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Important Dates

CMS officially renames high school for Julius Chambers


July 13. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will officially rename the former Vance High School in honor of the late Julius L. Chambers, an influential civil rights lawyer. He fought in Charlotte for school desegregation, as well as for worker and voter rights.

Speakers at the renaming ceremony tomorrow at 9 am include U.S. Rep. Alma Adams; Derrick Chambers, Julius Chambers’ son; CMS Board Chair Elyse Dashew; Dr. Ruby Jones, District 3 board member; and Superintendent Earnest Winston.

Chambers: 8 cases before US Supreme Court

Source: US Rep. Alma Adams

Chambers was the first director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. He graduated from the UNC School of Law in 1962, first in his class. He served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif and Order of the Golden Fleece, the highest honorary societies at the university. He taught at Columbia University School of Law while earning his master of law degree in 1964

Chambers founded the first racially integrated law firm in North Carolina and took eight cases to the U.S. Supreme Court, winning each time.

He is credited with winning the landmark case Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education that federally mandated school busing, bringing about racial integration in schools here and throughout the country.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education voted Oct. 13 to rename Vance High in honor of Chambers,

Rep. Adams among speakers

Speakers will include U.S. Rep. Alma Adams; Derrick Chambers, Julius Chambers’ son; Board Chairperson Elyse Dashew; Dr. Ruby Jones, Board member-District 3; Superintendent Earnest Winston; and Principal Erik Turner.

Zebulon Vance

Zebulon Vance (1830-1894) was a Confederate military officer and slave owner as well as governor of North Carolina. The 75-foot tall Zebulon Baird Vance Monument in Asheville’s Pack Square Park was taken down in May of 2021.

Notable alumni

—DaBaby, rapper

—E. J. Drayton, former professional basketball player

—Chavis Holmes, professional basketball player

—Travis Holmes, former professional basketball player

—Paul Troth, football coach