An image of a person rallying outside a voting rights trial in Winston-Salem
Kimberly Pierce Cartwright / WNCU Public Radio 90.7 FM

The first week of a federal trial challenging North Carolina’s voting regulations is wrapping up in Winston-Salem. The plaintiffs - a group including the U.S. Department of Justice,  the NAACP, and League of Women Voters - aim to prove whether House Bill 589, enacted in 2013 by a Republican-led state legislature discriminated against minority voters.

An image of hands raised
Creative Commons

  From Ferguson to Baltimore, events have unfolded across the country with race at center stage.

American media coverage has reported on protests and investigated lethal altercations between black males and police officers.

Shoebox Lunch
Leoneda Inge

Those re-enacting the historic Voting Rights march from Selma to Montgomery will gather on the steps of the Alabama state capitol today.  The event wraps up more than a week of commemorations marking the 50th anniversary march.  

Photo: A voting ballot
Flickr Creative Commons/ Ken Zirkel

Voting rights advocates argued in a Wake County court on Friday that a new state law requiring voters to show photo identification at polling stations is unconstitutional because it will create a barrier to voting, keeping primarily minorities from the ballot.

The Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, addressed reporters on Tuesday morning.
Reema Khrais

Leaders of North Carolina’s NAACP are expressing their disappointment in the decision to not indict Ferguson, Missouri white officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Reverend William Barber spoke at a press conference in Durham this morning. He said that the decision to not indict Wilson is an indictment of the system itself.

“And we're plagued with it here. It's an indictment, right here, on the system in North Carolina. Racial profiling is real in this state,” he said.

A picture of people in voting booths
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal court judge has issued a preliminary injunction on two portions of North Carolina's new voting law, following a decision from a federal appellate court this week saying the state should allow same-day registration during early voting in this year's election.

Irving Joyner, an attorney with the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, which is challenging the law in court, says that as many as 30,000 African American voters used same-day registration during early voting in the 2012 election.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

A federal appeals court has suspended parts of North Carolina’s new voting law, saying it may disproportionately affect black voters. State lawmakers are already asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the decision.

The ruling will allow voters to register on the same day they cast a ballot during early voting, and to vote outside of their assigned precinct.

Screen shot: Senator Phil Berger 'Protect Voter ID'
Sen. Phil Berger

The North Carolina NAACP is calling on state Senate Leader Phil Berger to stop broadcasting an ad about a new voting law. The civil rights organization says the ad is misleading and could keep some from voting.

It's a political campaign spot airing on TV stations in the Triad. And it gives Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) credit for a 2013 law that changed many rules about voting in North Carolina.

"Now," the narrator says, "thanks to Phil Berger, voters must show a valid ID to vote."

Photo: Fifteen 'Moral Monday' protesters were arrested at the North Carolina Legislative Building on Monday.
Jorge Valencia

Fifteen protesters holding signs calling for North Carolina lawmakers to expand Medicaid and unemployment benefits were arrested after refusing to stop chanting and leave an area outside of the state Senate chambers on Monday night.

The protest, the latest in the "Moral Monday" rallies that started last year, included hundreds of more demonstrators who met behind the state Legislative Building in Raleigh and organized in an area on the second and third floors between the Senate and House chambers.

James Williams
Leoneda Inge

Community organizations and faith-based groups in Durham are calling for a series of measures to help end what they call "racial profiling" by the Durham Police Department.

Representatives of the NAACP, Durham Congregations in Action, Fostering Alternatives in Drug Enforcement -- or FADE -- and several other groups are pushing for five main changes.

Photo: Rosanell Eaton and Mary E. Perry
Jorge Valencia

A federal judge has ruled that challenges to the North Carolina law that requires voters to show identification at polling stations will not be heard until after the mid-term elections of 2014.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joi Elizabeth Peake said in a a hearing Thursday that the law was too complex to be thoroughly reviewed prior to the November elections. Peake scheduled a trial for July 2015.

When NC NAACP President William Barber sparred with state budget director Art Pope about the state’s political policies, it made headlines. The exchange spun off of a press conference where Barber announced plans to picket stores owned by Pope.

Photo: Rev. William Barber of the N.C. NAACP called for pickets outside Rose and Maxwell stores, which are owned by the family of state Budget Director Art Pope.
Jorge Valencia

The Rev. William Barber, who led weekly protests this year against laws passed by North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature, gathered with a few of his supporters Monday outside the state budget office to criticize a man they say supports policies that hurt poor people.

