TCB March 3, 2022 — The Elephant in the Classroom

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ELEPHANT How national conservative and religious groups are making their way into local schools






UP FRONT | MAR 3-9, 2022

Coronavirus in the Triad

(as of Wednesday, March 2 ) Documented COVID-19 diagnoses

NC 2,592,991 (+18,124) Forsyth 91,336 (+433) Guilford 112,310 (+1,279) COVID-19 deaths NC 22,671 (+281) Forsyth 763 (+7) Guilford 1,024 (+26) Documented recoveries NC 2,534,052 (+43,221) Forsyth *no data* Guilford 109,028 (+1,572) Current cases NC 36,268 (-25,378) Forsyth *no data* Guilford 2,257 (-589) Hospitalizations (right now) NC 1,461 (-662) Forsyth *no data* Guilford 33 (-41) Vaccinations NC Partially vaccinated 6,334,126 (+10,475) Fully vaccinated 6,416,941 (61%, +39,625) Boosted: 3,155,913 (+72,198, 49% of vaccinated) Forsyth Partially vaccinated 249,362 (+937) Fully vaccinated 233,815 (61%, +1,604) Boosted: 108,877 (+747, 47% of vaccinated) Guilford Partially vaccinated 344,895 (+1,646)Fully vaccinated 326,395 (61%, +2,838) Boosted: 158,406 (+4,809, 48% of vaccinated)


Brian Clarey


Allen Broach


Jonathan Jones


1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 Office: 336.681.0704 EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Carolyn de Berry, Todd Turner, MANAGING EDITOR Sayaka Matsuoka

Owens Daniels, Matt Jones, Jordan Howse, Suzy Fielders, Jen Sorensen, John Cole



Michaela Ratliff James Douglas

Charlie Marion


Chris Rudd


TCB IN A FLASH @ First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2022 Beat Media Inc.

EDITOR’S NOTEBOOK Postcard from Las Vegas


nside the my wife over a span of years so elevators wide that we have trouble rememat the bering exactly which hotels we’ve Luxor Hotel and stayed at before, and the exact date Casino in Las of our last visit, which we agree was Vegas, a small at least 10 years ago and probably plaque reminds more. by Brian Clarey riders that this I have changed so much since means of conour last visit: I don’t drink; I don’t veyance is actually an “inclinator,” smoke; so much of the toxic beas it travels upwards at a 39-degree havior that drove me in my youth angle instead of a perfect vertical has been excised that I’m spending line. more time in the hotel gym and spa The tech was breakthrough in than at the gaming tables. 1993, when this giant Through those years pyramid first opened Vegas has changed It’s me who much. The giants of at the end of the Strip. But now the inclinator has changed. the Strip have risen and rides a little rickety on its fallen; home for resiNot the Luxor. dents, which 10 years way to the upper floors, there’s plaster crumbling ago could not be given in some of the corners away, are accumulating and the concept — ancient Egypt value again. Yesterday my wife and and all its accoutrements — seems I took a driverless Lyft. hopelessly dated. In other ways, Vegas is exactly That year, 1993, also marks my the same as it’s always been: Flashy own first visit to this city, at the and seedy and unapologetically impossibly young age of 23. This shallow. It’s me who has changed. was before they put a roof over Not the Luxor. downtown, before the Bellagio and But the Luxor’s impossible the Blue Man Group came to town, pyramid can still elicit a sense of when the Stratosphere’s phallic wonder when you walk the open tower was just beginning to rise and hallways to your room and undera hip, young tourist could still find stand its vastness, its scale, its some molly at the Double Down purpose and, yes, its irony. Lounge. It will most certainly do. I have taken many subsequent trips here since, most of them with

Sam LeBlanc

COVER Design by Charlie Marion


by Michaela Ratliff

THURSDAY March 3 Marketplace Vendor Applications Open @ NC Folk Festival (Online) The NC Folk Festival is seeking vendors to bring crafts, foods and more to September’s festival. Find more information and register by March 11 at Little Saplings Nature Class @ Polo Park & Recreation Center (W-S) 4 p.m.

SunQueen Kelcey and Royal Jelly at the Crown @ Carolina Theatre (GSO) 8 p.m. During this shared performance, SunQueen Kelcey and her live band, the Soular Flares, will take the stage with soul sounds dedicated to body positivity and self-love. Royal Jelly is a music collective formed by eight Greensboro-based friends, fusing elements of psychedelic rock, blues, and hip-hop to form their eclectic sound. Purchase tickets at

Duo Guitiano @ Tew Recital Hall (GSO) 7:30 p.m. Duo Guitiano, a guitar and piano duo formed by husband and wife Carlos Castilla and Amanda Virelles, is bringing their unique blend of sounds to UNCG for a live performance. Advance registration is required and can be done at vpa.uncg. edu. If you can’t make it, catch the livestream at the same link.

