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NC Racial Equity Network Receives Award from National Association

Monica Yelverton

The NC Racial Equity Network, housed at the UNC School of Government, was awarded a Program of Excellence Award by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Founded in 1915, UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education.

The award is presented to a non-credit program that improves the quality of teaching and learning at their institution in a unique manner. The program must exemplify the best in instructional design and effectiveness in meeting education needs while improving the quality of teaching and learning at their member institution.

The UPCEA awards recognize the achievements of outstanding institutions and individuals in five regions. The awards for the South region, which comprises 13 states, will be presented at the Association’s South Region Conference held October 11-13 in Richmond, VA.

The Indigent Defense Education Group, housed at the UNC School of Government, created the North Carolina Racial Equity Network (NC REN). NC REN is a diverse group of indigent defense attorneys and others from across the state who have made a commitment to address issues of racial equity in the criminal justice system.

Through their participation in a series of intensive trainings based on a School of Government manual titled Raising Issues of Race in North Carolina Criminal Cases, NC REN members develop the ability to effectively raise meritorious issues of race in criminal cases and join an enduring network of peers who encourage, support, and challenge one another to address such issues.

Continuing Education Coordinator Monica Yelverton administers NC REN, which is supported by a private grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.  Yelverton joined the School of Government in 2015 and previously worked in state government at the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Office of the Governor, and the North Carolina General Assembly.