Interview With Ignite NC Fellow Morgan

****This semester we brought on 34 fellows! Here’s a chance to learn more about one them, Morgan from Winston-Salem.****

Hi my name is Morgan, my pronouns are she/her/hers, and I am from Winston Salem….336.

What do you want to learn during this fellowship?
I really want to learn how to get out of my comfort zone and to organize, like develop a plan that is strategic and put it into action. I think that this fellowship is a really good way for me to not only give my skills but also take skills back. So, the skills I really want to work on is, being really able to communicate with my community and my people because I notice that is where I usually find myself in a stand still. Specially with getting my ideas out there.  READ MORE ON OUR MEDIUM BLOG

Fall 2017 Fellowship Applications Open

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS Tuesday, August 15 at 11:59PM. Applications sent earlier will be prioritized. $500 stipend upon successful completion. Descriptions of fellowships are below

Decisions will be made by August 18. 

Eligibility requirements:
*Must be in North Carolina
*Must be between the ages of 18-30
*Must be committed to to social justice
*Must be available for training Sept. 1-4 training & evaluation convening Nov. 17-19

Women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. We believe in centering and elevating youth led leadership of the most marginalized among us. We believe that when we unite and organize we create change in our communities and throughout the state of North Carolina.

Fellowship term: September 1, 2017 – November 19, 2017

ABOUT IGNITE NC 
Solutions to the problems facing North Carolina and our global community lie within our ability to work together for the common good and to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change. In order to create the kind of future we all deserve, we must understand our past, defend the gains made by those who came before us, and ignite and empower everyday people to lead efforts to build a fair and just future. When those most affected by injustice are the leaders who find and implement solutions, we will create a better world. We put our mission into practice by cultivating young leaders, building skills, and sharing an intersectional analysis that sees all of us as part of a legacy of change. We view youth as leaders who are capable of articulating their struggles and creating tangible solutions.

“The revolution has always been in the hands of the young. The young always inherit the revolution.” – Huey P. Newton

“We who believe in freedom can not rest.” – Ella Baker

THE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Started in 2013, our fellows are engaged in dynamic campaigns and organizing efforts aligned with the mission of Ignite NC and centered around the issues that concern their communities. Some of these efforts have included campaigns for a livable wage, Black Lives Matter, UNC Board of Governors and administration accountability, HB2, and election protection.

Ignite NC is building a network of youth organizers to build organization and win concrete changes in our communities across the state. From police murders to attacks on voting rights, youth are facing attacks on all levels. However, young people are taking to the streets and rising up to demand justice in our communities. Historically young people have played a significant role in transforming the country and the world. It’s our time to squad up! Build with us in the movement for justice and apply for the Ignite NC fellowship.  The stakes are too high,we must take a stand and create the change we want to see for our communities.

If you  are currently working with a campus or community organization, or want to help build the youth and student movement, this fellowship provides organizing training, mentorship, connection to youth across the state, tools to create transformative change and a stipend to enable you to spend more dedicated time to organize.

Ignite NC is accepting applications for fellowships this Fall: Training Fellow, Community Organizing, NC Vote Defender, and Media & Communications.

Applications are due August 15, 2017.  Everyone will be notified by August 18, 2017.  

Training Fellow:

These fellows will work directly with staff to also be another resource for the Organizing and Communications fellow.

Their main workplan for the semester will be to develop a training to happen by the end of the semester on their campus or community that builds knowledge and skills.

Whether it is in the beginning or end of the semester, the bulk of their work will be getting trained themselves on facilitation, base building, leadership skills, etc.

They are also welcome to engage and organize with any of the work the organizing and communications fellows will be committed to.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Vote Defender Campus Coordinator:

These fellows will be leading efforts around voter education for upcoming local down-ballot elections. Voter disenfranchisement has plagued North Carolinians, especially students, black voters, the poor, and elderly. Add boots to the ground and join others in creating greater access and awareness at the ballot box.

Organizing Fellow:

These fellows will add to the support of ongoing efforts to build knowledge and power as it relates to the issue areas. They will work with other fellows and structure workplans with the end goal of shifting narrative and practices as it relates to three main issue areas!