Transitioning @ Artworks Gallery (W-S) 2 p.m.

SATURDAY March 5 Ruthless! @ Centennial Station (HP) 2 p.m.

During this class for ages 6 to 9, children will learn about the environment around them, and the animals that depend on the trees in it. Register with Paul Teichert by emailing pault@

SUNDAY March 6

UP FRONT | MAR 3 - 9, 2022


Artists Alix Hitchcock and Lea Lackey-Zachmann explore the meaning of transitioning through print collages, abstract paintings and drawings. Join the artists for a reception on this day. Visit for more information. Branford Marsalis @ Winston-Salem Symphony (W-S) 3 p.m. Three-time Grammy Award winning Saxophonist Branford Marsalis brings his skills to Winston-Salem as he performs a saxophone concerto by composer John Adams. Find more information and purchase tickets at

Eight-year-old Tina Denmark will stop at nothing to play the lead in her school play. Join High Point Community Theatre for their take on this musical comedy that parodies various Hollywood films and musicals. Visit the event page on Facebook for more information and to purchase tickets.


Remember Me: A Collection of Alzheimer’s Disease Stories Through Dance @ Van Dyke Performance Space (GSO) 7 p.m.

Tuesday Talk: Grow Your Own Spices @ Reynolda Gardens (W-S) 12:30 p.m.

FRIDAY March 4 Green Queen Bingo @ Greensboro Coliseum Complex (GSO) 7 p.m. Green Queen Bingo is back! Fill your evening with entertainment and the chance to win cash prizes. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

The Drowsy Chaperone @ Hanesbrands Theatre (W-S) 7:30 p.m. The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem presents The Drowsy Chaperone, a comedy in which a musical comes to life in a theatre fan’s living room. Tickets for this five-time Tony Award winner can be purchased at

iAlign Dance Company is excited to share a collection of dance performances designed to bond members of the community through Alzheimer’s awareness. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

Join author and spice-growing gardener Tasha Greer for a lesson on how to grow your own spices like cardamom and cloves. Following the discussion, copies of her book Grow Your Own Spices will be available for purchase. Advance registration is required and can be done at Send your events to for consideration in City Life and the Weekender.


NEWS | MAR 3 - 9, 2022


‘Jarring and hurtful’: Parents say evangelical Christian group shouldn’t be promoted in local elementary schools by Sayaka Matsuoka


Above: Lawndale Baptist Church is located just half a mile away from Joyner Elementary School. The church was where former Congressman Mark Walker served as associate pastor for five years. Right: Joyner Elementary school is located in the Kirkwood neighborhood in Greensboro.



hen Kirstin Cassell first saw the flyer in her child’s folder, she was horrified. “It absolutely makes it sound like Joyner is sponsoring this club,” she said. The flyer, which was sent home with hundreds of students at two Guilford County elementary schools, promoted the “Good News Club,” a free, evangelical-Christian afterschool program hosted by the Child Evangelism Fellowship, an international, Christian nonprofit organization based in Missouri. According to the flyers and applications for facility use, the Good News Club is scheduled to meet at Joyner Elementary School every Thursday starting on March 24, at Morehead Elementary every Tuesday starting on March 8 and at Montlieu Academy every Wednesday starting March 9. Parents and students were encouraged to register using the flyer and return a completed form back to the school. According to Guilford County Schools media relations specialist Janson Silvers, flyers were only sent home to students at Joyner and Morehead.

In addition to being sponsored by Child Evangelism Fellowship, the programs at the schools are associated with a local church. The club at Joyner is coordinated by Lawndale Baptist Church while the initiative at Morehead lists Change the Nations as its church partner. Both churches list their beliefs on their websites and assert that marriages are to be between one man and one woman. Change the Nations Church goes so far as to say that “sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage” and that “there are only two genders — male and female.” Lawndale Baptist Church, located just around the corner from Joyner Elementary, notes that they follow the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 edition which asserts that homosexuality is a form of “sexual immorality.” Lawndale Baptist Church is also where former Congressman Mark Walker served as an associate pastor for five years from 2008-13. For decades, the Good News Club has faced criticism for blurring the distinction between church and state and for its goal of proselytizing children. In 2012, journalist Katherine Stewart published The

Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children in which she reports on complaints by parents of children of other faiths being warned by classmates that they may “go to hell” and other fundamentalist teachings. In her book, Stewart argues that “young children cannot distinguish between an activity that takes place in their public school and one that is endorsed by their public school. They think if something happens in the school, it must have the stamp of state authority, it must be what the school wants them to believe, it must be what they should believe.” As a mother to a trans, queer child, Cassell said that the group “feels incredibly unsafe for our family.” “Before COVID, our school had signs right when you walk in that said that all identities are included and welcome,” she said. “One of my children is a member of the LGBTQ community and they came out as a student at Joyner. Their teacher, Mrs. Adams-Daniel, was incredible. She continued to be a supportive, amazing presence in my child’s life…. Lawndale Baptist is hosting this Bible club and their

