North Carolina


This past Saturday, media mogul Oprah Winfrey surprised attendees at the 17th annual Maya Angelou Women Who Lead Luncheon with a major donation that will help minority students in the North Carolina area attend college. 

The event, which was held in Charlotte, North Carolina and put on by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), honored women who are making a positive difference in the community and who are helping to keep the late Maya Angelou’s legacy alive. 

When Winfrey, who served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon, found out that UNCF had raised $1.15 million at the event for local deserving students to attend college, she announced that she would match the donation and help bring the total amount raised to $2.3 million. 

“I believe in the power of education,” The Charlotte Observer reports Winfrey telling the audience. “There is nothing better than to open the door for someone.”

In 2007, Winfrey opened her leadership academy for young girls in South Africa and told the crowd that three of her girls had graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. She continued by recalling a conversation she had with the late Angelou where she told her that she believed her academy in South Africa would be her greatest legacy. 

“You have no idea what your legacy is going to be because your legacy will be every life you touch,” Winfrey said Angelou told her. 

Winfrey then challenged the crowd to think about their own legacy by understanding that “your legacy is how you treat everybody.”

Next year, Winfrey will return to Charlotte to campaign for healthier living as part of her “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus” tour. The wellness event is scheduled to hit the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on January 18, 2020. 


Julia Nepper is just 23 years old, but she already has her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. Her mother, Nadine Nepper, knew early on that Julia was gifted. “We didn’t think she was being challenged enough,” Nadine recalled in talking with local station WECT. “It was suggested if we wanted her to excel, we’d have to pull her out and homeschool her.” So, for four years, Nadine and her ex-husband home schooled their daughter.


And by the time Julia was 12 years old, she was ready for college. She entered Cape Fear Community College and got her associate’s degree at age 14. Then, she got her bachelor’s degree from UNCW at 16 and now her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at 23. “I’m so proud of her,” Nadine said. “All that hard work has paid off. It’s hard to believe she was kept back in kindergarten that one year.”

“Most of the people I’ve met, in my life, could have done what I did if they had the right support,” Julia said

“I don’t fault my parents, pushing me, with regards to my education. Clearly, I could handle it and it worked. So they must have done something right.” For the first time in over half her lifetime, Julia is facing a period of her life when she doesn’t have any homework. “I’ve been in college most of my life and I haven’t really been in the real world,” Julia said. “It’s exciting but actually scary to go out and get a job.”

While her mother would love for her to come back home, Julia has other plans. In fact, she’s even thinking about trying to get a job in Japan. She’s been ambitious her whole life, and she isn’t about to stop now, after all. Congratulations on your graduation, Julia!

This Article Was First Published on thegrio.com

Based on a new ruling issued by a federal court in North Carolina, female students attending Charter Day, a school in Leland, North Carolina, will no longer be forced to wear skirts as part of their required school uniforms.


The ruling comes after guardians of three students who attend the school, comprised of 900 students in grades kindergarten through eighth, sued the district in 2016 on behalf of the students, CBS News reports.

In their suit, the guardians alleged that in forcing female students to wear skirts, the students have “to pay constant attention to the positioning of their legs during class, distracting them from learning, and has led them to avoid certain activities altogether, such as climbing or playing sports during recess, all for fear of exposing their undergarments and being reprimanded by teachers or teased by boys.”

As the school’s dress code previously read, the required uniform policy was enacted to “serve the School’s mission of providing a classical education by creating a traditional learning environment.” Under the previous dress code, girls were required to wear jumpers, skirts, or skorts that were knee-length or longer. Boys were permitted to wear pants and shorts.

Per a ruling by Judge Malcolm J. Howard, female students will no longer be required to wear skirts. As his ruling states, “Women (and girls) have, for at least several decades, routinely worn both pants and skirts in various settings, including professional settings and school settings. Females have been allowed to wear trousers or pants in all but the most formal or conservative settings since the 1970s.” The judge went on to say that “the skirts requirement causes the girls to suffer a burden the boys do not, simply because they are female.”

According to The New York Times, Baker Mitchell, founder of the Roger Bacon Academy, a company which operates four charter schools in North Carolina, said that following the ruling, the Charter Day School Board was “analyzing the opinion and will be meeting with counsel in the very near future to discuss their options moving forward.”


Credit: Teen Vogue