Higher Education: Universities in NC have become increasingly inaccessible. Youth are forced to take out thousands of dollars of debt while class sizes grow and programs and centers get cut. Students, staff, faculty, and community members should be the decision makers of our colleges, not the wealthy elite, not those who profit off of our debt. Be part of a campaign team that organizes for accessible higher education.

Expanding Sanctuary: Young people across the country have changed the national narrative around what it means to be free in this country. From challenging narratives of what it means to be workers, addressing the impact of ecological harm on sustainable living, creating alternatives for criminalized communities met with injustice, and changing city and campus policy to address these issues of safety, discrimination, and sanctuary. Be a part of a team seeking to bring capacity to this movement on a local level and help develop a work-plan that builds upon coalition campaigns.

Gender Justice: Young people have been at the forefront informing the narrative and addressing concerns of gender equity in this state and nation. House Bill 2, opened a door to further legalized discrimination in the public sector. From Bathrooms, to housing, to employment, to documenation, we’re witnessing an increase in the criminalization of people based on identity and appearance. More than ever young people must direct the conversation and movement for gender justice. Be a part of a team that works to craft a mandate for gender justice for our campuses and communities.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

 Communication Fellow:

Communication Fellow’s will support the organizing work of the organizing fellows! Activities will include writing press releases, managing social media, creating graphics/flyers, updating website and developing a media strategy.

  • Develop and implement a media strategy that supports organizing efforts
  • Using traditional and social media to create awareness about organizing efforts and inform our base (Newsletters, Zines, blogpost, podcasts, etc.)
  • Support the management of website and social media presence
  • Gather pledge cards to engage youth around relevant issues

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Be Familiar with wordpress, HTML, social media platforms and have communication experience
  • Demonstrates a passion for understanding strategic communications and its integration into an overall marketing strategy.
  • Exceptional written and personal communication skills
  • Demonstrated creativity in the practice of PR or related field
  • Willingness and ability to work well in teams
  • Experience in manage social media accounts

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Spring 2017 Fellowship Applications Open

Fall fellowship picture

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS Sunday, January 1 at 11:59PM. Applications sent earlier will be prioritized. $500 stipend upon successful completion. Descriptions of fellowships are below

Decisions will be made by January 6. 

Eligibility requirements:
*Must be in North Carolina
*Must be between the ages of 18-30
*Must be committed to to social justice
*Must be available for training January 13-16 training, & evaluation convening April 22-23

Women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. We believe in centering and elevating youth led leadership of the most marginalized among us. We believe that when we unite and organize we create change in our communities and throughout the state of North Carolina.

Fellowship term: January 6, 2017 – April 23, 2017

ABOUT IGNITE NC
Solutions to the problems facing North Carolina and our global community lie within our ability to work together for the common good and to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change. In order to create the kind of future we all deserve, we must understand our past, defend the gains made by those who came before us, and ignite and empower everyday people to lead efforts to build a fair and just future. When those most affected by injustice are the leaders who find and implement solutions, we will create a better world. We put our mission into practice by cultivating young leaders, building skills, and sharing an intersectional analysis that sees all of us as part of a legacy of change. We view youth as leaders who are capable of articulating their struggles and creating tangible solutions.

THE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Started in 2013, our fellows are engaged in dynamic campaigns and organizing efforts aligned with the mission of Ignite NC and centered around the issues that concern their communities. Some of these efforts have included campaigns for a livable wage, Black Lives Matter, UNC Board of Governors and administration accountability, HB2, and election protection.

Ignite NC is building a network of youth organizers to build organization and win concrete changes in our communities across the state. From police murders to attacks on voting rights, youth are facing attacks on all levels. However, young people are taking to the streets and rising up to demand justice in our communities. Historically young people have played a significant role in transforming the country and the world. We are calling all youth who are ready to join the movement for justice to continue this legacy and apply for the Ignite NC fellowship. The stakes are too high, we must take a stand and develop campaigns that change the future of our communities.