NEWS | MAR 3 - 9, 2022


Students at two elementary schools, Joyner and Morehead, were sent home with flyers promoting the Good News Club.

publicly stated beliefs are that they oppose homosexuality. The thought of this group trying to convert students in the same place that was so safe for my trans, queer child is jarring and hurtful.” Sean Olson, whose child goes to Morehead Elementary School, was also shocked when his child came home with the flyer. “I feel it’s inappropriate for the school system to advertise a particular religion and I feel it’s particularly important for this school because one of things that I like is that it’s very diverse,” Olson said. “There are kids that believe different things and sending it home has sort of a coercive tint about it.” Olson also said that he feels like the club is targeting families that may need after-school care for their kids. “What kid isn’t going to want to do some program after school?” Olson asked. “But perhaps it’s targeting families that might be in special need of some kind of after school program and there’s something sinister about holding that out in terms evangelism.”

The thought of this group trying to convert students in the same space that was so safe for my trans, queer child is jarring and hurtful. Kirstin Cassell

Who gets to use school facilities?


fter the flyers were sent home, parents of students at the two schools received calls from their principals clarifying that the brochures shouldn’t have been sent home. In a statement sent to Triad City Beat, school district official Janson Silvers clarified that the two schools “shared flyers for these clubs with their families without following the district’s flyer-approval process which is required by board policy. After the district was alerted to the error, principals at these two schools followed up with a notification to families that the flyers should not have been sent. However, this organization, like all organizations are welcome to follow proper district guidelines to use district facilities.” According to Guilford County Schools’ facility use webpage, the district is now accepting applications for organizations to use school facilities. Prior to Tuesday afternoon, the website noted that the use of external facilities had reopened but that all interior spaces remain unavailable for rent or lease due to the pandemic. However, Silvers noted that the webpage had not been updated due to a district oversight and that the district was now accepting applications for indoor use. According to the applications submitted by Patricia Cheek, the director of the local chapter of the Child Evangelism Fellowship, the organization plans to use the cafeteria at all three schools. Silvers also noted that there are other clubs, including sports groups, besides the Good News Club that have applied and been approved to use school facilities this spring. “The important thing to note is that we don’t discriminate on who can and can’t use facilities,” Silvers said.


NEWS | MAR 3 - 9, 2022


On the facilities webpage, a similar statement is made. “The use of school facilities by community organizations is not endorsed by the district,” the site reads. Cheek, who applied to use the facilities, told TCB in a call Tuesday afternoon that Child Evangelism Fellowship has been using school facilities for after-school programs for years. “Before COVID-19 we were in several schools,” Cheek said. “We were in quite a few schools, about 13 to 15 schools. We’ve been in the Triad for 15 years and we have been using facilities.” She also noted that because of the 2001 Supreme Court case Good News Club v. Milford Central School, their organization couldn’t be barred from using school facilities. The 6-3 ruling found that under the First Amendment’s freedom-of-speech clause, a religious group couldn’t be denied the use of a public school’s facilities after school hours because the facilities were available to other groups promoting similar issues of moral character development in children. Since then, the Good News Club has been operating in thousands of public schools across the United States, including in Guilford County. “There was a ruling that public schools cannot discriminate against faith-based ministries,” Cheek said. “They can’t discriminate, and they must allow us to use the facilities. We do this as an after-school club just like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.” However, concerned parents like Cassell and Olson say that the religious rigidity of the group excludes or may even target LGBTQ+ students or children of other faiths and make them feel unsafe. “The attacks against trans kids are increasing all across our nation,” Cassell said. “Groups like the one trying to host a Bible club in our school are the same ones that support Gov. Abbott in Texas who just declared that supporting your transgender child is child abuse and directed Child Protective Services to go after families like mine. It’s always a risk to speak publicly about my child, but right now the risk feels even greater.” According to the Trevor Project’s 2021 survey on LGBTQ Mental Health, 42 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Studies have also shown that LGBTQ+ youth are twice as likely to be bullied or use illicit drugs when compared to peers not in the sexual minority and more than twice as likely to feel sad or hopeless. They are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide. Cassell and Olson’s concerns also come at a time when a national movement by conservative parents and right-wing organizations has been gaining traction, culminating in individuals disrupting school board meetings, calling for the banning of books that talk about LGBTQ+ identity, banning transgender athletes from sports and censoring sex education in schools. When asked about claims that the Good News Club was not welcoming to LGBTQ+ children, Cheek declined to comment. In response, she only said that parents have to give permission for students to attend. Cheek also confirmed that the group plans to reapply to conduct their program in more schools like they did prior to the pandemic. And that worries Cassell. “I don’t want them anywhere near any of my family members and certainly not in my child’s school,” she said. “School is a place where all students should feel safe and supported. We should be finding ways for families to feel more welcome in our schools, not less.”

