NCSJP Co-Sponsors Great Schools in Wake County Education Forum

March 20th Event to Feature National Experts and Foster Community Engagement

Raleigh, NC, March 13, 2010 --( On Saturday, March 20th, the North Carolina Social Justice Project (NCSJP) will co-sponsor an important fact-sharing forum that celebrates the strengths of our public schools and addresses the challenges to maintaining national leadership and high student achievement in Wake County. The forum, to be held at the McKimmon Center at NC State University, will run from 8:30am - 12:30pm and is free and open to the public. The forum is organized by the Great Schools in Wake County coalition (GSIW).

GSIW is a growing coalition representing more than 10,000 parents, students, business leaders, taxpayers and civic organizations that advocate for all students in public schools. The coalition is offering this Forum to allow citizens to hear nationally recognized experts share their insights on the key issues affecting the Wake County debate over community versus neighborhood schools, to have the opportunity to ask questions, and to join small group discussions.

“To understand the complex environment of education in Wake County today, the public must understand the repercussions of the actions currently being taken,” said NCSJP Executive Director Kevin Rogers. “We hope that this forum will move that process forward and allow people to hear expert advice and guidance and make an informed decision, instead of being subjected to mindless talking points and name-calling.”

GSIW Forum speakers will include:

- Gerald Grant, Professor Emeritus, Syracuse University and Author of Hope & Despair in the American City: Why There Are No Bad Schools in Raleigh
- Richard Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, Century Foundation
- Bill McNeal, Former Superintendent, Wake County Public Schools
- Caroline Massengill, Past President, Magnet Schools of America; Former Director of WCPSS Magnet Schools
- Benita Jones, UNC School of Law
- Amy Hawn Nelson, UNCC, Dept. of Sociology

“Many people are taking a stand in the current school debate based on emotions, not facts," said GSIW Chair Yevonne Brannon. “We feel it is Great Schools' responsibility to share this important research so that the public can make informed decisions in the interest of all students in Wake County. Some of our newly elected School Board members have indicated that they are unfamiliar with national research on the challenges of high poverty schools. The Forum is a great opportunity for everyone in our community to become well informed and to engage in constructive dialog.”

People wishing to register for the March 20th Forum can visit:


The North Carolina Social Justice Project (NCSJP) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that researches the causes of, solutions to, and advocates for the elimination of, the widespread social inequality among traditionally under-represented groups in North Carolina. While these problems manifest in a variety of ways, NCSJP tackles problems in four major areas: Human Rights, Education, Housing, and Finance. For more information, please visit
North Carolina Social Justice Project
Kevin Rogers