In honor of National Voter Registration Day and the upcoming 2020 General Election, I wanted to remind all of our readers the importance of voting in this election, and registering to vote on time.
Voter turnout in America is lower than in any other democracy across the world. As American citizens we can ensure our own representation by getting out to vote. Young adults have the lowest voter turnout rate, leaving us and our interests underrepresented. Fight for change by getting out to vote. Voting in the General Election is especially important for North Carolina residents. North Carolina is a swing state. Electoral votes, cast by electors who represent the N.C. popular vote (our citizen votes) have a direct impact on the outcome of the presidential election. As citizens, our vote has the power to determine the next U.S. president. State and local elections are equally important. They give all citizens the chance to impact their local schools, give attention to issues that matter, how North Carolina is represented federally, and more. It’s important that all citizens are aware of the candidates and issues and vote according to their best interest.
In North Carolina, you can update your voter registration or register for the first time in-person during the early voting period only. On voting day, November 3rd, N.C. does not allow individuals to register in-person. Be sure to register to vote prior to November 3rd if you are planning to vote on that day. If you are unsure whether you are registered correctly, check your voter registration card or visit NCSBE.gov to ensure you are ready to go for election day.
Voting in North Carolina
Early voting in North Carolina begins October 15th and ends October 31st. You can find your in-person polling place located on your voter registration card or online at NCSBE.gov. North Carolinians can also request mail-in ballots up until the deadline of October 27th, also on the NCSBE website. North Carolina law gives voters the right to receive assistance in casting their ballots if necessary. If you or a loved one has a disability or otherwise needs assistance, please notify a poll worker. To find out more about North Carolina candidates, check the NCSBE website for a list of them, including local candidates. Websites like ISideWith.com and BallotReady.org list the candidates which will be on your ballot, and the candidates’ positions on important issues. Lastly, if you have trouble with any part of the voting process, check out IWillVote.com. It helps direct you to voting information based on your needs.
November 3rd is right around the corner, so you know what that means: It’s voting season! No matter what your political beliefs are, voting is an incredibly essential part of sustaining our democracy. It is one of the only ways that we can have a direct say in who gets to be our political leaders.
This year, voting may look a bit different because of the current circumstances surrounding the virus. More people than ever are turning to absentee voting to avoid crowds at the polls. There has been a lot of turmoil and misinformation spread around voting by mail, so let’s break down the process and terms:
Absentee Ballot/Voting: This refers to a mail-in ballot that can be requested by an individual who cannot make it to their polling place for whatever reason. To request an absentee ballot in NC, you DO NOT have to be out of your state, county, or polling area. You can request an absentee ballot for any circumstance and you do not have to provide a reason.
Mail-In Ballot/Voting: This is a BROAD TERM that refers to all forms of sending in ballots by mail. In some states (not NC), voters are automatically sent a ballot through mail and they can send this back or drop it off at their local election office. In those states, absentee voting means a person is out of the state or country. However, in most circumstances absentee voting and mail-in voting are interchangeable terms.
How to Vote in NC:
Step 1: Register to Vote (First-Time Voters)
You can register to vote online! There are several ways to do this and many websites that assist with this. You must submit these applications 25 days before an election, or October 9.
1. Method One: Fill out this application and mail it to your local election office. All the addresses are on the last page of the application.
2. Method Two: You may already be registered to vote if you have a NC Driver’s License. You can also fill out an online application through the DMV’s website as well.
3. Method Three: Lots of third-party websites have voter registration tools as well. Vote.org is a great place to register to vote online the same way you would through the NC voting website. Using reliable websites like these creates the same outcome as using the first two methods.
4. Method Four: If you decide to do in-person early voting, you can register on site. You must have an ID or a document that shows your full name and current address to register to vote in person early.
Step 2: Update Your Registration (Experienced Voters)
1. If you are unsure if you are registered to vote or if your address is updated, you can look up your registration using this tool.
2. If you need to update your address, you can use the DMV’s registration tool or the mail-in application tool (both mentioned above).
3. You can also update your address on site if you decide to do early voting in-person.
Step 3: Voting
If you decide to vote IN PERSON, there are two way to do so:
1. Early Voting: Begins 19 days before the election (October 15) and ends 3 days before the election (October 31)
2. Election Day Voting: This is November 3!
(Note that you DO NOT need any sort of ID if you vote in person, unless you are registering to vote on-site. You can only register to vote on site during early voting.)