DAVEED DIGGS Tony and Grammy winner from the original cast of Broadway’s Hamilton, television’s Blackish, and the rap group Clipping.

MARCH 5, 2022 UNCG AUDITORIUM | 8:00 PM For tickets visit UCLS.UNCG.EDU or call 800-514-3849

Conservatives disrupt WS/FCS school board meeting using tactics from national organization with ties to QAnon by James Douglas

NEWS | MAR 3 - 9, 2022


L-R: Deborah Tuttle and Regina Garner speak at the Feb. 22 WS/FCS school board meeting before Eric Jensen was arrested.


ven as school boards across the country faced disruptions, protests and lawsuits from a wide range of conservative and far-right groups, the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board meetings had been relatively peaceful — until last week. On Feb. 22, the Winston-Salem Forsyth County School Board held its regularly scheduled public meeting, and the resulting commotion ended in an arrest. Eric Jensen of Kernersville was cited for two second-degree misdemeanors, one for trespassing and the other for resisting a public officer, according to an arrest report provided to Triad City Beat. The incident took place during the public comment period, where community members address the board with accolades or grievances. In what appeared to be a coordinated effort, two of the speakers addressed the board with a list that was intended to threaten school board members with surety bond complaints that would be filed with the school system’s insurance carrier, Liberty Mutual. The first speaker, Regina Garner, used the allotted

Immediately after Tuttle began to address the two minutes to read aloud a prepared statement acboard, Jensen crossed the rope barricade separating cusing the board of violating of multiple laws includthe school board from the audience to pass out docuing child abuse, the practice of medicine without a ments to each of the board members, which violated license, civil deprivation of rights, “obscene” literathe rules of the meeting. He was quickly subdued ture, and a myriad of other perceived crimes. When by armed officers employed by North State Security Garner’s two minutes were up, she was followed by Group. A video of the meeting shows Jensen being Deborah Tuttle, who continued with the prepared forced to the ground and repeatedly shouting, “You statement and threatened the board with a 72-hour work for me!” window to address the violations. Board chair Deanna Kaplan The particular insurance policy Bonds for the then requested a five-minute named by the group is intended recess, triggering a vocal outburst to be a general liability policy for Win, a national the school system as a whole. Such from the some in the audience, conservative actions, if legitimate, could affect one shouting “Communists!” as organization, has ties the board began to leave their individual members or cause the school system to lose Federal seats. The video then shows to QAnon. funding. Tuttle loudly noting that she In response to the complaints, wanted all of the board members Brent Campbell, the chief marketing manager for the to receive copies of the papers that Jensen attempted school district said that “there doesn’t seem to be any to pass out. She also said, “If you walk out, you’re legitimacy to them.” walking away from your job.” “I assure you our legal team is looking at any and After Jensen’s removal and the meeting was all allegations,” he said. reconvened, Tuttle was allowed to finish, using her


NEWS | MAR 3 - 9, 2022

NEWS remaining minute to relegate a series of demands to the board, including the cessation of all COVID-19 protocols, “pushing transgender” agenda and a ban of social emotional learning and critical race theory, which is a higher-education platform. Campbell with the school district confirmed that critical race theory is not taught in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

Bonds for the Win, Telegram and right-wing activism in schools



arner, Tuttle, and Jensen appear to have been using the tactics of a group called “Bonds for the Win,” a nationwide organization that claims to educate citizens about surety bonds and how to use them against officials to quash ideological disagreements. In this case, the group targeted school board members who followed public health mandates established by federal, state and local authorities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, claiming “malpractice.” Surety bonds are described on the group’s website as providing “financial guarantees that bond holders such as public officials, companies, contractors, or unions will uphold their contracts according to mutual terms.” The group has been using this method to disrupt school board meetings as a way to fight health mandates and portions of public-school curriculum they consider to be part of a political agenda. The conservative organization was started by Michelle “Miki” Klann, a YouTube personality and political activist based in Scottsdale, Ariz. In her videos, Klann claims that the AIDS pandemic was a hoax, the Earth is flat and, when discussing slavery, has said that “we don’t need to just talk about the Blacks.” Klann has coordinated with all 50 states via her website and frequently conducts sessions unique to each state. She recently deployed the surety bond tactic against the Scottsdale school board, assisted by 8-chan founder and Qanon figurehead Ron Watkins, who announced his prospective run for Congress at the same meeting. For outreach, Klann has integrated her website with links to the popular Telegram messaging app. From her site, one can access the Bonds for the Win Telegram boards unique to each state, including North Carolina. It appears this is where the planning for the Forsyth County school board meeting disruption began. The Telegram message board for the NC Bonds for the Win, started on Jan. 22 of this year, has around 400 members. The first post was written by Klann. The posts include lengthy discussions concerning strategies for each county by active members, including serving various paperwork at board meetings as well as coordinating individuals to speak during public comment. The message board contains media files

