Learning Center

Learning Center

Statue of Liberty

The Learning Center offers a way to stay abreast of current topics about our government, voting rights, and the state of our democracy.  This page serves as a library for past lectures and virtual events that have been put on by the League. 

Library of Events

  • Redistricting and the Impacts of New State Maps. November 1, 2023

Rep. Robert Reives, the Minority Leader in the state House of Representatives, shared his insights on redistricting and the impacts of new state maps for Congress and the state senate and state house. The new maps will go into effect for the upcoming election in 2024. Reives represents Chatham County, a portion of Randolph County, and serves on the House Redistricting Committee. View Youtube video of this event.
  • Voting changes Under Consideration by the NC General Assembly. Oct. 11, 2023

Representative Marcia Morey discussed the impact of extensive new voting changes in Senate Bill 747 and Senate Bill 749 that would go into effect January 1, 2024. The provisions in these bills will greatly impact how elections are administered in NC both at the state and county levels. Representative Morey has represented Durham in the General Assembly for 3.5 terms. Prior to running for the legislature, she served as the Chief District Court Judge in Durham. View Youtube video of this event.

  • Do We Need the Power of Citizen's Initiatives. May 4, 2023

Many states that have successfully reformed redistricting have done so through citizens' initiatives. Citizens' initiatives may be used to amend the constitution, repeal or amend an existing law, or adopt (or require the legislature to adopt) an entirely new law. This mechanism involves collecting signatures to put a proposed reform on the ballot without going through the legislature. It is currently not an option in North Carolina. The guest speaker was Dr. Asher Hildebrand, Associate Professor of the Practice, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University. View the Youtube video of this event.

Students in the Master of Public Policy Program at Duke University authored Investigating Citizen Initiative Process for North Carolina Voters, for the league. This Duke policy team provides best practices in this report and recommends components for designing a citizen initiative process that could empower North Carolina voters. 

  • How the Court System Works. April 19, 2023  

We heard from our three distinguished judges below, who discussed the basics of the court system, how cases come to them, how changing laws affect cases, obstacles to obtaining justice, and what happens once a ruling is handed down. Learn more from the Youtube video of this event.

    • Judge Allen Baddour of the Chatham and Orange Counties’ Superior Court
    • Judge Samantha Cabe of the Chatham and Orange Counties’ District Court
    • Judge Shamieka Rhinehart of the Durham Superior Court.
  • The State of Our Democracy Spring Lecture Series: The Electoral College anYour Vote. January 5, 2023

The President of the Asheville-Buncombe County League of Women Voters and leader of the National Popular Vote Action Team, Suzanne Fisher Ph.D, discussed and explored how using the popular vote affects the US presidential elections. She compared the merits of the Electoral College to direct election through popular vote for the President. In this YouTube video of the meeting, she discussed the:

    • History and purpose of the Electoral College
    • Interactions of our Electoral College System
    • Effects of battleground state campaigning
    • Changes in our voting process over time
    • The National Popular Vote effort
  • LWVODC Special Happy Hour & Hot Topics - What Happens After You Vote? November 2, 2002

Participants viewed and discussed What Happens After You Votea video created by the League of Women Voters of North Carolina that explains the post-election process to further voters’ understanding of how ballots are counted and how election results become official in the days after the polls close. The objective of the video – as well as a YouTube playlist consisting of excerpts from the longer video – is to help citizens feel confident in the election process and to counter messaging that causes voters to doubt the integrity of the elections process.

  • LWVODC Happy Hour & Hot Topics - Voting in NC & Vote 411. September 21, 2022

Krishna Mondal, ODC Voter Service Chair, discused current NC voting procedures, laws, apps and the details about VOTE411 and how to use it on your computer and/or smart phone. To view this important LWVODC Zoom discussion view this YouTube video.

  • LWVODC Celebrates It's 75th Anniversary! September 15, 2022

LWVODC’s celebrated it's long history of accomplishments and renewed it's commitment to the League’s mission of "Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy." Our guest speaker was Deborah Ann Turner, MD, JD, currently serving as the 20th President of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS). Learn more about the presentations at the ceremony by viewing the YouTube video of this exciting event.

  • Post-Roe Roadmap: Where do we go from here? August 17, 2022

Jillian Riley, NC Director, Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, provided an update on what is happening now with abortion within NC and the impacts on providers, such as Planned Parenthood. Learn more about the meeting by viewing the YouTube video of the event.

  • Why We Can’t just Get Along: The Partisan Divide in a Period of Intense Polarization. May 18, 2022

Dr. Marc Hetherington, Raymond Dawson Distinguished Bicentennial Professor of Political Science at UNC, was the guest speaker for this Zoom event.  His areas of specialization are public opinion about polarization and trust in government. He has published several books and a range of articles on these subjects over the last 25 years and won several teaching awards. His Curriculum Vitae. He provided insight as to why Americans could not unite when faced with a pandemic and shared ways that we can work together to overcome our differences. Learn more about the meeting by viewing the YouTube video of the event.

  • A View From the Top: Local Superintendents Discuss School Budgets & Resources. April 27, 2022 

The LWVODC Public Education Action Team hosted a virtual panel discussion with superintendents representing local district PK-12 public schools.
    • Dr. Nyah Hamlett, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Superintent
    • Dr. Anthony Jackson, Chatham County School Superintent
    • Dr. Pascal Mubenga, Durham Public School Superintent
    • Dr. Monique Felder,Orange County School Superintent

They discussed how school budgets are created and approved, and how spending is connected to educational quality and equity. Learn more about the meeting by viewing the YouTube video of the event.   .  

