Board of Directors

Torrey D. Dixon is a graduate of Averett University in Danville, Virginia, where he was valedictorian of his graduating class. He received his law degree and master’s of theological studies degree from Duke University in 2004. Dixon was a legal research assistant with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and served as a clerk with the Danville Circuit Court in Virginia. After graduation in December 2004, Torrey worked as a paralegal with the law firm Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice. He was a fellow at the Civil Rights Center, UNC Chapel Hill School of Law, from July 2005 to May 2007. In the past, Torrey coauthored a Virginia Voting Report with Anita Earls and Kara Millonzi to guide the US Congress in considering renewal of the Voting Rights Act.

Anita Earls is co-founder and Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a new non-profit organization in Durham, North Carolina.  She has been a civil rights attorney for 20 years, working on issues of structural racism, voting rights and community empowerment.   She is a member of North Carolina’s Equal Access to Justice Commission, volunteers with the Women’s Center of Chapel Hill, and is an adjunct professor at UNC School of Law.

Previously Ms. Earls was Director of Advocacy for the UNC Center for Civil Rights.   From April 1998 to August 2000, Anita served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she had responsibility for the Division’s Voting, Educational Opportunities, Disability Rights and Coordination and Review sections.  Anita also was Director of the Voting Rights Project for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C.

Anita was in private practice for ten years with Ferguson, Stein, Wallas, Adkins, Gresham & Sumter in Charlotte, North Carolina, litigating voting rights, police misconduct, school desegregation, employment discrimination, public accommodations, housing discrimination, disability rights and first amendment cases.

Christopher Ellis, Residence Coordinator for Residential Life at Duke University.

Elena Everett is a videographer, activist, and organizer.  She earned an interdisciplinary Bachelors in Media Studies and Public Policy from North Carolina State University in 2005 and continues to work with youth and students to build leadership and advocate for change.  She was a policy intern with the Common Sense Foundation, an NC-based progressive state policy think tank, where she did an in depth analysis of lobbying interests in the state legislature.  She worked as a Program Associate at the Institute for Southern Studies from 2005-2007 and from 2005-2006 served as the Outreach Director for The Peoples Channel, Orange County’s public access television station, where she also advocated for the preservation of Public, Educational, and Government access channels. She was the Instant Runoff Voting Director for FairVote NC from August 2007-May 2008, and helped support North Carolina’s first two successful IRV pilot elections.

In 2005, Elena began working with a media production collective, Independent Voices, which based in the Triangle Area of North Carolina and covers local and global organizing for economic, social, and environmental justice.  Her footage has been featured on PBS’s Now!, German Public Televisision, and Democracy Now!

She currently serves at the Community Media Director for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, helping communities to impact the public debate by teaching media literacy skills and also to use new media to frame their concerns and advance their campaigns.

George Friday grew up in a rural low income community in North Carolina in the 60s. George holds degrees in Political Science, Economics, and African American Studies from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where she graduated in 1982.

She works with grassroots community organizations to provide leadership and skills training ranging from strategic planning and organizing to fundraising, marketing and community building with particular focus on oppression dynamics and the role of “privilege” in transforming power dynamics leading to broad, deep economic and social justice change.

She currently works with the Liberty Tree Foundation for Democratic Revolution as a Local Democracy Fellow. She serves on on the National Planning Committee of USSF and on the administrative committee for United for Peace and Justice. She is also a board member for the Institute for Southern Studies.

Becky Manning became involved with the Center for Voting & Democracy in 1992 as a vocal grassroots supporter and contributor. Since moving back to North Carolina from NYC in 2001 and settling in Asheville, she has been taking advantage of opportunities to promote improvements in election procedures.

Becky holds a BA degree in Communication Arts and a MFA in Lighting & Scenic Design/Technical Direction. She works regionally as a lighting designer, both theatrical and architectural, on a wide variety of projects. She has also taught lighting at UNC-Asheville, Appalachian State University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Lee Mortimer has been associated with FairVote since attending its June 1992 founding conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was active in election reform initiatives in Durham and Orange counties in the 1990s. He served on a General Assembly Election Laws Review Commission in 1996. As a candidate for Durham school board in 2000, he made changing the way school board members are elected an issue for his campaign. He has published articles on election reform in numerous North Carolina newspapers and has been occasionally quoted in national media. He has worked in journalism, advertising, technical communications and is currently employed in the insurance field. He has been a North Carolina resident most of his life and has lived in Durham the past 20 years with his wife Karen, a non-profit administrator. Their son Jason is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill who lives and works in Japan. Lee enjoys spending time with family and friends, including talking about politics with Jason over the Internet.

Gray Newman is a Civil Engineer and Land Use Planner from Mint Hill, NC and is interested in many progressive causes. He currently serves on the boards of Democracy NC, FairVote NC, School of the Americas Watch, is a member of the Mecklenburg County Historic Landmarks Commission and is a steering committee member of the South Central NC Resource Conservation and Development District. Grey is also an elected official, serving as chair of the Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation Board.


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