If you decide to vote ABSENTEE, here is the process for that:
1. This year, you can fill out an absentee ballot request form online here. You can also fill out a paper copy here and return it by mail, email, or fax to your local election office OR drop it off in person. Whichever you choose, they must be received seven days before November 3, or October 27 at 5pm.
2. Starting September 4, absentee ballots will be mailed to voters who requested them. Fill out your ballot.
3. You can return the ballot to your county board of elections office through the mail, in person, or at an early voting site. These must be received by 5pm on November 3.
All information from this blog was found from these sources. For additional information, you can visit these links!
In the face of the continued push toward police reform based on further violence against the Black community by law enforcement officers, it is important we are all continuing to educate ourselves about the issues and how we can advocate for others. In July I published a blog post with a list of podcasts that are great educational resources, and I wanted to create a continuation including more great podcasts I’ve discovered since. I hope you check these out and enjoy them.
This show, hosted by Angela Glover Blackwell, consists of “stories and solutions that are fueling change.” The podcast covers a wide variety of interesting and important topics but especially relating to the movement is episodes like “Police Abolition” and “Reparations” which focus on police misconduct and the possibility of reparations for Black Americans.
Code Switch by NPR
A podcast all about race and racism and how these impact society. It’s also hosted by journalists of color. I recommend “Why Now, White People?” and “Anger: The Black Woman’s ‘Superpower’”, both episodes are really well-done. All in all this is a great podcast to dive into racial issues, politics, and culture.
This podcast focuses on political theory, philosophy, and current events from a typically left perspective, but is well-rounded in terms of its partisanship. I recommend the episodes “Abolish the Police” and “Police Brutality & State Violence.”
Stay In Your Lane: The Podcast
This podcast focuses on a different perspective, giving conversational-style entertainment about news and pop culture from the perspective of Black British women.
These podcasts are available on Spotify and other podcast platforms. Happy listening!
As a frequent traveler, I spend a lot of my time traveling by car or plane, often alone. Traveling is exciting but the journey is not always entertaining – but one of the greatest modern inventions is the podcast, which can keep you company wherever you are. Hopefully this list will help you find your new favorite podcast.
My Favorite Murder
This podcast really introduced me into the world of podcasts and helped me discover other great ones. The show is a national phenomenon covering true crime murder cases. It’s a very casual show and you can definitely jump right in to any episode and find some interesting stories. The hosts are excellent storytellers and are very likable.
This podcast is hosted by Rhett and Link, both former NC State students and creators of the “Good Mythical Morning” YouTube show. Their Ear Biscuits podcasts mainly consists of the pair discussing their interesting lives and past experiences. Lots of great stories and one of the funniest podcasts out there.
Last Podcast On The Left
This series covers “all the horrors our world has to offer.” The episodes are always interesting and cover topics ranging from UFO sightings to true crime to cults. The hosts give informative accounts on a lot of cool topics and it makes for easy listening.
This great podcast compares common ideas about topics against actual data, science, and interviews. Often the actual data conflicts with common thought and the podcast helps bring out direct facts backed by scientists and legitimate experiments. My favorite episodes are the two on immigration and guns, which really challenge American perceptions about the topics.
Hoodrat to Headwrap
This podcast is relaxed and playful but discusses extremely important topics like misogyny, queerness and white supremacy, but also dive deep into pop culture. The podcast is great for deepening your knowledge about social issues while enjoying casual conversation about a wide range of interesting topics.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you think.
During the social movement of the Black Lives Matter protests and arguments for law enforcement reform, it is important for everyone to examine and understand the history behind issues of racism and discrimination, and view these problems through different lenses. These podcasts will help you expand your knowledge about current issues and can impact how you think about them.
Left POCket Project Podcast
This podcast contains a wealth of information relating the history of leftists of color, with specific focus on Black historical figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois. I especially recommend episodes 29 and 31 which cover Angela Davis’s Abolition Democracy. The podcast delves into racial issues in society including mass incarceration, discrimination, and abolition democracy.
Hoodrat to Headwrap: A Decolonized Past
This podcast reflects on modern issues of police brutality, health care disparities, and discrimination against Black Americans. Its creators give insight to modern racial problems with historical background. It’s good for easy listening and is well-organized, providing relevant discussion about recent issues such as COVID-19 and the BLM protesting.
Stuff You Missed in History Class
This is a great podcast that dives into historical information typically not taught through American public education. Their series about Audre Lorde is especially relevant, as Lorde was an important historical figure often overlooked who helped spearhead the feminist movement as a Black lesbian and poet.
