Elisa Chinn-Gary to address Dr. King celebrants: “Hope is a Weapon”

Published 10:09 pm Thursday, January 19, 2017

Elisa Chinn-Gary

Elisa Chinn-Gary

The Friendship Council has invited Ms. Elisa Chinn-Gary, clerk of Superior Court of Mecklenburg County and co-founder of Race Matters for Juvenile Justice, to bring information and understanding in her keynote address “Hope is a Weapon” for the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


The program will be held Saturday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, located at 34 Melrose Ave. in Tryon. It will be followed by an open reception.

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The program will also feature scholarship awards, creative contest awards and music by the Garrison Chapel Men’s Gospel Choir. This free public program is supported by a free public events grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.


Using facts, studies, statistics, and personal experiences, Chinn-Gary shows how bias disproportionately affects people of color and the poor – from more school expulsions, arrests and prison sentences to fewer bank loans, poorer health care and even a shorter life. She avoids lectures and finger pointing, preferring to present the information and allow people to draw their own conclusions.


A native of Winston-Salem, Chinn-Gary earned a master of social work and juris doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was admitted to the North Carolina state bar in 1999. Prior to her term as clerk, Chinn – Gary worked as a juvenile defender and attorney advocate for guardian ad litem. She served for 13 years as the juvenile and family court administrator in Mecklenburg.


Co-chair of Race Matters for juvenile justice, she is known as an institutional organizer, committed to building more equitable and just systems of governance. Recipient of various awards, she was most notably honored as the Julius L. Chambers Diversity Champion by the Mecklenburg County Bar Association and as a 2015 NAACP History Maker.


Contact Donna Tatnall at 859-7099 or email dtatnall@yahoo.com for more information.


Article submitted by Donna Tatnall