Chief Justice Beasley Knows Civic Engagement Works – GDN Exclusive, Vol. 3 Part 1by Cash Michaels, GDN Contributing Writer January 13, 2020
It was a year ago next month, on February 12th, 2019, that Governor Roy Cooper made history by appointing NC Associate Justice Cheri Beasley as the 29th Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court – the first African American woman ever to do so in its 200-year history.
From her first day, Chief Justice Beasley has worked hard not only to make sure that the state’s highest court was the fairest arbiter of justice, but that North Carolina’s statewide court system – all 6,500 elected officials and employees, and 102 courthouses – appropriately addressed the legal needs of all of its citizens with the proper tools available to do so.
But since taking office, her commitment doesn’t stop there. Beasley also sees the Judiciary – a coequal branch of state government – as a prime participant in addressing the pertinent issues affecting the average citizen.
This is achieved, she says, by working diligently in partnership with schools and faith-based institutions on issues like the opioid crisis, juvenile justice, and rerouting students from the school to prison pipeline “…to help make our communities successful,” she told a gathering recently.
Chief Justice Beasley is also telling crowds statewide – large and small – that she is running this year to be officially elected to the seat Governor Cooper appointed her to last year.
Indeed, her campaign website is up and running, and the Democrat officially filed as a candidate prior to the December 20th deadline, as did her opponent, Republican NC Associate Justice Paul Newby.
So, as she told GDN last year, the issue of voting has always been very important to Justice Beasley. And in an election year as dynamic as this one, she prays that the community, especially young people in our Black Student Unions and HBCUs, get registered, learn the issues, and mobilize to exercise their hard-fought for right of citizenship.
“It is the people’s voice for electing the [officials] who they want to serve them,” Beasley told GDN about voting. “So, when people are working in their communities, concerned about the issues that affect so many of us, it is important that we always be informed and [be involved in] whatever process is available.”
That will certainly be the focus, if not the spirit, for the 2020 “A Call to Colors (ACTC) Voter Mobilization Forum – a civic engagement event focusing on educating, organizing and mobilizing young people to get registered and voting for the 2020 elections – scheduled for Saturday, January 25th, in Greenville, NC. Complete forum details and registration are at www.greaterdiversity.com .
Sponsored by Greater Diversity News (GDN) and the Pitt County HBCU Coalition, the forum will feature guest presenters the Honorable Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC-1), and Dr. Everett B. Ward, Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the National Pan Hellenic Council. The purpose of “A Call to Colors” is to institutionalize voter mobilization and civic engagement.
Admission is free to the public. Donations and sponsors are welcomed and needed.
For more information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org . And sign-up for our free eNews to keep-up with ACTC at greaterdiversity.com .