If you  are currently working with a campus or community organization, or want to help build the youth and student movement, this fellowship provides organizing training, mentorship, connection to youth across the state, tools to create transformative change and a stipend to enable you to spend more dedicated time to organize.

Ignite NC is accepting applications for fellowships this Spring: Trianing Fellow, Community Organizing and Media & Communications.

Applications are due January 1, 2017.  Everyone will be notified by January 6, 2017.  

Training Fellow:

These fellows will work directly with staff to also be another resource for the Organizing and Communications fellow.

Their main workplan for the semester will be to develop a training to happen by the end of the semester on their campus or community that builds knowledge and skills.

Whether it is in the beginning or end of the semester, the bulk of their work will be getting trained themselves on facilitation, base building, leadership skills, etc.

They are also welcome to engage and organize with any of the work the organizing and communictationss fellows will be committed to.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Community Organizing Fellow:

Ignite NC is committed to providing organizational resources to support ongoing efforts to build power for young people and people of color in NC. This upcoming semester we will be focusing on three main issue areas!

Higher Education: Universities in NC have become increasingly inaccessible. Youth are forced to take out thousands of dollars of debt while class sizes grow and programs and centers get cut.  Be part of a campaign team that organizes for accessible higher education.

Migrant Justice: Young people across the country have changed the national narrative what it means to be a immigrant in this country. From challenging narratives of what it means to be  workers, demanding equitable access to education, demanding justice for those detained in detention centers, and changing city and campus policy to address issues of safety, discrimination, and sactuary. Be a part of a team seeking to bring capacity to this movement on a local level developing a work-plan that builds upon local coalition campaigns.

Gender Justice: Students have been at the forefront informing the narrative and addressing concerns of gender equity in this state and nation. From House Bill 2, the anti-worker, anti-trans legislation passed in March 2016 in NC, to addressing sexual assault and reproductive healthcare, more than ever youg people must direct the conversation and movement for gender justice. Be a part of a team that works to educate the larger community that works to fight back against gender based violence and discrimination. Read more about HouseBill 2 here.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

 Communication Fellow:

Communication Fellow’s will support the organizing work of the organizing fellows! Activities will include writing press releases, managing social media, creating graphics/flyers, updating website and developing a media strategy.

  • Develop and implement a media strategy that supports organizing efforts
  • Using traditional and social media to create awareness about emerging organizations and initiatives
  • Creating email announcements that uplift and aid organizing work
  • Create materials and keep website updated
  • Gather pledge cards to engage youth around relevant issues

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Be Familiar with wordpress, HTML, social media platforms and have communication experience
  • Demonstrates a passion for understanding strategic communications and its integration into an overall marketing strategy.
  • Exceptional written and personal communication skills
  • Demonstrated creativity in the practice of PR or related field
  • Willingness and ability to work well in teams
  • Experience in manage social media accounts

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Welcoming Ignite NC’s New Co-director Holden Cession

Dear beloved community in the South and beyond,

Over the past two years I have come to know Ignite NC as an organization, a movement family, and a political home. From turning up against HB2, fighting for a living wage, advocating for voter rights, holding elected officials accountable, to demanding affordable and accessible education, Ignite has informed a movement. In our approach to organizing, leadership development, and community building we are doing work that is part of a larger inherited legacy of change.

As a Southerner born and raised in North Carolina It’s been a beautiful experience to unite in resistance on land that has been home for me and my family for centuries. I’ve been able to invest myself in my community, and in an organization that has invested in me.

I’m thankful to be moving into this role alongside D’atra “Dee Dee” Jackson. It’s been a pleasure to be in community and camaraderie with the young ella, assata, Ida that is Dee Dee. Her passion calls me to push harder and speak louder. The out-going director Bryan Perlmutter has offered his guidance, care, and leadership over the past three years and it has been crucial in positioning Ignite for the next leg of this journey. As we transition into a political climate that is becoming increasingly regressive we can’t forget as Bayard Rustin said our power to make systems unworkable.

This is a time to say no to repression, no to silence, and yes to building a liberated future for transgender, black and brown, poor and queer people. This is not a time to back down, but to tighten up and plant ourselves firmly in the work of liberation. 

