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#HappeningNow: 2021 North Carolina Vigil for Freedom and Racial Justice

What is the Movement About?

A broad coalition of North Carolinians have come together calling for justice, fairness, and second chances for people incarcerated in North Carolina prisons, especially Black people and other people of color. The collective vigil stands in front of the Governor’s mansion each day from sunrise to sunset from December 1st, 2021, until January 1st, 2022. The vigil serves as a forum for compelling narrative- and -personality-driven content, including the real-time commentary of most directly impacted participants. The coalition’s primary demand is that Governor Cooper use his clemency power and all other means to decarcerate immediately. In a letter to Governor Cooper, they stated “We stand vigil to call for decisive action to decarcerate North Carolina and stop the use of imprisonment as a catch-all response to societal harms, which is consistent with the recommendations of your Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC). We hold vigil to advocate for the immediate release of those who are ill, the elderly, those in prison for technical violations of parole, and those who were incarcerated as children, as well as to commute the death sentences of those on death row whose trials were unconstitutionally affected by racial bias.”

How Can You Get Involved?

The North Carolina Vigil for Freedom and Racial Justice began on December 1st, 2020 and will go through January 1st, 2022. You can participate by adding your name to the list of people and organizations calling for an end to mass incarcerated in North Carolina at or by joining the Relay for Release and Decarceration around the Governor's mansion. As part of the Vigil, they have a goal of walking 3,000 laps around the Executive Mansion. That is roughly one lap for every 10 people currently incarcerated in North Carolina prisons.


200 N. Blount St Raleigh, NC 27601

For more information, go to and/or watch the mini-documentary on the 2020 Vigil for Freedom and Racial Justice

Researched by Crystal Poole, NC-CURE Intern

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