  • Our Rights, Our Democracy:  A Two-Part Series on Reproductive Rights and theSupreme Court. March 29 - 31, 2022

    • Rebecca Kreitzer, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill spoke on March 29 about Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights.  Her session provided a history of the legal struggles regarding reproductive rights, statistics on current views, the impacts on women of different socio economic backgrounds andmuch more. You can view her presentation on YouTube
    • A history and in-depth look at the US Supreme Court was provided by Whitney Manzo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Political Science at Meredith College on March 31. She answered questions like who/how the Supreme Court was given the right to determine the constitutionality of cases and whether or not politics is a recent phenomenon with regard to the Court. Her presentation at can be viewed on YouTube
  • Let’s Talk Civics: Get to Know your Local Government. February 22, 2022

Mayor Elaine O'Neal of Durham, Mayor Jenn Weaver of Hillsborough, and Mayor Cindy Perry of Pittsboro spoke about how local government runs, decisions made, funding resources, citizen involvement, etc. Learn more about the meeting by viewing the YouTube video of the event.  

  • Helping First Offenders Find an Alternative to Jail and Police Record, February 16, 2022

Caitlin Fenegan, Director, Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department, discussed the mission of the department to safely reduce unnecessary pretrial incarcerations, increase jail alternative and diversion opportunities, reduce number of individual behavieral health issues facing justice involvement and incarceraties, reduce recidivism, reduce racial and economeic disparities, and to increase public safety by previding treatment and support for individuals lnvolved in the Orange County criminal justice system. Learn more about the meeting by viewing this YourTube video of the event.

  • Voting in Chatham County, February, 10, 2022 

The Chatham County Board of Elections' staff discussed how the department operates, the challenges they face, and how they provide complete information on voting in the county.  Learn more about the meeting by viewing the Chatham County BOE's slides and/or a YouTube video of the event. 
  • Sound Basic Education for All: The Leandro Ruling. Nov. 17, 2021

Lynn Edmonds, Out Reach Director, Public Schools First NC, discussed the background on the Leandro ruling, the Leandro action plan, the impact of implementation on school district's budget, the challenges, and the next steps. The Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools PTA Council was a cosponsor for this event. Resources:

Mr. Kokou Nayo, Church World Service, presented the process of refugee resettlement in the US. In addition, he reviewed the resources the Church World Service offers refugees to help them adjust to a new and very different home, including helping them attain citizenship and voting rights in the US. The Church World Service is one of the organizations working to settle Afghan refugees in the RTP area. YouTube video of the presentation
  • Chapel Hill/Carrboro Board of Education Candidate Forum. Sept. 28, 2021

LWVODC co-sponsored this virtual forum along with the Chapel Hill/Carrboro PTA Council, Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, El Centro Hispano, and the CHC Association of Educators. A video of the Zoom forum is on the PTA Council FaceBook page and can be viewed here as well.
  • Redistricting 2021. Sept. 14, 2021

Dr. Jennifer Bremer, LWVODC Redistricting Team Leader, gave an update on the NC redistricting process, including what the NC legislators have been up to, what to expect with the coming redrawing of districts, what is in store for our 3 counties, and where and how you can speak up. YouTube video of this virtual Happy Hour and Hot Topic's meeting. 

  • Town Hall with the Chatham County Sheriff's Deptartment. Sept. 9, 2021 

The Chatham county Unit sponsored an informational evening for members and the general public on how the Sheriff’s department serves and protects the residents of Chatham county. Sheriff Mike Roberson discussed how the department is funded, the geographic area they serve, the challenges they face and more during this virtual town hall. YouTube video of the virtual Town Hall.
  • Spring 2021 Lecture Series on The State of Our Democracy.

    Videos on YouTube

    1. American Democracy: Neither Fragile nor Robust but the System Held.  Speaker: Frank Rogers,  Meredith College:  Adjunct Professor History and Political Science. April 7, 2021.
    2. Partisan Evolution: Race, Gender and American Politics. Speaker: Suzanne Globetti,  UNC – Chapel Hill:  Associate Professor of Political Science. Dr. Globetti's slide presentation.  April 13, 2021. A video is not available for this presentation.
    3. For the Living and Not the Dead: The US Constitution, Then and NowSpeaker: Whitney Manzo,  Meredith College:  Associate Professor of Political Science. April 20, 2021 
    4. The State of Our Media. Speaker: Philip Napoli, Duke University, James R. Shepley Professor of Public Policy. April 27, 2021
    5. America’s Struggle Over Voting Rights: Lessons from North Carolina. May 4, 2021. Speakers: Robert Korstad,  Duke University, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and James Leloudis,  UNC-CH, Department of History, Associate Dean for Honors; Director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence
Recommended resources discussed by Dr. Napoli and Dr. Korstad during their presentations:
      • Fragile Democracy: The Struggle Over Race and Voting Rights in North Carolina A powerfully-told story of how the right to a living wage, quality education, decent housing, and more is directly affected by who votes. And that knowledge is at the root of epic struggles for democracy.
      • Visit the Exhibit: Silent Sam, the Confederate Monument at the University of North Carolina stood at the north entrance to the Chapel Hill campus for more than 100 years. What meaning did it have for the men and women who placed it there? Why does it matter today, as Americans confront deep-seated problems of racial inequity and injustice? Explore these questions and more in this digital exhibit.

We will discuss the electoral college (our current process for conducting presidential elections) and explore how using the popular vote affects presidential elections. The President of the Asheville-Buncombe County League of Women Voters and leader of the National Popular Vote Action Team, Suzanne Fisher Ph.D., will explore the merits of the Electoral College compared to direct election through popular vote for the President of the United States. Registration is required. Please register by 5:00 pm on January 4th so that we may send you a link to this Zoom event.

Dr. Fisher will examine:

    • History and purpose of the Electoral College
    • Interactions of our Electoral College System
    • Effects of battleground state campaigning
    • Changes in our voting process over time
    • The National Popular Vote effort