I’m blessed to be in this with folks who are building for the long haul and keeping NC #Lit4Liberation

Welcoming Ignite NC’s New Co-Director D’atra Jackson

 To my family (chosen and given),

With my heartfelt gratitude, I would like to thank Ignite NC and the Southern Visions Alliance family for this opportunity. When I think about my journey that brought me here, growing up as a poor, black, miseducated, mouthy little girl raised by a single mother in the middle of Philadelphia’s most violent years. It astounds me the conditioning and craving I inherited to build community. Ignite NC, SVA, Durham, and North Carolina has served as my community since moving to my Granma’s House in Durham, directly after finishing grad school. This community has granted permission for this non-Southern native to join you in turning up on the state. To join you in building black futures. To join you in fighting white supremacy, anti blackness, capitalism, xenophobia, transphobia, and so many of the systems of oppression that penetrate our everyday lives. And now to join you in getting free by becoming the Co-Director of Ignite NC alongside the irreplaceable, revolutionary, mystifying, human Holden Cession. I’ve been blessed to learn and build with Holden for a little over a year, and couldn’t be more ecstatic and ready.

We ask that our community continues to support us, and care for us, as we carry on impacting this state in old ways and new ways. Constantly evolving and reflecting. Constantly resisting and developing. Ignite NC is rooted in revolutionary work, which makes us inherently black, inherently queer, inherently Southern. We do this in the name of Pauli Murray, Ella Baker, Zora Neale Hurston, Nina Simone, Afeni Shakur, Maya Angelou, and all of the freedom fighting spirits held in North Carolina.

Kindling: Ignite NC’s Newsletter

North Carolina youth are setting the tone and leading the way in mobilizing efforts across a broad range of issues. Whether it’s addressing police brutality, anti LGBTQ policy, the disenfranchisement of the poor and working class, or the destruction of our land we folks pulling together their energies and resources to create change for tomorrow and today. KINDLING is a monthly newsletter that uplifts some of the efforts that are happening across the state. Check out our first issue: Kindling October Newsletter

Spring Fellowship Applications Open

Fall fellowship picture

APPLICATION DEADLINE IS Sunday, January 1 at 11:59PM. Applications sent earlier will be prioritized. $500 stipend upon successful completion. Descriptions of fellowships are below

Decisions will be made by January 6. 

Eligibility requirements:
*Must be in North Carolina
*Must be between the ages of 18-30
*Must be committed to to social justice
*Must be available for training January 13-16 training, & evaluation convening April 22-23

Women, LGBTQ folks, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. We believe in centering and elevating youth led leadership of the most marginalized among us. We believe that when we unite and organize we create change in our communities and throughout the state of North Carolina.

Fellowship term: January 6, 2017 – April 23, 2017

ABOUT IGNITE NC
Solutions to the problems facing North Carolina and our global community lie within our ability to work together for the common good and to build the leadership and power of young people to create lasting change. In order to create the kind of future we all deserve, we must understand our past, defend the gains made by those who came before us, and ignite and empower everyday people to lead efforts to build a fair and just future. When those most affected by injustice are the leaders who find and implement solutions, we will create a better world. We put our mission into practice by cultivating young leaders, building skills, and sharing an intersectional analysis that sees all of us as part of a legacy of change. We view youth as leaders who are capable of articulating their struggles and creating tangible solutions.

THE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Started in 2013, our fellows are engaged in dynamic campaigns and organizing efforts aligned with the mission of Ignite NC and centered around the issues that concern their communities. Some of these efforts have included campaigns for a livable wage, Black Lives Matter, UNC Board of Governors and administration accountability, HB2, and election protection.

Ignite NC is building a network of youth organizers to build organization and win concrete changes in our communities across the state. From police murders to attacks on voting rights, youth are facing attacks on all levels. However, young people are taking to the streets and rising up to demand justice in our communities. Historically young people have played a significant role in transforming the country and the world. We are calling all youth who are ready to join the movement for justice to continue this legacy and apply for the Ignite NC fellowship. The stakes are too high, we must take a stand and develop campaigns that change the future of our communities.

