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Deadline Extended for NC Racial Equity Network Applications

Applications for the second class of the NC Racial Equity Network (NC REN) are now due June 22, 2017. NC REN is group of North Carolina indigent defense attorneys dedicated to addressing issues of racial equity through a combination of individual case work, support and mentoring of fellow indigent defenders, and collaborative efforts with community members, court actors, and criminal justice officials. Those who are selected to take part in the Network will attend a series of trainings, at no charge and with travel reimbursement and CLE credits provided, based on the manual, Raising Issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases, and will receive a free copy of the manual as well as consultations on their cases that involve issues of race.

North Carolina attorneys who handle criminal cases on behalf of indigent clients are eligible to apply. Members of NC REN will be selected through a competitive application process described in the Racial Equity Network Application. On the fence about applying? Consider this testimonial from one of the NC REN attorneys in our inaugural cohort:

“I was fortunate to be able to attend the NC REN trainings over the last two years and found them extremely beneficial and rewarding. Assistant Public Defender Yolanda Fair in the Buncombe office also attended the trainings. [NC REN] provided invaluable information about jury selection issues, motions to suppress, money bail, cross racial identification, open police data, sentencing issues, plus much more. The program has helped me broaden my toolbox in regards to raising important issues of race in the courtroom and helped me to become more comfortable raising issues of race. Participating in NC REN has helped me be a better advocate for my clients. It also empowered Yolanda and I to help gather the support of stakeholders in Buncombe County to come together for a great implicit bias training that was recently held here in Buncombe County with the help of the UNC School of Government and the Z Smith Reynolds Foundation. I highly recommend the training[.]”

-LeAnn Melton, Buncombe County Chief Public Defender

Please direct any questions regarding the NC REN program or application process to Emily Coward, NC REN Project Attorney, at

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