Join the voice for a changing South.

Southern Fair Courts Convening

The Southern Fair Courts Convening is a gathering of advocates, community leaders and experts about the important role of state courts in defending rights in the South and strategies to protect judicial independence.

Across the South, courts are increasingly under attack. Secret-money groups from Washington, D.C. are pouring money into judicial elections, and legislators unhappy with court decisions are lashing out with bills that give politicians more control over the judiciary.

This invitation-only gathering of Southern leaders and national allies will offer a space to learn about the importance of fair courts and growing threats to judicial independence in the South. We will also share best practices for resisting these attacks and hear about messaging, organizing and advocacy strategies to build an inclusive movement for fair courts in the South. Please register here.

The convening is on July 24 at the Institute for Southern Studies, 307 West Main St., Durham, N.C. We will meet for dinner at Tyler’s Restaurant from 5:30 PM until around 8 PM the evening of Monday July 23. We are honored to be joined for dinner by Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP and a native of Mississippi, who will deliver a keynote address on the vital role of courts in the South.

The draft agenda for July 24 includes:

  • An introduction by the Institute about why independent courts are so important in the South
  • “Your rights, your courts,” a panel about connecting the courts to your issue
  • A presentation from ReThink Media on its research into messaging on the courts
  • Panel discussion on reforms to keep judges independent
  • Building inclusive coalitions to protect the courts
  • A concluding discussion about how we can work together, as we move forward.
  • Wrap-up by 4:30 PM

Logistics: The Institute will provide lodging at the Aloft Hotel on Monday night in Durham, as well as a stipend up to $500 per person for airfare and other travel expenses.

Have Questions or Need More Information? Please contact Billy Corriher at