If you  are currently working with a campus or community organization, or want to help build the youth and student movement, this fellowship provides organizing training, mentorship, connection to youth across the state, tools to create transformative change and a stipend to enable you to spend more dedicated time to organize.

Ignite NC is accepting applications for fellowships this Spring: Trianing Fellow, Community Organizing and Media & Communications.

Applications are due January 1, 2017.  Everyone will be notified by January 6, 2017.  

Training Fellow:

These fellows will work directly with staff to also be another resource for the Organizing and Communications fellow.

Their main workplan for the semester will be to develop a training to happen by the end of the semester on their campus or community that builds knowledge and skills.

Whether it is in the beginning or end of the semester, the bulk of their work will be getting trained themselves on facilitation, base building, leadership skills, etc.

They are also welcome to engage and organize with any of the work the organizing and communictationss fellows will be committed to.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

Community Organizing Fellow:

Ignite NC is committed to providing organizational resources to support ongoing efforts to build power for young people and people of color in NC. This upcoming semester we will be focusing on three main issue areas!

Higher Education: Universities in NC have become increasingly inaccessible. Youth are forced to take out thousands of dollars of debt while class sizes grow and programs and centers get cut.  Be part of a campaign team that organizes for accessible higher education.

Migrant Justice: Young people across the country have changed the national narrative what it means to be a immigrant in this country. From challenging narratives of what it means to be  workers, demanding equitable access to education, demanding justice for those detained in detention centers, and changing city and campus policy to address issues of safety, discrimination, and sactuary. Be a part of a team seeking to bring capacity to this movement on a local level developing a work-plan that builds upon local coalition campaigns.

Gender Justice: Students have been at the forefront informing the narrative and addressing concerns of gender equity in this state and nation. From House Bill 2, the anti-worker, anti-trans legislation passed in March 2016 in NC, to addressing sexual assault and reproductive healthcare, more than ever youg people must direct the conversation and movement for gender justice. Be a part of a team that works to educate the larger community that works to fight back against gender based violence and discrimination. Read more about HouseBill 2 here.

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

 Communication Fellow:

Communication Fellow’s will support the organizing work of the organizing fellows! Activities will include writing press releases, managing social media, creating graphics/flyers, updating website and developing a media strategy.

 

  • Develop and implement a media strategy that supports organizing efforts
  • Using traditional and social media to create awareness about emerging organizations and initiatives
  • Creating email announcements that uplift and aid organizing work
  • Create materials and keep website updated
  • Gather pledge cards to engage youth around relevant issues

Ideal candidates will have:

  • Be Familiar with wordpress, HTML, social media platforms and have communication experience
  • Demonstrates a passion for understanding strategic communications and its integration into an overall marketing strategy.
  • Exceptional written and personal communication skills
  • Demonstrated creativity in the practice of PR or related field
  • Willingness and ability to work well in teams
  • Experience in manage social media accounts

To apply fill out the application send a copy of your resume to northcarolinaignite@gmail.com

#BlackLivesMatter Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition respond to NC HB 2

qmf

On the anniversary of the passing of Blake Brockington, a Black trans teen from Charlotte, N.C., Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly moved to attack working people and create dangerous conditions for women, LGBTQ people, Black and Brown people, and any workers who experience discrimination or who struggle to make ends meet.

The General Assembly and Gov. McCrory chose to criminalize trans and gender nonconforming children and youth, and to scapegoat trans women and other trans people for rape by passing NC HB 2. House Bill 2 bars city and county governments from raising their municipal minimum wage, as well as prohibiting anti-discrimination policies that account for gender identity, expression and sexual orientation.

Lawmakers were given only five minutes to review the bill and it passed within a 12-hour period without a single trans person of color being allowed to speak.

