SCSJ Digest
The Monthly Newsletter of SCSJ's Top News

Welcome to SCSJ Digest, the monthly newsletter of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice! At the beginning of every month, we'll send you a roundup of the top stories from the previous month, along with relevant updates, e.g., key resources, upcoming events, and noteworthy projects. If you have any recommendations on additional topics you want to read about, please let us know. We hope you enjoy this newsletter!


Letter from the Executive Directors


Student Showcase

Events in December

Top Stories in November 2020

Letter from the Executive Directors
From Allison Riggs and Ryan Roberson

The people have spoken: our next president will be inaugurated on January 20th, and it's up to all of us to ensure a peaceful and orderly transition of power. Despite the raging pandemic, continued protests across the nation, the economic crisis, and deliberate barriers challenging and restricting the voices and votes of people—especially people of color and those already facing economic hardship and racial injustice—voters turned out in record numbers to elect our leaders, and patiently waited for election officials to count every vote.

According to The Washington Post, more Americans voted in the 2020 elections than in any other election in more than 100 years. More than 65 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot, with especially high turnout in several battleground states. In our home state of North Carolina, more than 4.6 million absentee ballots were cast, amongst the 5.54 million total ballots cast, thus leading to 75% voter turnout. On Election Day, we received more than 2,500 calls to our Election Protection Hotline (888-OUR-VOTE), with no significant issues reported at the polls. We are encouraged by these numbers, but we understand that the fight is not yet over. The results from Georgia's Senate runoff election next month will determine which party controls the Senate. If you're a voter in Georgia, please take the time to vote in the runoff election, and let us know the reasons why you're voting!

Finally, today, December 1st, is Giving Tuesday, and we're excited to announce that SCSJ now accepts cryptocurrency donations! Cryptocurrency donations to 501(c)(3) charities are not subject to capital gains taxes and are tax-deductible. As you think about your year-end donations, please consider making a donation to SCSJ.

Thank you for your support this election season and throughout the year—we truly couldn't do this work without you. Thank you to our diligent election officials, poll workers, community partners, organizers, and activists. We will continue to remain vigilant and hopeful for a better future as we move forward together. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season. SCSJ is closed on January 1st, and we'll return the week of January 4th. We'll "see" you in the new year!

In Solidarity,

Allison Riggs and Ryan Roberson

Co-Interim Executive Directors

Key resources, noteworthy projects, etc.

Giving Tree Fundraising Campaign

SCSJ has partnered with Break the Test to participate in this year's Giving Tree Village in Davidson, NC! Hosted by the Rotary Club of Davidson, the annual Giving Tree Village is a unique and festive fundraiser showcasing nonprofits and local businesses as they team up to create this community event focused on giving.

This year, you can vote for SCSJ's Christmas tree online! Voting will be in $5 increments, and each $5 ticket = 5 votes. If you're in Davidson, NC, head over to the Giving Tree Village between Davidson College and Davidson Library to scan the QR code located on our tree, and pick up our one-page flier from the brochure box. The theme of our Christmas tree is "Peace and Justice."

Winners will be announced live on the Rotary Club of Davidson, NC's Facebook page on Saturday, December 12th at 5:00 PM.

Voting will be open from Tuesday, December 1st at 5:00 PM to Friday, December 11th at 9:00 PM. Vote online at

Giving Tree Village_1_resized

SCSJ Now Accepts Cryptocurrency

The Southern Coalition for Social Justice now accepts cryptocurrency! Cryptocurrency donations to 501(c)(3) charities receive the same tax treatment as stocks. They are not subject to capital gains taxes and they are tax-deductible. Please contact your tax or financial advisor for more information. 

All donations made will support SCSJ’s entire mission and will not be designated to a specific team or campaign. Your gift will be used where it is needed most.

To make a donation or to find out more information, visit:


Clean Slate Toolkit Webinar

"You are not the sum of your worst mistakes." This is what Umar Muhammad, a community organizer, said at the beginning of every Clean Slate Clinic that provided information on how to remove eligible charges from a person's record.

We will continue his legacy by empowering marginalized communities with tools to begin the expungement process. Join our Clean Slate Toolkit Webinar on Tuesday, December 15th to learn about the Second Chance Act and other opportunities to remove eligible charges in North Carolina. 

Clean Slate Toolkit Webinar

Date: Tuesday, December 15

Time: 6:00-7:30 PM ET


Umar Muhammad Clean Slate Toolkit Webinar

#MyVoteMyVoice - GA Runoff Election

Georgia voters: are you voting in the Senate runoff election? If so, we want to hear from you! As part of our #MyVoteMyVoice campaign, SCSJ wants to amplify GA voters’ voices through short and compelling videos. If you’d like to be featured in our video campaign, send us a 30-second video on why you’re voting in the runoff election! Everyone who submits a video that meets the guidelines will get a $25 e-gift card. If your video is selected for our campaign, you will get an additional $50 e-gift card! While the deadline to submit videos is today, December 1st, let us know if you need more time to submit your video and we'll be happy to provide an extension.

Submit your videos:

#MyVoteMyVoiceGA Flyer
Student Showcase
Resources created by SCSJ's student volunteers and interns

In our November issue, we introduced our collaboration with NC State University to host six student interns and volunteers. Students have used their unique skills and talents to promote social and racial justice by creating digital, visual, and written content.

SCSJ's Volunteer, Erin Migneco, wrote an Op-Ed on voter disenfranchisement amongst people of color, a blog post on this election's record-breaking numbers, and a blog post on the significance of Georgia's votes. Our Creative Intern, Sarah Curry, has created three visual pieces (including the Giving Tree Village graphic above), while our Design Intern, Emma Daniel, has created a short video on the 2020 Election. See Sarah's artwork below and Emma's video on our website and YouTube channel!

Sarah Art_11.24.2020
Events in December
Follow us on social media to stay up to date and register!

Wednesday, 12/2 - Redistricting and Voting Rights in Alabama

Featuring: Mitchell Brown

Wednesday, 12/2 - League of Women Voters of Virginia's Pre-Session Women's Legislative Roundtable

Featuring: Allison Riggs

Tuesday, 12/15 - Clean Slate Toolkit Webinar

Featuring: Chantel Cherry-Lassiter

Top Stories in November 2020

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4 Articles
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Live election day updates: Election protection hotline receives calls

Published Nov 3, 2020 by Chip Alexander

What you need to know: ▪ Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Anyone who is in line at 7:30 p.m. will be allowed to vote. ▪ Turnout going into the day was more than 4.5 million people. There…
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Free legal help, new toolkit can help freed inmates clear their past criminal convictions

Published Nov 6, 2020 by Ed Crump

People who are trying to turn their lives around and take advantage of our state's new Second Chance Act often face a dilemma. Their old criminal record can keep them in poverty, and they can't afford…
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This Online Tool Could Lead to a Clean Slate for Nonviolent Offenders

Published Nov 11, 2020 by Thomasi McDonald

Before the young activist Umar Muhammad , 30, was tragically killed in a traffic accident in 2017, he had conducted 60 “Clean Slate” clinics across the state, helping thousands of people who were tryi…
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Guilford County Board of Elections officials hold absentee ballot count

Published Nov 13, 2020 by Tess Bargebuhr

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Guilford County Board of Elections spent hours counting approximately 2,000 mail-in votes Thursday, the final day absentee ballots can be accepted in North Carolina. Ten observ…
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