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Media Advisory

For immediate use

May 16, 2006 -- No. 264

Local angles: Carthage, Jackson Hamlet, Pinehurst,
Southern Pines, Aberdeen and Pittsboro

Bus tour examines plight of the unincorporated
and living center that serves autistic adults

Wednesday, May 17

The struggle by black residents in Moore County to get municipal services and a vocational and residents program for autistic adults north of Pittsboro are Wednesday's (May 17) stops on the 2006 Tar Heel Bus Tour for 36 new faculty and administrators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In Moore County's Jackson Hamlet, adjacent to the wealth and splendor of world-class golf courses and resorts, participants will hear how the UNC School of Law's Center for Civil Rights is working with residents to get basic municipal services such as water, sewer and garbage pickup from the bordering communities of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen. At the Carolina Living and Learning Center north of Pittsboro in Chatham County, those on the tour will learn how this facility run by Carolina's Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) provides an integrated place for autistic adults to work and live. Tour participants will see the gardens that residents cultivate and have a chance to interact with the residents.

Dr. Joseph Templeton, chair of the faculty and a chemistry professor at Carolina, is accompanying the bus tour all week.

Tour background:

The UNC group is traveling more than 1,000 miles this week (May 15-19) in a classroom on wheels to learn about distinctly North Carolina topics and visit some of the state's historic and scenic sites. The tour highlights the university's public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good.

"We aim to help faculty gain a better understanding of North Carolina and the people we serve," said Chancellor James Moeser. "As we aspire to be the leading public university in the country, we must serve the people and communities that surround us."

The privately funded tour, which began in 1997, aims to teach new faculty and administrators about North Carolina's people, geography, economy, culture, history, education system and health and social issues. Many stops highlight UNC outreach projects. The participants also have opportunities to learn how their research, teaching and public service can serve the state's needs.

Later this week, participants will learn about a state-of-the-art textile factories keeping North Carolina competitive in that fast-changing industry; the UNC-founded Citizen-Soldier Support Program that helps provide a support network to families of National Guard and National Reserve soldiers deployed overseas; the state's higher education system (in a meeting with peers at UNC-Charlotte); and economic development efforts in small towns including Chimney Rock.

Stops on Monday, in Halifax and Rocky Mount, covered the life of UNC founder William R. Davie and university outreach work with a health services program. On Tuesday, tour participants visited the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City and took a boat trip to Shackleford Banks - learning about how hurricanes have affected water quality in the state. Later, in Albertson, the group visited B.F. Grady Elementary School to hear how UNC School of Education professors have worked with teachers and leaders there to meet the needs of the district's fast-growing Hispanic population. And in Shannon, participants visited the Lumbee community facility at Three Sisters Farm, run by the American Indian Mothers group.

Carolina Connections: Moore County is home to 172 Carolina students and 1,229 alumni and Chatham County is home to 247 students and 1,308 alumni.

Wednesday's schedule, highlights:

8 a.m. - Depart Little River Golf Resort, 500 Little River Farm Road, Carthage (Moore County), for drive to Jackson Hamlet.

8:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 177 Gaines Street, Jackson Hamlet (Moore County).


Anita Earls, director of advocacy at the UNC School of Law's Center for Civil Rights, will discuss how the Center has worked with the residents of Jackson Hamlet, Midway and other unincorporated communities in their drive to become incorporated and obtain basic municipal services. The unincorporated communities are overwhelmingly African-American and have lower median household incomes than the incorporated communities they border. Local leaders, who also will address the group, include: the Rev. Carol Henry, president of Jackson Hamlet Community Action; Maurice Holland, Sr., president of the Midway Community Association; Hilton Dunlap and Bobby Person, community activists with Voices for Justice; Thomas Jones, a local resident; and Oneal Russ, a deacon at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church. After the meeting, the group will tour Jackson Hamlet to see the situation first-hand.

11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. - Carolina Living and Learning Center, 325 Russet Run, just north of Pittsboro (Chatham County).

Dr. Nancy Reichle, Carolina Living and Learning Center director; Dr. Gary Mesibov, division TEACCH director; and program coordinator Tom Wiebe will discuss the work of center and TEACCH during lunch on site. Tour participants will learn how the center works both as a home and a work place for the 15 adult residents, as well as about the 79-acre center's organic farm and the service, training and research efforts that have made the center an international model for the treatment of autism. After lunch, the group will visit the farm, gardens, and potting sheds as well as the residences. The group also will meet the residents, many of whom have some mental retardation in addition to autism.

Interviews: Participants and tour organizers are expected to be available for print and broadcast interviews at each stop. During the tour, call UNC News Services at (919) 962-2091 with questions about coverage, directions to tour stops or help setting up interviews with tour participants.

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2006 Tar Heel Bus Tour news release: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/may06/bustour051106.htm

News Services contacts: Karen Moon, (919) 962-8595 or karen_moon@unc.edu; LJ Toler, (919) 962-8589 or laura_toler@unc.edu