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Anita Earls, associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, will be the 2019 Halifax Community College commencement speaker.

Commencement exercises will take place May 11 at 10 a.m. at The Griffin Centre.

Earls was sworn in to her new position on January 1.

Prior to assuming her new role, Earls was a civil rights attorney, litigating voting rights and other civil rights cases for 30 years.  

She was the founder and executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization in Durham.  

In the Clinton Administration, Earls served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.  

She has served on the North Carolina State Board of Elections, and the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission.

“We are excited and honored that Justice Earls has accepted our invitation to provide the keynote address for our fifty-second Commencement ceremony,” said Michael A. Elam, president of HCC. “Those in attendance will benefit significantly from what I believe will be a timely and pertinent message from a prestigious judicial officer addressing current issues.”

Earls has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Maryland Law Schools, as well as in the African and African-American Studies Department at Duke University.  

A graduate of Yale Law School and Williams College, Earls lives in Durham with her husband Charles Walton.  

She has two grown sons and two grandchildren.