going to read things that people deliver in such an including tutorials, PDFs, school insurance records, aggressive and disrespectful manner.” request forms and blank templates of claims specific Motsinger is an at-large member of the school to each county, lists of books to be put on banned board and has yet to file for re-election for the May lists, conspiracy theories and COVID-19 misinformaprimaries. tion. A handful of members discuss possible actions When asked about the nature of the group, in Forsyth County, including serving Winston-Salem Motsinger did not go so far as to call the local activists Mayor Allen Joines with surety complaints, much like “operatives.” they threatened with the school board. “I’m not even sure they’re aware of how they’re A plan for the school board disruption was first being used,” she said. “Operatives are in on ‘the mentioned on Jan. 26 after a “Deb T” began interplan,’ as it were. The bigger picture. I’m not sure they acting with other users such as “Regina Garner” and understand that they’re being played to. Not that it “Eric Jensen.” On Feb. 8 “Eric Jensen” joined the gives them a pass.” group and asked if he could help “in any way.” “Deb Republican school board member Leah Crowley T” responded with, “We are just getting it together for Forsyth County.” On Feb. 15, “Eric Jensen” of District 2 said that the “disruption was so unnecclaimed to be “an old man who just wants to help” essary.” and is sent a direct link to the Forsyth County mes“Someone even asks people if they have materials sage board. Two days later, “Deb T” posted a copy to be distributed to the board members,” Crowley of the General Liability Policy of the Forsyth County said. “Despite these measures, some people didn’t school system. follow the procedures and had to be removed.” At 11:50 p.m. on Feb. 22, the night of the meetRepublican board member Lida Calvert-Hayes ing, “Deb T” posts: “Winston Salem Forsyth County of District 2 told TCB that she doesn’t “condone school board got served tonight. We had nine people that kind of behavior.” However, in a comment on a that signed a letter…. Person private, conservative-leaning local serving the letters got tackled by Facebook group’s post after the security guards…. We needed meeting, Calvert-Hayes can be more people to read but it was seen commenting, “Thanks to all just two of us with only two for coming. Great crowd.” minutes each and 11 pages to When asked about the comcover…. Please pray for our perment, Calvert-Hayes clarified son that now has to go to court that she “had no idea that anyone Malishai Woodbury for trying to serve them.” would be disruptive” and that she The actions by Garner, Tuttle was “glad that the crowd came and Jensen echo other moveout to support our teachers and ments by right-wing organizations happening across students. The teachers have had a hard year and to the country. In Guilford County, a local group known see that level of support was nice.” as Take Back Our Schools has been organizing and Both Crowley and Calvert-Hayes have filed for protesting at school board meetings for years. Last re-election for the May primary for District 2. year, the group ramped up their efforts which culmiFormer school board chair and current District 1 nated in multiple threats against the superintendent. board member Malishai Woodbury — who is not The group has also organized a slate of Republican running for school board but has instead filed to run school board candidates to run in this year’s elections. for county commission — said that she wasn’t going It is unclear whether or not the group in Forsyth to pay attention to the organization’s tactics. County is planning to do the same, as there are mul“Public school is a great pillar of democracy,” she tiple seats open for school board in this year’s election said. “The way it was presented, I’m not going to give it the consideration. You can’t negotiate with bad there as well. behavior.” Democrat Andrea Bramer, an at-large board memWhat do school board members ber, was more direct in her response. have to say? “The political divide in this country has spilled into chool board member Elisabeth our education system which should not be partisan,” Motsinger, a Democrat, told TCB that she said. “I am disheartened and disgusted by the it was “very alarming” when Jensen actions of the anarchical faction that showed their initially crossed the barrier. When true self at the last meeting. This is the future for our asked about whether she read the contents of the children.” paperwork, Motsinger was adamant. Send news tips to “Absolutely not,” she said. “I was very intent that that kind of tactic would not be successful. I’m not

You can’t negotiate with bad behavior.