Dale Herman
Leoneda Inge

The people who were arrested at the Moral Monday protests at the state legislature will be recognized Thursday at the annual NAACP state convention.

More than 900 people were arrested during the Moral Monday protests against Republican policy in Raleigh.  One of them was Gann Herman.

“We are part of a growing coalition.  We come from a lot of different organizations and churches," said Gann Herman.

Her husband Dale Herman was also arrested.  He only demonstrated in anti-war demonstrations before this.

NAACP William Barber
Leoneda Inge

The state NAACP has started airing radio ads across North Carolina to educate voters on the new law.  The radio ad features the booming voice of Reverend William Barber – state NAACP president.

“Election day is one time we are all equal, whether you are young or old, rich or poor.  When we vote we all have the same say, that is unless you live in North Carolina," said Barber in this ad.

NC NAACP leader Reverend William Barber speaks to Moral Monday protesters.
Matthew Lenard

Several advocacy organizations have filed suit against the state of North Carolina after Governor Pat McCrory signed broad-based voting reform.  Earlier today, leaders with the NAACP spoke out against the law. Reverend William Barber said it unfairly targets African-American voters.

Rev. William Barber
North Carolina NAACP

Today is the first Monday in thirteen weeks without an NAACP led Moral Monday rally outside the Capitol in Raleigh. But the protests aren’t over. Rev. William Barber, leader of the North Carolina NAACP, says he’s taking Moral Monday on the road, all throughout the state. The road trip starts today in Asheville.

The coalition that Rev. Barber has built over the last few months is entering a new phase, and will be tested. Can it last? And can it win elections? 

Reverend William Barber addresses the Moral Mondays rally at the capitol, NAACP protest
Jessica Jones

151 people were arrested at the General Assembly Monday night. It was the fifth “Moral Monday” demonstration at the legislature, and it was the largest yet.

Police estimate that at least a thousand people crowded the mall behind the building to protest Republican policies on everything from education to tax cuts.  They started gathering on the Halifax Mall late yesterday afternoon.

A woman is arrested at the state capitol as a part of a Moral Mondays protest.

If you've gone to the legislature these past four Mondays, you likely encountered a group of demonstrators singing, chanting, holding hands and raising signs. And a lot of them are getting arrested. Since April 29th, 153 people have been arrested at what the NAACP and other organizers are calling "Moral Mondays."

A group of community members and scholars joined host Frank Stasio on WUNC's The State of Things to talk about the recent arrests, as well as the theory and history behind civil disobedience on a global scale.

William Barber, NAACP
Jessica Jones

Police at the General Assembly in Raleigh arrested 17 protesters Monday evening who were protesting inside the building.

The group, which included state NAACP head Rev. William Barber, was speaking out against a series of Republican-led bills that have been passed recently. Barber says that includes a measure that would require residents to bring photo identification with them to the polls.

The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 often overshadows what may be his most radical crusade. The Poor People’s Campaign in the spring of 1968 was organized by a coalition of predominately Black and Brown organizers working across the color line.

The head of the state's NAACP is asking Governor Perdue to pardon ten activists who were convicted of arson in the midst of racial tensions in Wilmington in 1972. The "Wilmington Ten," as they're known, were set free in 1980. That was after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions, saying the prosecutor and the trial judge had violated the defendants' constitutional rights. But the group has never received an official pardon from the state.

Supporters of a man convicted of murder in Georgia plan to hold a prayer vigil in Wilson tonight.

John McNeil sits today in a Georgia prison. He killed a man he said threatened him and his son at his home in 2005. McNeil was sentenced to life in prison nine months after the incident. The jury went against what police found

Since January, activists, journalists, non-profit workers and others have traveled around North Carolina to meet the state’s impoverished families. The idea behind the “Truth and Hope Putting a Face on Poverty in North Carolina Tour” is to understand those who live below the poverty line as people, rather than as statistics, and to hear their stories. The tour traveled 2000 miles and visited 27 different communities.

Several state groups will hold a summit this weekend to report on poverty in North Carolina.

Documentary: It's very cold. You have people living who don't have food to eat, who don't have jobs to go to.