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Meet the New Jersey woman who was pivotal to North Carolina sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement

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Meet the New Jersey woman who was pivotal to North Carolina sit-ins during the Civil Rights Movement


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The sit-ins of the South became a pivotal part of civil rights history, and in 1960, a North Carolina college student from the Philadelphia area took a stand by being one of the first to sit down at a whites-only lunch counter.

Nancy Kirby’s story begins in Haddonfield, New Jersey, where she grew up and graduated from high school at age 16. She was planning to stay local for college by attending the University of Pennsylvania or Temple University –  two schools Kirby said offered her full scholarships. Her mother, however, insisted she go away and attend an HBCU.

“She wanted me to have an experience where I was not in the minority,” Kirby said.

Kirby decided on Bennett College, a historically Black college for women in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was her first time in the segregated South, and when she arrived there in the late 1950s, the Civil Rights Movement was starting to catch on.

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Nancy Kirby's student identification card from Bennett College

CBS News Philadelphia


Kirby said her mother warned her against participating in the movement, fearing it would jeopardize her ability to graduate.

A statue of four men, the Greensboro Four, outside at North Carolina A&T State University.
A statue of the “Greensboro Four,” led a sit-in in 1960, on display at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

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The sit-in demonstrations were a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement when Black people sat down at whites-only lunch counters. The first to do it are known as the “Greensboro Four,” four North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University students who took a stand by sitting down at the Woolworth lunch counter. They sparked an evolution, and their story has been told by many over the last 60 years. There’s even a statue of the four men on North Carolina A&T’s campus, but it turns out there’s more to the story.

Decades after the sit-ins, Linda Beatrice Brown wrote a book titled “Belles of Liberty” to set the record straight.

“They didn’t come up with this idea by themselves at all, and I got tired of hearing that story be told the wrong way. The Bennett women deserve a whole lot more credit than they get,” said Brown, a Bennett alum who knows firsthand about the planning and organizing that happened before that first sit-in on Feb. 1, 1960.

“This was not just true of Greensboro, but true of the whole Civil Rights Movement: Women didn’t get the credit they should have in terms of being the movers and shakers of this movement,” Brown said.

At 20 years old and 450 miles from home, Kirby was one of those movers and shakers.

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“My mother called again and said ‘do not get involved in that.’ By this time, I had already been arrested,” Kirby said.

Despite her participation in the sit-ins, Kirby graduated from Bennett College in 1960. With the exception of those four years in college, Nancy Kirby has lived in the Philadelphia area her whole life. She spent the majority of her career working at Bryn Mawr College.

Only in recent years have she and other women been recognized for their role in the movement that changed the course of history. 

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North Carolina

North Carolina recognizes Children’s Advocacy Centers

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North Carolina recognizes Children’s Advocacy Centers


Governor Roy Cooper declared April 11, 2024, as “Children’s Advocacy Center Day.”

This recognition highlights the crucial role these centers play in supporting vulnerable children.

Many children face physical or sexual abuse or neglect.

These incidents often go unreported, leaving lasting trauma. However, Children’s Advocacy Centers offer a beacon of hope.

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Last year alone, these centers across the state provided help to over 12,000 children.

A recent example is Raleigh’s “SAFE Child” center, which opened last October.

SAFE Child Director Cristin DeRonja says there is hope.

“These children need to be heard, and we need to give them a safe place to come to talk about their experiences to better understand what has happened in their lives that has been traumatic,” DeRonja said.

DeRonja said the new SAFE-Child center allows them to see multiple children at the same time – eliminating long wait lists for services.

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This center provides a haven for children while they receive professional support.



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Fujifilm Invests Additional $1.2 Billion to Expand its North Carolina CDMO

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Fujifilm Invests Additional $1.2 Billion to Expand its North Carolina CDMO


Fujifilm invested $1.2 billion in its large-scale cell culture CDMO business to further expand the planned Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies end-to-end bio-manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, NC. The total investment in the facility now totals over $3.2 billion.