Revolutionary Left Radio
The Revolutionary Left Radio podcast gives a leftist perspective on current events, philosophy, and activism. Some of their best episodes include The Black Panther Party and Prison Abolitionism. A lot of their episodes reflect on issues relevant to the Black Lives Matter movement and police reform.
This podcast discusses issues related to prisons, including mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, and prison abolition. It contains interviews with experts, discussions of related literature, and how current events impact prisons and prisoners. I especially recommend the episode: Are Prisons Obsolete? (YES!).
All of these podcasts are available on Spotify and other platforms. I have been enjoying going through these and am always looking for more. Check them out and let me know what you think!
Father’s day was last weekend, so I hope you treated the father’s in your life to some good food. The best way to do this: buy from one of these black owned restaurants in the area. I’ll list a few here, along with a short description of what kind of food they serve. A longer list, containing more locations in North Carolina, is linked below.
Bestow Baked Goods located at 4208 Lassiter Rd, Holly Springs, NC 27540 – Since Bestow is known to make desserts for a special occasion be sure to place an order for that special father in your life. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, breakfast and pies: all your desert needs can be met here.
Boss of Vegan located at 2161 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27603 – If you’re looking for a vegan burger look no further. If anyone in the family enjoys eating vegan this is a great spot to order from.
Chick-N-Que located at 420 S. Main St., Rolesville, NC 27571 – This restaurant serves 100% N.C.-raised ostrich burgers, I’ve never had one myself but I sure want to try…but if you aren’t ready for it they also have a large variety of other chicken dishes to choose from. And they have a food track that goes around town.
Dame’s Chicken and Waffles located at 1823 N. Harrison Ave., Cary, NC 27513 – A personal favorite of mine, you can never go wrong with their unique chicken and waffle dish. Dames is a one of kind experience, with their various waffle spread flavors and a menu full of various vegan and vegetarian options. Anyone in the family can find something to eat here, making it the perfect place to order from for a special occasion.
Joyce and Family Restaurant located at 129 S. Main St., Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526 – This family offers some of the best home style country cooking in the area. Everything is made fresh and daily, they put their hearts and love into every dish. They also offer catering services.
As I said these are only a few of the great black owned restaurants in the area, links to find more are located below. If you order out anytime soon, these all make fantastic choices~
As I said before, it is important to support black creators and let their voices be heard. Supporting black artists is something we should always do, and I love this idea of celebrating Juneteenth by blacking out the best seller lists. I have provided some links below to the Amistad Books tweet and other articles that provide resources to find books by black authors, so if you want more information be sure to check below. I’m going to highlight the books I decided to purchase, but I highly encourage you to check out more resources and choose some books that appeal to you!
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – This is the New York Times best selling authors second Novel. Brit Bennett’s first book is also a finalist for the NBCC John Leonard Prize for the best first book. The basis of her newest novel tells the story of two twin sisters who grew up in a small, southern, black community who ran away from home at age sixteen and lived very different lives after the fact. One sister lives with her black daughter in the town she tried to leave, while the other lives among her white family, that knows nothing of her past. The story is not just one that speaks on issues of race, but focuses on how a person’s past can shape their future and the choices they make, and why a person may be interested in living in a way that is not of their origins.
Deacon King Kong by James McBride – Award winning and Best-selling author James McBride brings forth a thrilling story about what happens to a group of eye witnesses of a shooting. The reason for this shooting and its effects make up the basis of the novel as we follow the lives of those who witnessed it and how it changed them. Through this journey we find out that these characters’ lives overlap more than we may have expected and the author teaches us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden. He also teaches us that in order to grow we must face the reality of change without fearing it.
To Live Woke by Rupert W. Nacoste, Ph. D. – Dr. Rupert Nacoste, the Social Psychologist who created the term ‘Neo-diversity’ and teaches the one-of-a-kind ‘Psychology of Interdependence and Race’ course at NC State University, brings us his fourth novel. In this novel, much like his teachings, he shares stories of his past experiences, having grown up in the Jim Crow legally segregated south and serving in Navy during a time that involved Race Riots, to give the reader some real life understanding and make the call to action for all people to truly embrace neo-diversity. Dr. Nacoste says ‘We can save the soul of America.’ and he uses this book as a way to really show us how we can contribute to this effort and actually understand what it means to ‘live woke’.
