In light of concerns about public school resegregation in counties across the state, the North Carolina Council of Churches has begun work to counter this backward step toward increased racial and economic separation. Issues of resegregation have surfaced in the state’s largest school districts, Wake and Charlotte-Mecklenburg counties, as well Wayne and New Hanover counties and elsewhere.
“Since its start in North Carolina, the Council has worked on issues related to Jim Crow and segregation,” said Executive Director George Reed. “Seventy-five years later, we are reminded that the struggle isn’t over, and that the potential exists to lose valuable ground in the education of all our children.”
Steve Hickle, pastor of Raleigh’s Fairmont United Methodist Church, and Joseph Brown, a Presiding Elder in the A.M.E. Zion Church, are spearheading the Council’s work. Hickle has been closely involved with efforts by clergy and lay people in Wake County to raise awareness about the issue. Brown chairs the Council’s Public Education Committee.
“A sound, equal, public education is a justice issue,” said Reed. “The Supreme Court has ruled against the inherent inequality in any education system separated by race. As people of faith, we will continue to work against systems that separate us.”