Defend democracy in the South.

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Abortion, slavery, democracy: How the South's ballot measures fared

November 18, 2022 - Voters across the South weighed in on dozens of high-profile ballot initiatives in this year's general election, directly shaping policy on matters including reproductive rights, prison labor, and ballot measures themselves. In another election to be held next month, Louisiana voters will consider three ballot measures, including one to bar noncitizens from voting in local elections.

VOICES: Why school paddling is legal child abuse

May 4, 2022 - If you've never witnessed or experienced a school paddling, it may be hard to understand how terrifying they are to a child. Yet U.S. public school teachers and principals in 19 states are allowed to beat children with wooden paddles, which originated as a tool to inflict pain on enslaved people without causing permanent injury that might impede their work.

VOICES: On UNC's troubled racial past and present

July 7, 2021 - Geeta N. Kapur, a North Carolina civil rights attorney and UNC-Chapel Hill alumna who has a book coming out in August about the school's fraught racial history, says it should come as no surprise that journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones — a Black woman bold enough to speak truth to power — was initially denied tenure by the school and then granted it only begrudgingly. Tenure would have given her a degree of academic freedom to reveal other truths that some don't want to hear.

Confronting the anti-civil rights filibuster

March 24, 2021 - U.S. senators are currently considering whether to eliminate, reform, or protect the filibuster. The parliamentary procedure that gives the minority outsized power has a long history of being used to undermine civil rights legislation — and it now threatens to derail a bold Democratic agenda that includes voting rights and other pro-democracy reforms.

VOICES: A prayer for Mother Emanuel, and for all of us

June 17, 2020 - This week marks five years since the racist massacre of black worshippers at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. The grim anniversary finds America in turmoil over police violence and a global pandemic that also reveals our racial divisions. While we tend to think our nation's story is always getting better, recent events make that hope hard to sustain, writes South Carolina native John Cooper.