On February 16, the Alamance County NAACP kicked off their latest movement, “Stand Against Countywide Acts of Racial & Immigrant Criminalization” in an event that featured CJPC Executive Director Dawn Blagrove. At this gathering, Blagrove talked to the gathered group of NAACP members about the importance of school-justice partnership support, especially in light of the recently-released racial equity school report card for the Alamance – Burlington school district, published by the Youth Justice Project.

In the report, dramatic racial disparities were found in the Alamance-Burlington school district. Black youth were 3.5 times more likely than white youth to be referred to juvenile delinquency court, while white students in grades 3-8 were 2.3 times more likely to score “Career and College Ready” on end-of-grade exams than Black students.

Blagrove then discussed the Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson’s problematic history of being among the first to join the federal program geared toward identifying undocumented immigrants entering the county jail, often leading to deportation, and housing inmates for ICE. Recently, Johnson requested $2.8 million to be added to his budget to house ICE detainees, saying “immigrants are raping our citizens in many, many ways.”

Blagrove concluded her talk with action items for the attendees, including 1) go to school board meetings and demand an adoption of the school justice partnership, 2) call legislators and demand full funding for raise the age, and 3) visit Sheriff Johnson’s office and demand he implement implicit bias and racial equity training to everyone in the Alamance sheriff department.