The Race & Social Justice Institute

People have lived in what is now New Hanover County for tens of thousands of years. What does our history mean, and how does it change when we begin to take everybody’s history into account?

Race & Social Justice Institute header

Over the course of the institute, we explore some of the ways ideas about race and racism have shaped our community’s past and present, and end with a conversation of where we are today, and what steps we can take as a community to promote social justice and equity.

History Matters –Making Sense of our Racial History In week one, after a brief overview of the region’s history by Dr. Jan Davidson (Cape Fear Museum), panelists share some of the ways they see the history of race and racism in action in the county and city. We discuss why it’s important to understand the past in all of its complexity.


Segregation, Desegregation, and Civil Rights (From 1898 to the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s & 1960s) In Week 2, we examine rise and fall of legally-sanctioned racial segregation. Learn about local efforts to desegregate the schools, and the effects of county school board decisions on the community. Join educators and activists who lived through these turbulent times as they share their memories and insights into segregation, desegregation, and activism in Civil Rights era Wilmington.


The End of Legally Sanctioned Segregation – From the Wilmington 10 to Re-gaining a Seat in Government In our third week, we focus on our history in the 1970s and beyond. We explore the Wilmington 10 case and how opportunities in the county changed after the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. Hear from two of the members of the Wilmington 10, and from local political leaders and community activists.


Where do we go from here? In our final week, we wrap up our exploration of history with a special presentation of a video, The Front Lines with an introduction by the film’s Executive Producer, Mike Williams. Hear from Linda Thompson on the state of the county today. Then a panel of special guests discuss the question, “where do we go from here?”


Sponsored by: The NHC Office of Diversity & Equity and the Cape Fear Museum

Originally broadcast February 2, 9, 16 & 22.

Office of Diversity & Equity: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 120 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-7430 • Fax 910-798-7429
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