  •      This bill reinforces the school-to-prison pipeline that trans and gender nonconforming students of color already face, by making their choice of toilet grounds for suspension or arrest.
  •      This bill rolls back decades of hard-won progress and will harm our whole state. It undermines municipal democratic control, advancements in anti-discrimination policy and further prohibits wage increases. This is a direct assault on working families and particularly working women of color, who are most likely to be paid poverty wages. LGBTQ folks of color are workers, and we are worth more![1]
  •      This bill uses trans panic and the scapegoating of trans women to derail real conversations about safety and consent. Trans and queer people are survivors of sexual assault, too. Our safety matters, and we don’t make our community safer by threatening others with the brute force of the murderous police or incarceration. If our state is truly concerned for survivors of sexual assault, it will make comprehensive consent and sex education mandatory. This law does nothing to prevent indecent exposure and sexual assault, which are already illegal, but instead prevents local governments from protecting the safety and livelihoods of queer and trans people.
  •      We honor and fight for Blake by affirming that our lives matter. Anti-transgender bias and legislation and persistent structural racism directly impact the devastating rates of suicidality, unemployment, physical and sexual violence, poverty, incarceration and homelessness experienced by transgender people of color.[2]
  •      Trans and Queer people of color demand a living wage and freedom from criminalization and discrimination, in the workplace and in the bathroom.

Tonight, we are calling for a Special Session of the People outside of the Governor’s mansion. For Blake Brockington, for Angel Elisha Walker, for all Black and Brown trans and queer people in North Carolina who have been murdered, disappeared or incarcerated, it is our duty to speak. It is our duty to demand freedom, to demand a living wage, to demand education, to demand comprehensive health care that is accessible and free of charge.

Signatories:

QPOCC, The Tribe, #BlackLivesMatter North Carolina, Sister Song, Ignite NC, Southern Vision Alliance, Youth Organizing Institute, #BlackLivesMatter Gate City, Workers World Party, SONG NC, Greensboro Mural Project, GenderBenders, Fight for $15, QORDS, Trans Pride in Action, Queer Youth Circus, House daLorde, Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI-NC), SAFE Coalition NC, LGBTQ Center of Durham, Center for Family and Maternal Wellness.

[1] Trans People of Color experience rates up to four times the national unemployment rate. Black transgender people live in extreme poverty with 34 percent reporting a household income of less than $10,000 per year. This is more than twice the rate for transgender people of all races (15 percent), four times the general Black population rate (9 percent), and over eight times the general U.S. population rate (4 percent). Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Discrimination Survey. National Center for Trans Equality and National GLBTQ Task Force (2011).

[2] In the 2011, Injustice at Every Turn National Report comprising of 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming participants: 41 percent of respondence reported attempting suicide, 55 percent lost a job due to bias, 51 percent were harassed/bullied in school, or were the victims of physical assault (61 percent) or sexual assault (64 percent). www.endtransdiscrimination.org

A public response from ‘The BOG 4’

Letter: A public response from ‘The BOG 4’

BOG4

Femi Shittu With the support of Irving Allen, Jen Myers and Madeleine Scanlon “The BOG 4”

On Jan. 26, 2016, the UNC System’s Board of Governors held their meeting at The Center for School Leadership Development building on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This public meeting is held every six weeks and rotates among the 16 colleges and universities of the UNC System.

The UNC System is made up of:

1. Appalachian State University

2. East Carolina University

3. Elizabeth City State University

4. Fayetteville State University

5. North Carolina A&T State University

6. North Carolina Central University

7. North Carolina State University

8. UNC Asheville

9. UNC Chapel Hill

10. UNC Charlotte

11. UNC Greensboro

12. UNC Pembroke

13. UNC Wilmington

14. UNC School of the Arts

15. Western Carolina University

16. Winston Salem State University One public residential high school for “gifted” students:

17. NC School of Science and Mathematics

Considered one of the most prestigious college systems in the nation, as you can see, the system is made of top schools such as UNC Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and North Carolina State. It holds some of the most profound HBCUs such as North Carolina Central University, Winston Salem Sate University, and the nation’s largest HBCU, NC A&T State University.

Now that we have gotten all the credentials out of the way, it needs to be said that the Board of Governors, the prominent decision makers over this system, in NO WAY reflects the students that make up this college system. The Board of Governors is made of 33 individuals in which 4 are Black. Of course, the average face of this board is an older upper class white man.

In the past few years the Board of Governors have faced intense scrutiny in several ways, but in three concentrated areas.

