This spring Dawn Blagrove, the Executive Director of Emancipate NC joined our board of directors. We’ve highlighted some of her amazing work with justice involved individuals in NC through our social media, but we really wanted to take the time to tell you why we value her organizations work so much.
Dawn is an attorney and a graduate of the North Carolina Central School of Law. She uses her expertise to fight mass incarceration and highlights what structural racism looks like and how we can dismantle it. She is able to translate the pain the community is facing, and recommend real policies that make change.
Emancipate NC has focus areas in bail reform, ending youth confinement, subverting structural racism and restorative justice. The organization was founded on the knowledge that mass incarceration and structural racism harm all of us; that prison is state-sponsored violence, and that we are all complicit in its harms.
Dawn has spoken at many events recently that have drawn a spotlight on police violence and how it affects Black communities. Recently the organization has been drawing attention to the overcrowding of NC prisons and jails, and how little or no precautions have been put into place to protect inmates from COVID-19.
On August 15, Emancipate NC joined a panel of Intergenerational activists to discuss “the struggle then and now.” The powerful segment connected the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s to today’s Black Lives Matter activism and protests. A Zoom panel was brought together with experienced activists from different generations.
Dawn acknowledges that young activists in 2020 want to make great change, however some guidance is necessary to help them channel that energy not just in the streets, but also into policies. She stated: “Today’s young activists still have the same passion. It comes from the same place. There are some truly revolutionary ideas that are being put forth by many in this movement. However, there is a steep learning curve about how to take those ideas and revolutionary thoughts and transform them into policies and put them into place.”
Dawn recognizes that there are many solutions to the problems we face, not just one. “What we are seeing now is a whole wide array of different ideas and radical thoughts about how to address a problematic system of institutional and structural racism. Options run the gamut from total abolition to various reforms. The reality is that all of those options exist on the same continuum. There is space for all of them and there will be a time for all of them.”
The organization has also shared important information on more ways you can seek help besides calling 911, pushing for the end to evictions during COVID-19 and advice on how to protest.