I haven’t read these books just yet, but I will be reviewing them on my podcast in a couple weeks after they arrive (so pick up your copies if you want to read along with me!).
With the recent attention toward the Black Lives Matter movement, I wanted to take the time to share on this platform educational resources to help those of us who aren’t black gain an understanding about the protests and their roots. There are many different ways to gain knowledge about these important topics and I have compiled a list of some of them below.
Movies and TV Shows:
This documentary on Netflix provides insight about the problem of mass incarceration and looks at it from different lenses. It explains the criminalization of black Americans and the disproportional treatment of individuals in the prison system.
When They See Us
This true-crime style Netflix show relating to the 1989 Central Park attack and the five boys of color who were wrongly charged for it. It additionally highlights modern injustices carried out against minorities by police and the judicial system.
Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
This short video from the Explained series helps one understand disadvantages that black families have in America and concepts like redlining which have allowed systemic poverty to persist within black communities.
Who Killed Malcolm X?
This series follows activist Abdur-Rahman Muhammad’s attempt to seek the truth surrounding the assassination of one of the most important leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, Malcolm X.
This reading list thread contains books and writings by authors like Malcolm X, Toni Morrison, and W.E.B. DuBois. All are excellent reads and most are created by black authors and are directly relevant to the protests
Black Revolutionary Texts
A Google Drive has been compiled with links to free books and poems by black revolutionary authors. It includes interesting perspectives about struggle, Civil Rights, and liberation.
In Defense of Looting by Vicky Osterweil
This article from The New Inquirer can help you understand why looting should not be shamed in relation to the protests. Human lives are more important than property, and Osterweil gives reasoning to this end.
Hope you all find this useful and are able to use these resources! I hope to expand upon these resources, but these are ones I have found and compiled so far. Happy reading!
Greetings to all who are apart of the Wolfpack community, and the Triangle area. It is so important for each of us to enable our friends and family to access necessary resources during the coronavirus situation. I have compiled a list below with many different resources for students and other individuals in the RDU area. For NC State Coronavirus Response updates, go to their website. For general updates, please refer to the CDC.
Pack Essentials: NC State students experiencing challenges in accessing basic needs such as food, housing, and educational supplies should submit a Pack Essentials form. This form can help students get financial assistance and other resources, based on need. In addition, the Pack Essentials Emergency Grant has received generous donations, enabling it to help thousands of students. I definitely recommend applying if you need any kind of assistance.
Wake County Food Pantries: This Google sheet has contact information for food pantries in Wake County. Please check the document to see locations available near you and any notes relating to changes in their hours of operation.
Internet Access: The North Carolina DIT put together a list of resources for internet access, including free and affordable internet services within North Carolina, as well as information on how to access free Wifi in certain locations.
NCSU Libraries: Although NCSU Libraries buildings are closed, they are offering many useful online services for students. They allow long-term loans for technology, PDF copies of your textbook chapters, and more great resources.
Textbooks: Wolfpack Outfitters and VitalSource have partnered to provide free access to ebooks through May 25th. All you need to do is create an account with your NCSU email address at the VitalSource site.
Health and Wellness:
Telehealth and Medication: To help prevent further spread of coronavirus, many health offices are moving toward online appointments. In addition, many different insurance companies have offered free prescription shipping and other policies which may benefit anyone taking regular medications. You should check your primary care doctor and insurance company policies to see if it can help you. In addition, NCSU Student Health is offering “reduced and limited” services. You can find more information on their website.
Mental Health: The NCSU Counseling Center is available for telehealth appointments through the phone or through secure video chat. You can find more information here.
Exercise: NC State Wellness and Recreation is offering different programs such as virtual fitness classes, wellness tips, and at-home workout routines. Find more information here.
I hope that these resources are useful. Remember that even if you do not need these resources, sharing this information with others can go along way in helping members of our community.
Things are moving slowly. Some things feel like they’re not moving at all. However, despite the empty streets and closing businesses, people are coming together to support one another and sustain our community during the pandemic.
WKNC, as a community partner and participant, wants to use our platform to share some of these fundraisers and inform you about their creators to further their outreach. We appreciate and admire everyone doing the groundwork and heavy lifting that it takes to sustain a community, several industries and the emotional wellbeing of their beneficiaries.
