Anita Earls is the founder and Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization in Durham, North Carolina. She litigates voting rights and other civil rights cases in partnership with community-based organizations. Anita previously has served on the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission.
From 1998 to 2000, Anita was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She also directed the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For ten years, Anita was in private practice, litigating voting rights, police misconduct, school desegregation, and employment discrimination cases.
Anita has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina law schools, and in the African and African-American Studies Department at Duke University. Currently she is teaching attorneys in the Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Training Institute. In 2011 Anita received the national NAACP’s Civil Rights Champion Award, and in 2013 she was named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the North Carolina NAACP.