In a huge election year, the end of the beginning and more clichés

Jen Sorensen


e promise that newly elected ones a full year soon we will begin short — which is not supposed to our intensive coverhappen. age of all the Triad The Greensboro city council races in the 2022 election. But election will be held on July 26 for reasons ridiculous, spurious — a Tuesday! — just two months and sinister, we don’t yet have after the primary. a complete field of candidates. But! We still don’t have a full This is because we live in a failed candidate slate for any of the state, as measured by our inabil2022 elections, because filing ity to hold free and fair elections, was suspended while the redisamong other metrics. tricting issue worked its way Remember, the 2022 primary through the courts. On Friday, was initially set to be held this when the deadline to register for month. Redistricting chicanery the 2022 election finally expires, forced a necessary we will have a definpause as Republican list from which For reasons ridicu- itive efforts to stack the to begin our coverlous, spurious and age of the races. deck worked their sinister, we don’t way through the In the case of courts. Our congresGreensboro municyet have a comsional districts are ipal races — which plete field of in fact still being is going to be a hot candidates. litigated. We will one — many people explore the intricahave already either cies of the matter before the US filed or declared, but there will Supreme Court at another date, almost certainly be a flurry of but for now our statewide primary activity before the end in this one. is set for May 17. That’s a TuesSame goes for county offices like day, in case you were wondering. school board and even sheriff. This primary will include Congressional and state candicandidates for the Greensboro dates only got their districts last City Council election, which was week. The dust is still settling supposed to be held last year. from that fiasco; those filings This was pushed back because should also go up until the 11th hour. of a screw-up with the US Census But Friday’s the day that the beat the federal level, which trickled ginning of this election is officialdown to uncertainty in the North ly over. We can finally move on to Carolina legislature. This move what’s next, which is also sure to gives current councilmembers an be a shitshow. extra year on their terms, leaving

OPINION | MAR 3 - 9, 2022



John Cole

QUOTE OF THE WEEK He had panic attacks, he couldn’t sleep, he went to the ATM every day to have a document of where he was in case he was ever accused of something again. Phoebe Zerwick | pg. 13


If you read

then you know...

. Who the new owner of Acme Comics is . Why Roar in Winston-Salem is able to hire 100 employees . When the Hiatt Street residents have to be out by

Triad City Beat — If you know, you know

Get in front of the best readers in the triad, contact Chris.


by Michaela Ratliff

organ Myers intends to turn heads and drop jaws when she reaches middle age. “I want to be fit and fine in my forties and fifties,” she says. The Greensboro-based, multi-skilled event host adheres to a plant-based diet and eventually plans to practice an 80 percent raw/20 percent cooked foods diet to achieve her goals. Myers began hosting the GSO Vegan Vendors Market on Feb. 6 when she noticed a need for a vegan food network in her circle. COURTESY PHOTO “I know a lot of people that cook vegan food and I know a lot of people that have In addition to food, the market sells other plant-based and cruelty free pdoucts like skincare items and jewelry. a need to eat vegan outside of myself,” About ten different venshe says. dors offer skin care prodShe runs her own CommUnity Kitchen from ucts, copper jewelry and home, serving affordable, plant-based meals, other items made from but as an efficient networker, she aimed to meet natural resources. other business owners and expand the types of Copacetic Vibes, a meals available. spiritual smoke shop Although her friend Earth Feathur has hosted based in Winston-Salem, two Live Vegan Food Festivals in downtown sets up their wares on a Greensboro so far, Myers wanted to offer more table decorated with glass consistent access to these kinds of products. pipes, dreamcatchers “People need a resource,” she says. and meditation guides. Eventually she met AP Lindsay and formed a COURTESY PHOTO Patrons indulge in alkaline partnership to use the LightHouse on S. Eugene strawberry banana pudSt.— his event space he describes as a “beacon Morgan Myers opened a vegan market in Greensboro after noticing a need for more vegan options in the city. ding jars from Eating2Live, of light in the community” — for the market. It a Greensboro-based aligns with Lindsay’s own goals for Greensboro the market is an enjoyable, judgment-free zone. vegan soul food and dessert company. A myriad and the surrounding areas. “There are times where I talk about my diet of visitors to enjoy their meals and relax at round “Part of my community engagement programs and get funny looks so it’s nice to be able to go dining tables placed near the center of the room. include healthy living and eating,” he says. somewhere and talk freely and know you’re not Mercedes Cedeno Mason, owner of Collage to Every other Sunday, the LightHouse becomes going to get any funny looks, just helpful advice Heirloom, proudly displays her self-proclaimed a health-conscious experience that can be both and tips,” he says. “eczema love line” at her booth. Her colorfully tasty and educational Myers says He believes that whether you’re vegan or not, painted Styrofoam heads with their textured skin “A lot of people that want to try plant-based there’s nothing wrong with making your diet a in all hues, were inspired by her granddaughter if they’re not already vegan, or even if they are, little healthier. The market can also serve as an who suffers from eczema. The tops of the head they don’t have the time or energy to learn how enlightening experience for those less knowlare cut out to make room for a potted plant, to make their own recipes,” she says. “They need edgeable about the foods they eat. which poses as the “hair” on the Styrofoam a place where they can come and try stuff.” “Knowing more about what you’re putting into head. Myers stresses that people should opt for your body, to me, seems to only be beneficial so Delvon Peterson, an attendee at the market, fresh vegan meals before jumping to concluhaving an opportunity and a space to go where believes Greensboro doesn’t cater to the vegan/ sions about their flavor. people are really informed about what they’re vegetarian community too often, so the market “They’re eating a lot of processed or fast-food telling you is important for any community,” was a pleasant change. vegan food, and they’re turned off by it,” she Peterson says. “It was nice to see other businesses that are says. “People can come to something like this vegan-friendly that are around that I otherwise where they’re using natural, fresh ingredients The GSO Vegan Vendors market is held wouldn’t have had exposure to,” Peterson says. and the food is made with love.” biweekly on Sundays at The LightHouse As a vegetarian, he’s no stranger to raised eyeInside the LightHouse, a DJ blasts R&B hits at 1325 S. Eugene Street in Greensboro. brows when he reveals his food choices. To him, from the ‘70s from speakers against the stage. Learn more on Facebook.

