Welcome to the Julius L. Chambers Center for Civil Rights. We are a new non-profit dedicated to providing low-wealth North Carolina communities with sound legal representation in their efforts to dismantle structural racism.
We are delighted to share with you our first year-end report. We hope that it inspires you to make a contribution to support this important work.
What We Do
The Center uses a unique community-lawyering model to work with North Carolina communities to address the inequities they see every day. Our primary targets are challenging discriminatory policies and practices that block equitable access to:
♦ quality public K-12 schools;
♦ safe and affordable housing and related infrastructure;
♦ political participation and representation;
♦ and environmental justice.
We are working on a number of matters that exemplify these goals, including current litigation over the maintenance of three racially segregated and under-performing school districts in Halifax County (now pending at the NC Supreme Court); the refusal of a predominantly white town to annex and include a historic African American community in Stokes County; and administrative challenges to the adverse impacts of the concentration of industrial hog production facilities in predominantly African American, Native American and Latino communities in southeastern NC.
Building on the Legacy of Julius Chambers
In 2001, Julius Levonne Chambers, the legendary civil rights lawyer and North Carolina native, founded the UNC Center for Civil Rights at UNC Law School. Through the Center, Mr. Chambers created a unique community-lawyering model to help disempowered communities. For 17 years, his Center brought staff attorneys and students together to challenge the barriers these communities faced. The new Chambers Center will continue that mission of training the next generation of civil rights lawyers.
In September 2017, following a two-year series of attacks on the Center’s legacy, the UNC Board of Governors voted to ban the Center from engaging in advocacy or acting as legal counsel to any third party. Subsequently, the University of North Carolina terminated Haddix and Dorosin and discontinued the critical litigation mission of the Center.
The two attorneys created the Julius Chambers Center for Civil Rights to continue the litigation and advocacy that was so vital to the UNC Center’s success.
We have taken all 14 cases that the Center was already pursuing, and we’re now looking at a new set of potential cases that were put on hold while the Center was under investigation. As an independent organization, we can fulfill the vision that led Julius Chambers to found the UNC Center and work with the excluded communities he sought to serve.