1. The untransparent decision to make Margaret Spellings the next president of the UNC System. Spellings is a product of the right wing and has served several positions under George W. Bush including Secretary of Education. She was also one of the principal proponents of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act.

2. The cutting of programs, mainly from Humanities/Liberal Arts departments all while large raises are being given to those higher in the towers such as chancellors.

3. The overall lack of care and support of the HBCUs in the UNC System.

It is important to note that there are 5 HBCUs in the UNC System and the state of North Carolina has the most HBCUs of any other state. We hold up Fayetteville State University and Elizabeth City State University as the HBCUs who have had to carry the bulk of the violence by the UNC System. Both HBCUs have faced millions of dollars in cuts in the past couple of years mainly due to “drops in enrollment”. Ironically, drops in enrollment are due mostly to the lack of resources and funding for these schools over the past decade. Specifically, Elizabeth State University has suffered through tumultuous times including some of the worst cuts in the entire system while having 3 chancellors within the past approximate 3 years.

Concerning the cuts on Humanities Departments across the system I will start with my personal experience. I attend the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a double major in Psychology and African American and African Diaspora Studies (AADS). Both programs are profound and rewarding programs. However, my AADS program is now running off of $3500 for an ENTIRE school year while the Psychology department has remained untouched. This is astonishingly 1/3 of what the program was running on in 2010. Though both fall under the liberal arts spectrum, we all know simply just how white the academic world of Psychology is. My experience reflects the closing of the Poverty Center at UNC Chapel Hill, the removal of the entire Spanish program at NC A&T State University, the cutting of Women and Gender Studies at NC State University and the new announcement of the cutting of Liberal Arts programs at East Carolina which sparked the clapback at January’s Board of Governors meeting.

Out of the 33 people who are on the Board of Governors, approximately 10 were present at the first meeting of the New Year. Someone commented it was because some were still dealing with the effects of the massive snow storm the East Coast had endured within the past week. With that held, it was still baffling and created tense energy for so many members of the board to not be present. One of the 4 Black people on the board was in attendance. The meeting went on like these meetings usually do: old uppity white folks sitting around talking nonsense and believing that they are actually doing work. Dozens of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and general supporters listened in on the meeting. We were pretty much “respectful” as we sat there periodically commenting to each other on the bullshit and giving the occasional loud yawn to show our disapproval with the boring nature of the meeting which is ultimately about our education and future. Then, someone on the Board dropped the statistic that education majors are down a staggering 30%. This sucked the air out of the room. We all understood that this is a direct correlation of the state of teaching in North Carolina. North Carolina, deemed the worst place to teach in 2015, has some of the poorest paid teachers of public education in the nation. This statistic was ruthlessly followed with a unanimous vote from the Board of Governors to cut from the liberal arts department at East Carolina University. When one of the board members asked if anyone disagreed we all yelled “NAY!” and so it began.

After standing and proudly voting to cut the futures of many ECU students, the members were asked to take their seats. Since there were so many empty seats at the Board of Governors table, because none of them showed up, someone said “yeah, let’s take our seats” and we began to fill up the empty seats and started to chant.

The video picks up where I am stopping.

I want to close with saying that the action we took symbolized our collective power and how decisions about our future should involve US. Why don’t we deserve a seat at your table as you discuss our education? We will not sit there as you flippantly cut programs as if you are reading from the daily paper. We will continue to shut your meetings down until you listen to the the students of the UNC System instead of making decisions for us that are hurting our people on the ground. We understand this attack on HBCUs and the Liberal Arts programs as a component of the larger Right Wing takeover the state of North Carolina has been enduring since 2012. That is me saying “MOVE!” and “I need to see him!”. They were shoving Irving in a corner, trying to force him on the ground, and trying to close the door. I feared something would happened to that Black Man if they closed that door with just him and 10 officers. The videos ends as I am told to put my hands behind my back.

The cops were physically violent and we do not agree with how they reacted in the space. All four of us were wrongfully arrested and we find it our right to put pressure on those who hold our education in their hands.

NO Justice. NO Peace.