Community Read

2020 Community Read

The Orange County Human Relations Commission invites the community to read Give Us the Ballot: A Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman.

Give Us the Ballot chronicles the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as it transformed the American democratic process, while counterrevolutionaries sought to suppress voting rights that, “target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision.” In 2013, the Supreme Court declared a key provision of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. As lawmakers continue to devise new strategies to suppress minorities, voting rights the battle over race, representation, and political power rages on as we struggle for voting rights in America.  

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Flyleaf Books co-sponsored the 2020 Community Read! 


"An Evening With Ari Berman"

August 19, 2020

Watch the webinar recording here!

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Listen to author, Ari Berman, discuss his 2015 book Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America, the HRC's 2020 Community Read book, as well as the history of voting rights and continued challenges. He was joined by Diane Robertson, political activist, community organizer, documentary film maker, and resident of Carrboro. Ms. Robertson is also a member of Board of Directors of Democracy NC, political action co-chair of Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP. The Chair of the HRC, Frances Castillo served as moderator for the Q&A portion of the event.

Ari Berman is a senior reporter for Mother Jones and a fellow at Type Media Center. He has written extensively about American politics, voting rights, andthe intersection of money and politics. Berman was the first national reporter to cover voter suppression during the 2012 election, earning widespread acclaim for his coverage and pushing the issue into the national spotlight. His stories have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and The Nation, and he is a frequent guest and commentator on MSNBC, C-Span, and NPR. In 2017, Berman won an Izzy Award for outstanding achievement in independent media.

He is also the author of Herding Donkeys: The Fight to Rebuild the Democratic Party and Reshape American Politics (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2010). He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and political science.


"Community Book Club"

September 13, 2020

Community members gathered for a discussion of this year's chosen book, Give Us the Ballot.

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"Voting During a Pandemic"

September 15, 2020

Watch the webinar recording here!

Presentation slides can be found here! Make sure to share with your friends!

With only a month to go before North Carolinians begin in-person early voting, Sailor Jones of Democracy North Carolina gave the most up to date information about voting in this year's elections.

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