#FreeKalvin & #FreeDontae Now!

"Free Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith" Initiative

On March 24, 2016 the North Carolina NAACP announces State and National Campaigns to "Free Dontae Sharpe and Free Kalvin Michael Smith", two black men each wrongfully imprisoned for almost half their lives for crimes they did not commit.

On November 5, 2016, after 20 years in prison, Kalvin Michael Smith was freed but Dontae Sharpe, from Greenville NC, is still behind bars. We call on Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein to do the right thing and free Dontae Sharpe.

Watch the video of the March 24th news conference and hear from Dontae Sharpe's mother by clicking on the image below.


It's Our Time! It's Our Vote!

We are approaching an historic election year. North Carolina has suffered from a flood of immoral and unconstitutional policies supported and passed by our Governor and General Assembly over the past four years. This extreme and regressive agenda has hurt ALL North Carolinians. They have voted to deny us healthcare, defund our schools, suppress our votes, raise taxes on the poor, deny us equal protection under the law, hurt our environment, and more. Now it is our time to vote.

If you believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere; if you understand that what happens in North Carolina has implications for the future of the nation; if you are committed to building a moral movement to save the soul of our state and country, then we need you to get involved in the Forward Together Moral Movement's It's Our Time, It's Our Vote GOTV campaign.

A Get-Out-The-Vote campaign can only bring us closer to a true democracy if it is long-term, issue-based and contextualized within on-going organizing to hold elected officials accountable once they take office. In a climate of voter suppression and spreading extremist ideology, our GOTV efforts must be comprehensive and include voter education, registration, mobilization, and protection. We must build an organizing infrastructure that will last far beyond 2016.

The North Carolina NAACP is partnering with Democracy North Carolina, faith leaders, and other HKonJ Coalition partners to organize local It's Our Time Get-Out-The-Vote committees across the state and mobilize over 3,000 faith communities to participate in It's Our Time Souls to the Polls campaign.

If you as an individual, your organization, or your faith community would like to get involved in the It's Our Time, It's Our Vote campaign, please email forwardtogether@naacpnc.org and write "It's Our Time" in the subject line.

The 2016 Election is an important election for North Carolina. Positions up for election include:

President & Vice President of the US
Senior U.S. Senator 
All US House of Representatives 
All NC House of Representatives 
All NC Senate Members
Lieutenant Governor
Attorney General
Council of State offices including 
Secretary of State, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Agriculture, etc.
At least 1 NC Supreme Court Judge
At least 4 Court of Appeals Judges
County Commissioners 
District Attorneys 
School Board Members
District & Superior Court Judges
Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor

US Supreme Court Blocks Racially Gerrymandered Redistricting Plan

March 26, 2016

Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion in the Alabama redistricting case supports the argument that the North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP has been making against North Carolina’s racially gerrymandered districts since they were first proposed in 2011. The Court held that packing black voters to meet a specific racial quota is constitutionally suspect, as was done in Alabama and in North Carolina. The Court remanded the case to the lower court for application of strict scrutiny. “The principles of law announced by the Court yesterday apply with equal force to North Carolina, mandating a reversal of the redistricting plans adopted here,” said Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II. 

When the North Carolina redistricting proposal was introduced and enacted, the NC NAACP, through its lawyers and partners, provided legislators with legal opinions which track yesterday's Supreme Court decision. "As a result, they knew or should have known that their redistricting proposal violated the Voting Rights Act and the federal constitution," said Irving Joyner, NC NAACP Legal Redress Chair and Professor at NCCU School of Law. "Despite this information, these legislators chose to ignore the law, as it existed at that point, for the sole purpose of undermining the political voice of African-Americans and other racial minorities. Their redistricting plans, which involved the State Senate, House of Representatives, and Congress, were a part of the same national political agenda and strategy which extremist legislators have sought to impose in other States as occurred in North Carolina and Alabama. The imposition of this extremist agenda has resulted in the illegal elections of legislative officials who have eagerly sought to impose other extremists political policies upon North Carolina citizens. The NC NAACP will continue to fight against these actions in the courts, the legislative parlors and in the streets."

Read more

The NC NAACP Stands Against Hypocrisy and Immorality of the NCGA Made Clear by the Passage of HB2

The constitutional rights of North Carolinians to equal protection under the law in the state and federal constitutions are under attack. 

An estimated 7 people die preventable deaths daily in North Carolina, including veterans, healthcare workers and other working poor people, because the NC General Assembly did not pass Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Tens of thousands of voters have been disenfranchised or burdened by voter suppression laws and the inconsistent implementation of them across the state. 

Hundreds of thousands of working poor North Carolinians are locked into poverty by a minimum wage that doesn't allow them to feed their families and care for their loved ones.

Read more

Open Letter: "The Prosecutor Ought to Be a Minister of Justice; Not Merely Seek Convictions.”

March 24, 2016
Attorney General Roy Cooper
Old Education Building
Raleigh, NC 27699-9001
Dear Attorney General Cooper:
Today, Maundy Thursday, is a day in the Christian Tradition associated with repentance.  It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus, just before he was betrayed, wrongfully arrested and prosecuted, and then executed. This horrific act of injustice led to Easter morning, when hundreds of millions of people celebrate the reversal of the wrongful conviction and the resurrection of the innocent Jesus.
So it is fitting and proper that today we call on your office to do justice in the cases of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith, two men who have spent over half their lives imprisoned unjustly.  It is in the power of the Office of the Attorney General to show leadership in these cases.  As officers of the court, you and your staff have the ethical responsibility of ministers of justice and not simply that of an advocate; your duty is to seek justice, not merely to convict.
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