deeply connected.

Lewis and Vivian studied theology at the American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee. They became disciples of nonviolent theoretician Reverend James Lawson. Along with James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Marion Barry, and led by Diane Nash, they made Nashville the epicenter of sit-in protests after those protests began in Greensboro (February 1, 1960). Lewis and Vivian joined the Freedom Rides, where Lewis was beaten in Montgomery, and they were both sent to the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, after being arrested in Jackson.

In 1963 John Lewis became the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), while Rev. Vivian became one of the top aides to Dr. Martin Luther King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Lewis and Vivian helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington and they became key players in the Selma movement for voting rights. Vivian was beaten by Selma’s white supremacist sheriff Jim Clark and on Bloody Sunday (March 7, 1965) Lewis would become one of the most well-known casualties of the barbaric violence of Alabama state troopers and Jim Clark’s calvary.
John Lewis
John Lewis
SNCC and the MFDP

Certainly John Lewis, like his SNCC comrades, was courageous at a time when the most simplistic act of defiance could get you killed. As chairman of SNCC from 1963-1965, John Lewis was part of the mass movement that forced American Apartheid to capitulate. Lewis remained committed to his belief that American society could be peacefully reformed into a multi-racial democracy. This was probably the opinion of the More ↠
Could Other NC Cities Pass Reparations for Blacks?
By Cash Michaels
Cash Michaels
When the Western North Carolina City of Asheville passed a local resolution, mandating reparations to its Black community; it was the shot heard around the world.

By a 7-0 unanimous vote, the Asheville City Council not only apologized for its role in enslaving Black people who essentially built the Buncombe County city during the 1700-1800s through hard, unpaid labor, but resolved to make investments to help area African-Americans to “…increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice,” according to the ratified July 14th city resolution.
Keith Young
Keith Young
Afterwards, one of the resolution’s sponsors, Councilman Keith Young, said, “Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today.”

Based on published reports, there are a few other cities, like Chicago and Evanston, Illinois that have passed some form of reparations measure. There are also state legislatures like New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania considering legislation. California’s state house reportedly passed legislation in June, and has sent it’s measure onto its state Senate.

But conspicuously, no other North Carolina town, city or county is on the list for even considering reparations, despite their documented roles in enslaving More ↠