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Approximately 60 NC Racial Equity Network (NC REN) attorneys will be selected to participate in the program. The UNC School of Government’s Indigent Defense Education Group will review applications with the assistance of a selection committee comprised of leaders in state efforts to address racial equity in the criminal justice system. Acceptance into the program signifies an honor, an opportunity, and an ongoing mutual commitment.

Participants will be chosen through a competitive application process based on factors such as criminal justice experience, experience representing indigent clients, demonstrated commitment to racial equity, commitment to the goals of the NC REN, and potential for leadership. North Carolina attorneys who handle criminal cases on behalf of indigent defendants are eligible to apply.

The NC REN will include a combination of public defenders and private attorneys who represent indigent clients. It will include both new and experienced attorneys. The selection committee will value:

  • geographic diversity, with representation from rural and urban areas of North Carolina,
  • diverse educational and professional backgrounds,
  • racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, and
  • demonstrated experience working with diverse client populations.

In order to be selected as member of the NC Racial Equity Network, applicants must agree to the following commitments:

  • Participate in all trainings, which will be one-day seminars scheduled at the UNC School of Government on the following dates: September 15, 2017; December 1, 2017; March 2, 2018; June 1, 2018; September 7, 2018; December 7, 2018.
  • Review materials distributed by the NC Racial Equity Network Project Attorney before each training.
  • Consult regularly (by phone or in person) with the Project Attorney regarding pending cases in which race may be an issue, support needed, strategies implemented, and collaborative efforts under consideration.
  • Share relevant materials for inclusion in the Race Materials Bank.
  • Support the efforts of other NC Racial Equity Network members by providing feedback to network members on ideas and issues.
  • Provide periodic feedback to the Project Attorney about (1) the methods and frequency with which you are using the skills, information, and materials gained via the Racial Equity Network in your cases; (2) the outcomes achieved in such cases; (3) racial equity efforts you have undertaken in your community; and (4) the extent to which you are assisting others with their cases and relevant efforts in their jurisdictions.
  • Obtain the support of the applicant’s supervisor, if any, for making these commitments.


Application Instructions 

Note that you must complete the application in one sitting. Please review the application questions before beginning the application. The application is available at Completed applications and required materials must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on JUNE 22, 2017. Questions about the application should be directed to Emily Coward, Racial Equity Network Project Attorney, at