“Racist Roots: Origins of North Carolina’s Death Penalty” Screening & Panel Discussion

In Home, Queens University, Racial Justice, Social Justice by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

Please join us the evening of May 11 for a powerful documentary film, Racist Roots, and a panel discussion with community experts and advocates, followed by dessert and coffee.  The event is free and open to the community.

The 25-minute documentary reveals the North Carolina death penalty’s deep entanglement with slavery, lynching, and racism — and inspires people to join the movement to transform the criminal legal system. It includes the stories and voices of advocates, artists, exonerees, and people on North Carolina’s death row.

Racist Roots is a project of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, in collaboration with scholars, advocates, historians, artists, poets and people directly affected by the death penalty.  It aims to place North Carolina’s modern death penalty within the context of 400 years of history and to expose its connection to the aims of white supremacy.

Panelists include:

Henderson Hill

Henderson Hill was the founder and first director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, NC. He previously worked as a public defender in Washington, D.C., as a partner at the civil rights law firm Ferguson Stein Chambers, and as director of the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina. He served as founding director of the 8th Amendment Project, and most recently served as senior counsel at the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Henderson is currently co-director of the initiative RedressNC.

Alfred Rivera 

Alfred Rivera was born in Brooklyn, New York, but he has deep roots in Puerto Rico. When he was 20 years old he moved to Winston Salem to live with family members after his mother died. Alfred had already suffered the loss of his father to homicide when he was just 4 years old. In 1997, Alfred was sentenced to death in Forsyth County for a crime he did not commit. Four people were executed during his time on North Carolina’s death row. In 1999, he won a new trial and was acquitted. Alfred lives in Concord, NC, where he runs a food truck business and works as the Lived Experience Coordinator for the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Prof. Gregory Mixon

Dr. Mixon is history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, teaching in the Department of History, Department of Africana Studies, and American Studies Program. Dr. Mixon teaches African American, Southern, and United States History and racial violence with a research focus on the years 1860 to 1930. The author of multiple books and articles, Dr. Mixon is the Co-Director of The Quest for Freedom: The African American Community and the Aftermath of Slavery, 1865-1954, NEH Summer Institute in Thomasville, Georgia, July 9-15, 23-29, 2023. He served during fall 2021 as the Interim Director of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Center for the Study of the New South. He was the spring 2019 Fulbright Fellow and Research Chair in North American Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada serving as Visiting Professor of History in the Department of History. He is additionally the author of The Atlanta Riot: Race, Class, and Violence in a New South City (University Press of Florida 2005), and is currently working on a comparative study of black militiamen in North Carolina and South Carolina, 1865 to 1898. Dr. Mixon is also a founding member of the Romare Bearden Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Rodney Sadler, Jr., moderator

Dr. Sadler is Associate Professor of Bible and director of the Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation at Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte Campus). He is a graduate of Howard University, Howard University School of Divinity, and earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Biblical Archaeology from Duke University.

The event is sponsored by Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice, Coalition for Truth and Reconciliation, Freedom Fighting Missionaries, NAACP Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Myers Park Baptist Church, Reimagining America Project, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, and the Stan Greenspon Holocaust and Social Justice Education Center.

Details and Registration:

Time: Thursday, May 11, 6:30 – 7:45 pm

Place: Queens University, Greenhoot Recital Hall in the Gambrell Center; 2319 Wellesley Ave., Charlotte, NC, 28274

RSVP/Registration:  https://tinyurl.com/mte4638t

For more information, contact Judy Schindler, Schindlerj@queens.edu


Leave a Comment