First and foremost, is the Raleigh Music Venue Employee Fund. This fundraiser collectively supports Lincoln Theatre, Slim’s, Kings, the Wicked Witch and the Pour House. The campaign was created by Van Austin at Slim’s, Chris Malarkey at Lincoln, Paul Siler at Kings, and Adam Lindstaedt with the Pour House. The funds for this project are being collected through Venmo using the handle @Raleigh-Downtown-Music-Venues. Kings, via their Instagram page (@KingsRaleigh) described this fundraiser as “a fund to help out our employees during this time.” In the same post, they wrote they have received an “outpouring of offers to help [their] employees stay afloat during this crisis…” which we at WKNC are amazed to hear. Many of our current and former staff and students have gone on to work and be involved with at least one of these venues, and as an organization we work closely with them to promote, curate and attend events.
It is important to note that some of these venues are partner venues and co-owned by the same individual. For example, Timothy Lemuel runs the Wicked Witch, the Night Rider and Ruby Deluxe, but the latter two venues are not receiving funds from this campaign and have another process of their own to be discussed later on in this post.
Keep a lookout for more information on the Raleigh Venue Fund in an upcoming interview I’m working on with a few individuals involved in its creation. For now, you can see more information about the fund via the social media of each of the venues. The venues and their handles are listed below.
The next fundraiser is theRaleigh Queer Venue Initiative GoFundMe, which was organized by Janel Sheehan almost two weeks ago. As of this writing, they have surpassed half of their expected goal, thanks to the dedication and support of the Raleigh community. Pulling a quote from the GoFundMe description, “The Raleigh Queer Venue Initiative is made up of the sole queer music venues in Raleigh: Ruby Deluxe, Wicked Witch, and the Night Rider. Our purpose is to give LGBTQIA, as well as marginalized folx a safe space to dance, create, perform, and support one another.” The description goes on to express that these spaces are also locally owned and operated by queer individuals. Currently, as of a GoFundMe update posted on March 24, “[they] are looking at around 11K total a month to retain all of our spaces for Ruby Deluxe, Wicked Witch, and The Night Rider.” Of their $11,000 goal, the money raised will go towards paying rent on the venues and provide income to their staff members who can no longer work due to closures. The contributions from the Raleigh community are directly allowing for these safe spaces to remain open and in operation after the pandemic crisis alleviates.
We thank Janel, and all of the RQVI workers, for curating this GoFundMe and for creating safe spaces for the LGBTQIA community in Raleigh and the Triangle.
Next up is the Raleigh Tee. This fundraising campaign was created by Jonas Chisolm and his roommate Austin Chappell. The two of them started an online shop in which individuals could purchase a T-shirt and/or a sticker (in rainbow or black and white) through which all profits would go to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund and the Raleigh Music Venue Fund (mentioned above). For those interested in purchasing any of this project’s merch, doing so can be processed via Facebook.com/TheRaleighTee. The logo for the shirts and stickers was made by a close friend of the two founders, Nicholas Rossitch, and after some creative work on Photoshop, the idea for the Raleigh Tee was born.
The project debuted on social media (Instagram @theRaleighTee) two days ago (03/25/2020) and is quoted with having 200 orders in the first 8 hours. Jonas has commented that he and Austin only expected to sell 50 shirts initially and have been amazed at the community engagement, reposting and purchasing of the products in their startup.
Thank you to Jonas and Austin for your work and contributions to the workers of North Carolina and Raleigh specifically.
I’d also like to take a moment to give credit where credit is due. Yvonne Chazal (right, above) and Phian Tran (left) have compiled a very expansiveWake County Resources for COVID-19 document. The incredibly well-organized document covers topics like health resources (including mental health), food resources, housing and shelter, utilities details and more. Truly if I were to list out all of the categories they discuss, you’d be both in awe and shocked at the mass amounts of information that they have. The document’s creation was open to public collaboration and both creators actively reached out to their social media connections to make sure that they were collecting all the necessary details and subjects that constituents would be interested in. Please view this free resource during your free time. It will certainly make you feel better about our situation knowing what options are available.
Yvonne and Phian are both dearly loved and appreciated as local influences, musicians and WKNC alums. Thank you, Yvonne and Phian.
The aforementioned resources are only a small portion of the ongoing efforts to protect ourselves and our community. There will be more installments and updates to come. Once again, keep your eyes and ears out for an interview with representatives from the Raleigh Music Venue Employee Fund.
Want to help out but can’t donate? Call your representative (via 202-224-3121) and ask them to #SaveRestaurants.
Stay safe, stay inside, flatten the curve, promote solidarity. WKNC loves you and is grateful to everyone involved in these projects.