A few years ago, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Sociology Professor Judith Blau and her teaching assistant Rafael Gallegos were at Abbey Court Apartments complex in Carrboro, NC. They were passing out flyers on behalf of the Latino cultural organization El Centro when they were nearly run off by the police. The irony of the situation – that the Abbey Court neighborhood has a high density of immigrants who need support and services and that Abbey Court had the highest crime rate in Carrboro and a hostile relationship with the police department – was not lost on Blau.
She rented an apartment in Abbey Court, started a nonprofit and opened the Chapel Hill and Carrboro Human Rights Center. Today the Center occupies two Abbey Court apartments, has a thriving afterschool program, houses many community empowerment programs. Judith Blau, Rafael Gallegos and Nancy Hilburn, who runs the afterschool program at the Human Rights Center, join host Frank Stasio to talk about their successful fight for human rights at Abbey Court.