Thoughts after submitting our “Humanitarian Awards” news release…

Last Wednesday night, my husband finished editing and handed my draft for the “Hats Off” newspaper submission back to me. “You need an ‘s’ on finalists in the first paragraph, but what I really notice,” he pointed out, “is how many names are in this report.” Yes, the newspaper story submitted Thursday this week had oodles of names—but, too many?

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Education Forum: Monday Sept 21 @ 6pm

empty classroom with chalkboard

Are you interested in affordable college for your children or grandchildren? Do you think all young children deserve quality, age-appropriate early educational opportunities? Should high school students have up-to-date textbooks? Can your child receive the education she deserves in an over-crowded classroom? Our Branch will hold its first annual Education Forum on Monday, September 21, in the Community Room at

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Bernie Sanders and Me—and All the Rest of Us Privileged White People

This past week, Bernie Sanders got caught with his white foot in his mouth. Of the current presidential aspirants, Sanders is probably the one I admire most. I hadn’t expected such insensitivity from this consistently liberal and intelligent politician. On economic and many other issues, he represents me well. I gasped as I heard his brusque reply to the Black

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The Flag of Southern Reconciliation

Flag of Southern Reconciliation

“Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history – we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.” Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney (1973-2015) I’ve been driving around my hometown of Sylva as of late and have seen many men driving around in pickups flying the “Confederate” flag. Recently, President Obama visited Oklahoma and was greeted by

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It’s in the blood: why our need to protest has a biological basis.

Winston-Salem March for Voting Rights 2015

I joined over 6000 people at the rally and march for voter rights in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, yesterday. This was organized by the NC NAACP to coincide with the opening of the court case against the 2013 voter law that fundamentally changed the way people vote in this state and arguably was structured to discourage people of color, people of

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Flags and songs that bring us together or tear us apart

The flag of post-apartheid South Africa integrates the colors of the African National Congress, Dutch Tricolor, Union, and Transvaal vierkleur. Can we raise a unifying flag over the American South?

Have you ever heard the national anthem of South Africa? It’s an amazing piece that integrates five languages (Xhosa, Zulu, Sesotho, Afrikaans and English) and the anthems of the black liberation movement (“Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika”) and the former white-dominated regime (“Die Stem van Suid-Afrika”). I believe it’s the only national anthem that begins and ends in different keys. Listening to

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