CORE is a volunteer-led organization working to build a broad-based coalition of individuals, non-profits, and community groups. CORE is registered as a non-profit corporation in North Carolina (SOSID: 1702917)


To deconstruct systemic inequities and achieve equitable outcomes for all people in Chatham County through education, organizing, and reconciliation


Our vision is to achieve racial equity in our communities and institutions in Chatham County


Why Racial Equity?

All people should have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long and healthy life regardless of their income, education, or racial and ethnic background. Yet, this opportunity is unattainable for many because of racism, which is present in all communities, including Chatham County. Racism is not just about individual discrimination, prejudice, or hatred. Race has been and continues to be used to organize systems to benefit white people and disadvantage people of color.

Racism results in racial inequities within and across systems – with White people having better outcomes compared to Black people, and all other races falling somewhere in between. As one example reported in the 2019 Chatham County Racial Equity Report Card produced by the Youth Justice Project, White students in grades 3-8 were 2.5 times more likely to score “Career and College Ready” on end-of-grade exams than Black students in 2017-18. Further, Black students were 5.1 times more likely than White students to receive a short-term suspension in Chatham County in 2016-17. Statewide, Black students received 57% of all short-term suspensions, even though they made up only 25% of the student population in 2016-17. These inequities can be traced to policies throughout our history that advantaged white people and disadvantaged people of color.  The decades and decades of these policies contribute to the outcomes we see today, negatively impacting opportunities for Black families to accumulate wealth and gain status in our communities.

We find similar racial inequities in other systems in Chatham and the broader U.S., including inequities in income and wealth, home ownership, health outcomes, transportation, the justice system, and so forth. These racial inequities hold true even when one accounts for socioeconomic status or educational attainment.

What We Do

CORE is a resource and connector for those interested in anti-racism work in Chatham County.  CORE works to deconstruct systemic racism through three primary strategies:

  • Education: CORE seeks to raise awareness of systemic racism and strategies for dismantling it.
  • Organizing: Our community organizing project builds and strengthens relationships with individuals, community groups, religious organizations, and nonprofits interested in race equity issues.
  • Reconciliation: We use a model of racial identity caucusing to broaden and deepen awareness gained after taking part in racial equity workshops. Caucuses are times when people of color and white people meet separately to raise awareness of how race and racism move and act within us and in our society. REI training alumni are welcome to join these meetings to explore how we have been impacted by living in a white dominant society and attempt to heal from those impacts.


 In summer 2016, in response to numerous acts of racial violence that had been 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. A film series about racial violence at the Pittsboro Presbyterian Church became the catalyst for discussions about how our community could confront overt and more subtle forms of discrimination that people of color experience on a regular basis. Chatham Organizing for Racial Equity (CORE) arose from those discussions.