Democrats in Chatham come together every year for our Unity Breakfast – and Covid-19 isn’t going to stop us, even if we must meet virtually. Please join Democrats across Chatham for the 2020 Unity Breakfast on Saturday, September 26th, from 9 am to 11 am. This will be a memorable event in the run up to the most important election of our lifetime. It is especially fitting that our keynote is Professor Gene Nichol, a strong voice opposing the excesses or the reactionary Republican leadership in North Carolina. Chatham County Democrats are always glad to hear Gene Nichol. He is a tireless advocate and voice for the oppressed and for progressive values. Gene Nichol is not afraid of controversy.
CCDP is proud to have him as our keynote at a time when we need the energy and encouragement of advocates such as Nichol who remind us that it is past time for us to act and reclaim our democracy.
Proceeds from this event will support our Get Out The Vote work to ensure the highest turnout possible.
Please consider being a sponsor.
Once you purchase your tickets or sponsorship, CCDP will send you the link for the Zoom event and the program. If you prefer to mail a check, please return this form. Mail registrations must be received by Wednesday September 23.
Our keynote Professor Gene Nichol
Nichol has long been an outspoken champion of the poor. As president of William & Mary, for example, one of his first official actions was to establish a financial aid program that described itself as "for women and men whose academic promise exceeds their economic means" and "who have the desire to attend a world-class university without incurring debt." That commitment continued at Chapel Hill, where he became the director of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which was created in 2005 during Nichol's tenure as the law school's dean. The position took Nichol to communities across the state to learn from poor North Carolinians about their lives.
Nichol also took part in the Moral Monday movement protesting the Republican-led General Assembly's regressive agenda, and he wrote a series of op-eds for the News & Observer of Raleigh condemning legislative assaults on the poor and charging that the GOP ruled as a “white people's party.” After one column about the GOP's push for voter ID laws likened former Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to segregationist Southern governors of the Jim Crow era, the Civitas Institute, a conservative advocacy group, demanded Nichol's email correspondence, phone records, and calendars. Eventually UNC required Nichol to include a disclaimer on his op-eds stating that he doesn't speak for the school.
In 2014, UNC's conservative Board of Governors (BOG), elected by the GOP-controlled General Assembly, launched a review of all of the school's academic centers. In February 2015, amid raucous protest, the BOG voted to close the Poverty Center as well as the Institute for Civic Engagement at historically Black N.C. Central University and East Carolina University's Center for Biodiversity. As UNC law school dean Jack Boger said of the poverty center's closure, "The recommendation rests on no clearly discernible reason beyond a desire to stifle the outspokenness of the center's director, Gene Nichol, who continues to talk about the state's appalling poverty with unsparing candor."
But the BOG couldn't shut down Nichol. In place of the Poverty Center, the UNC law school launched the North Carolina Poverty Research Fund, which continues to provide a platform for Nichol. In 2018, he published "The Faces of Poverty in North Carolina: Stories from Our Invisible Citizens," which moves beyond statistics to tell the stories of individuals struggling in poverty. His latest book, "Indecent Assembly: The North Carolina Legislature's Blueprint for the War on Democracy and Equality," an interrogation of the state's all-white Republican legislative caucuses and their political agenda hostile to the poor, people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ people. The book's forward is by Moral Monday architect and Poor People's Campaign leader Rev. William Barber* and Timothy Tyson, senior research scholar at Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies.
When you purchase tickets or sponsorships please enter the
NUMBER of tictets/sponsorships, NOT the AMOUNT.
If you want one ticket at $35, enter 1.
If you enter 35 (thinking $), you are registering for 35 tickets at $35 each for a total of $1225.
Pittsboro, NC 27312
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