About Us

About Us

Who we are

Community Organizing for Racial Equity is a nonpartisan 501c3 non-profit organization working to build a network of community organizers . CORE is a community-governed organization dedicated to building leadership from our community. We are individual community members, local organizations, nonprofits, faith institutions, associations, and more working together to drive systemic change using solutions developed by those most impacted.

We work to create a culture of equity by building stronger communities rooted in collective power, liberating themselves, and transforming their institutions for racial equity through our work in education, community healing, and community organizing. We build trust through relational community organizing rooted in the collective power of strong relationships. Our work centers our shared values and honors our lived experiences.

Our Story

In summer 2016, in response to the increased media attention to the numerous acts of racial violence occurring throughout the US, a group of Chatham County faith leaders and other concerned citizens began meeting to discuss how people in Chatham County might proactively address hatred and divisiveness and work toward unity and deeper understanding in the community. RACE: A PBS film series about racial violence was shown at a local church and became the catalyst for discussions about how our community could confront overt and more subtle forms of racism and discrimination that Black, Indigenous, People of Color experience on a regular basis. Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity (CORE) arose from those discussions.

In the beginning, CORE hosted Racial Equity Institute, Inc workshops to build awareness and develop a shared racial equity analysis. For a long time, this was the work we chose to focus on and intentionally invited government and organizational leaders to attend alongside community members. However, there was always a request for more, and so CORE began to hold space for intentional conversations on race and racism in our caucuses. Both the People of Color Caucus and the White Anti-Racism Caucus provided a space for the intentional, introspective work of recognizing how we are all impacted by racism Our Cross Caucus allowed us to engage in crucial conversations across racial divides to understand how we can act as allies.

A drive for action led CORE to exploring equitable strategies and landed on the model of relational community organizing. With the added focus area, CORE began to be seen as a racial equity resource in our and surrounding counties. The demand for community organizing led us to understand the need to continue the education and introspective work of the reconcilation arm.

Throughout the evolution of CORE it is important to note the consistent centering of community voice. To this day, the values of CORE's humble beginnings as a communty-led grassroots organization remain steadfast.

Since our grassroots beginning in 2016, CORE has delivered numerous community events, workshops, institutional consultations, and community organizing support, resulting in positive actions. We engaged thousands in Chatham County, across the state, and nationwide, all focusing on building and strengthening relationships for the vision of racial equity and justice through collaborative change.

Our Board

Interested in becoming a part of our board? Our Board application is open year round. Please complete this form, and we will be in touch shortly!

Image 1

Selina Lopez


Stephanie Watkins - Cruz

Image 12

Maureen Maurer

CORE thumbnail

Emily Boynton

Image 3

Norma Boone

Image 4

Mary Harris

Image 5

Alirio Estevez

Image 7

Shanti Vyom

Our Team

Karinda Roebuck, CORE's executive director, poses at her Pittsboro home on a recent rainy afternoon.

Karinda Roebuck

Executive Director

Mìchelle Wright

Director of Restorative Practices & Community Healing
Image 14

Stephanie Terry

Director of Community Organizing
Image 13

Sara Martin

Lead Organizer
Image 11

Xiomara Yanique

Juneteenth Coordinator

Shannon Reaves

Lead Organizer & Juneteenth Planner
Image 6-13-23 at 5.12 PM

Edith McCaskill

Community Organizer
Image 10

Bryan Schroeder

Community Organizer

Community Partners

WEBB - Squared

West Chatham NAACP

Z. Smith Reynolds

Triangle Community Foundation

Oak Foundation

Second Bloom of Chatham

Chatham County Fair & Industrial Association

Union Taylor Community Action Center

Chatham Arts Council

Chatham Health Alliance

Pittsboro Presbyterian Church

Seeds of Change Consulting

Equity for Moms and Babies Realized Across Chatham (EMBRACe)