CULTURE | MAR 3 - 9, 2022

GSO Vegan Vendors Market offers meals and products CULTURE “made with love”


CULTURE | MAR 3 - 9, 2022

Q&A: Phoebe Zerwick talks about Darryl Hunt, new book CULTURE that chronicles his life after prison by James Douglas

Phoebe Zerwick is the Associate Director of the Practice within the English Department and Director of the Journalism Program at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. As a former metro columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal, Zerwick she wrote an eight-part series in 2003 that delved into the 1984 murder of Deborah Sykes who, like Zerwick, had chosen a career in journalism. The 25-year-old Sykes, who was employed for the Winston-Salem Sentinel as a copy editor, was raped and stabbed to death while walking to work in downtown Winston-Salem on the morning of Aug. 10, 1984. The man convicted of her rape and murder, Darryl Hunt, was sentenced to life in prison. Zerwick’s series of articles Murder, Race, Justice: The State vs. Darryl Hunt, was a catalyst for a renewed CHRISTINE RUCKER investigation into the case. The subsePhoebe Zerwick previously worked as a metro columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal where she wrote an eight-part series about the Darryl Hunt case. quent events led to DNA testing that implicated another suspect who, when confronted, admitted to the crime. What did you find out about how Darryl’s life was after he Darryl Hunt, who always maintained his innocence, was exonerated and was released? released in early 2004 after serving almost 20 years. He died in 2016 What he really wanted to work on was helping people coming home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. from prison. He ran a foundation called the Darryl Hunt Project for Zerwick’s first book, Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Freedom and Justice and did a lot of that work himself. He did lots and Hunt is set to be released on March 8. Zerwick will be speaking at lots of mentoring work. What he understood was that there are so many Bookmarks in Winston-Salem on March 8 at 7 p.m. barriers in place and that it wasn’t that he felt the work he was doing was futile, but it was more than one small agency can tackle. When did you first learn of Darryl Hunt? The kinds of barriers he talked about have since been documented by I kind of grew up as a journalist knowing his story, but I investigated the American Bar Association. Regulations, laws, guidelines, all kinds of the case for the Winston-Salem Journal in 2003. I kind of thought I was practices that pretty much condemn people coming out of prison to fail. done when he got out. When he died, I was drawn back into trying to It’s impossible to get a job. You can’t go live in public housing. You can’t find out what had happened to him, trying to find out the real story that I apply for financial aid. Some places you can’t even get a license to be had missed earlier. The story of what happened to him in prison and the a barber, you certainly can’t become a lawyer. You can’t serve on a jury. challenges he faced coming out of prison. Lots of places still don’t allow anybody with a criminal record to vote. Getting insurance can be really difficult. How did you come up with the focus for the book? So there are all these structural barriers that these reentry programs — which provide a little bit of job training, a little bit of help getting housThere’s an archive at the Wake Forest law school of all the court pleading, maybe a little bit of help getting a car — just provide a band aid. It’s ings related to his case, correspondence related to his case, letters not addressing this larger problem that Darryl really wanted to address. back and forth between him and his attorney, and journals that were made available to me. So, the real research and reporting that went into What did your reporting find about the trauma endured by the book was trying to understand how this injustice affected Darryl people who are wrongly convicted like Darryl was? psychologically and trying to understand what happened to him in prison. And then, really trying to understand what his life was like after There haven’t been a lot of studies of people who were exonerated, prison. but the ones that have been done show that Darryl Hunt was not at all


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alone and suffered tremendous trauma and psychiatric issues from this experience.

CULTURE | MAR 3 - 9, 2022

People exonerated from death row all report some form of trauma: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, difficulty maintaining relationships. All of these problems are what people typically associate with PTSD. I don’t know that Darrell was ever diagnosed with PTSD, he had the symptoms of PTSD. He had panic attacks, he couldn’t sleep, he went to the ATM every day to have a document of where he was in case he was ever accused of something again. It was the experience of being in prison and having these repeated defeats and repeated experiences of injustice. Darryl was twice convicted of the murder of Deborah Sykes. Then there was another murder that he was charged with, the death of Arthur Wilson, which he was convicted and then acquitted of. So, that’s four murder trials to go through and then he was turned down by the appellate system at every single level. There was DNA evidence in 1994 that showed he had not raped Deborah Sykes. That should have won a new trial or exonerated him. Instead, he was turned down by the local courts, by the state Supreme Court, by the Federal Court of Appeals, and then by the US Supreme Court. All of those defeats. In researching this book, I came to understand better how devastating those were. He came out of prison. and he immediately began the life of a celebrity. There was a documentary film about him that elevated him even more as a celebrity. Then, he did all this advocacy work. In a sense, what he was doing was reliving this trauma every day as part of his job. And there’s a term for it, people call it “cumulative trauma.” These exonerations have kind of become a normal part of the news. Somewhere, somebody is getting out of prison, and it looks like a victory and people say “Well, the criminal justice system worked” and that the release is the end of it. It’s beginning to work, but it’s certainly not achieving justice.


How has learning about and reporting about Darryl Hunt affected you personally? It makes me sad. Today would have been his birthday. I suppose I have very complicated feelings about it. Darryl should have been the one to get to write his book.

Darryl Hunt was born on Feb. 24, 1965, in Winston-Salem. He died on March 13, 2016.



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Svetlana Chub, center, a native of Kharkiv, Ukraine, stands wrapped in the Ukrainian flag at a community rally at Trinity Church to support Ukrainians.


PUZZLES | MAR 3-9, 2022


“It’s Getting Dark”--but it’s supposed to do that. by Matt Jones

Across 1. They’re part of the vinyl solution? 4. Young of AC/DC 9. “Guernica” painter Picasso 14. Alley-___ (basketball maneuver) 15. Million-___ odds 16. “I speak for the trees” speaker 17. Win-win deal 19. Still around 20. Conclusion of “Hamilton” 21. Discussion need 23. Grandma, across the Atlantic 24. Seasonal reason to get a shot 26. Quite 28. Not built in a home workshop, perhaps 33. ___ Spaghetti (Detroit restaurant coowned by Eminem) 36. Bard’s instrument 37. 2021 singer of “Easy On Me” 39. “Xanadu” rockers 40. Film editing technique, or what the edges of the theme answers represent 42. “Bloody ___!” (Cockney outburst) 43. Florida critter 45. Guitarist Benjamin and hockey player Bobby 46. It may be trapped in a filter 47. Old-timey emergency service provider 50. Go off course 51. Comes along 55. “American Dad!” employer 57. Primary impact 61. Layer discussed in “An Inconvenient Truth” 62. Pull some strings? 64. Maryland home of the U.S. Army Field Band 66. Kitchen range 67. Like Lamb Chop or Shaun 68. Chess’s ___ Lopez opening 69. Hurting more 70. Chimney deposits 71. Refreshing resort



1. Like some yogurt, informally 2. Cook eggs, in a way 3. “In ___ of it all ...” 4. Leader of the Huns 5. “Conjunction Junction” conjunction 6. First-ballot Hall of Famer, presumably 7. Go back, in a way 8. Move like groundwater 9. It may get colored in at dinner 10. “You’ve got mail!” ISP 11. Where pirate ships sink, poetically 12. Obsidian source 13. “Oregon Trail” creatures 18. Jazz motifs 22. Climbing vine


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25. Stanford rival 27. “Excellent” 29. Henry VII or Henry VIII, for instance 30. “SNL” castmate of Ferrell and Gasteyer 31. Company shake-up, for short 32. Self-titled 1969 jazz album 33. Former eBay chief Whitman 34. Current chancellor of Germany Scholz 35. Person who gets you going 38. Street of horror fame 40. Part of a pub concert promotion, perhaps 41. Insurance provider to mil. families 44. Bauxite, e.g. 46. Jump on, as an opportunity 48. “It’s too chilly!” 49. Suffixes that go with stadiums 52. Gets really high 53. Reach a conclusion 54. “Byeeee” 55. Utter some discouraging words 56. Keen on 58. Tabloid craft 59. Porto-___ (capital of Benin) 60. Small music group 63. “___ Been Everywhere” 65. Sticks around for a real blast?


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