The new investment will add 8 x 20,000 liters mammalian cell culture bioreactors by 2028, to the already planned 8 x 20,000 L for bulk drug substance as part of the initial investment. This new facility allows for flexibility to expand with additional bioreactors to accommodate new projects to meet the emerging needs of partners, and upon completion will make the site one of the largest cell culture biopharmaceutical CDMO facilities in North America, according to Fujifilm officials.

Ability to construct identical large-scale production facilities 

Through Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies’ modular production model, KojoXTM, the expansion enables the company to construct identical large-scale production facilities in U.S. and Europe to ensure that customers can seamlessly integrate drug manufacturing production regardless of location, noted Teiichi Goto, president and CEO, representative director, Fujifilm.

Based on the Evaluate Pharma World Preview, the antibody drug market is expected to grow at an annual rate of eight percent through 2030 due to increasing demands for conventional antibody drugs as well as the expansion of antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and novel antibody drugs using bispecific antibodies.

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“Securing adequate capacity to support market demands is a cornerstone of our Partners for Life strategy and essential to helping our partners bring life-impacting medicines to patients,” said Lars Petersen, president and CEO, Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

In line with the overall design and construction of the Holly Springs facility, the new investment will incorporate sustainability initiatives that contribute to net-zero operations. All energy needs for operations is expected to be 100% offset through the use of renewable landfill gas, onsite solar and the 125,000 MWh of annual sustainable solar energy from a virtual power purchase agreement.

Additional sustainability goals for water and waste reduction align with Fujifilm’s Sustainable Value Plan 2030, and the campus is on track to achieve LEED Gold Certification with initiatives that include diverting 90% of construction waste from landfill, additional rooftop solar electricity, installation of heat recovery chiller systems to maximize efficiency between boilers and the chilled water system, use of low embodied carbon concrete utilizing waste fly ash which delivers a 10% reduction in carbon emissions compared to standard cement, and installing ultra-low Nitrogen Oxide boilers, leading to a 50% reduction in nitrogen emissions, pointed out Petersen.

For related articles see GEN: “$2B or Not $2B: Fujifilm Diosynth Breaks Ground on NC Cell Culture Facility” and “Fujifilm Diosnynth Plans $2B Cell Culture Facility in Holly Springs, NC.”

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North Carolina governor to welcome historic visitor at mansion: Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida – The Boston Globe

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North Carolina governor to welcome historic visitor at mansion: Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida – The Boston Globe


RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — After spending a few days in Washington emphasizing global security concerns, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to tour around North Carolina on Friday to spotlight a different interest: his nation’s title as the state’s biggest foreign investor.

Kishida, who has been Japan’s prime minister since 2021, is scheduled to visit two Japanese companies and North Carolina State University after arriving Thursday night, according to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office. In between, Kishida plans to have lunch at the governor’s mansion in a historic first for the Tar Heel State.

“Well, this puts North Carolina in a global showcase,” Cooper told reporters Thursday. “Having the prime minister come and to acknowledge North Carolina when he could have gone to any one of the 50 states — it is a big deal.”

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Kishida said in a news conference before his visit that he chose to stop in North Carolina to show that the Japan-U.S. partnership extends beyond Washington, according to a provisional translation posted on the prime minister’s website.

To kick off the tour, Kishida and his delegation plan to visit an up-and-coming Toyota Motor Corp. electric and hybrid battery plant in Liberty and the Honda Aircraft Co. headquarters in Greensboro.

Chiaki Takagi, a Japanese studies lecturer at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, said the prime minister’s visit surprised her but it could signal a “positive future partnership” between Japan and the U.S. and more Japanese workers coming to the state.

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“This whole thing will provide the area with opportunities to be engaged in very active cultural exchange between Japan and the U.S.,” Takagi said. “And it’s nice to know Greensboro will be the place.”

Japan is North Carolina’s largest source of foreign direct investment, according to the governor’s office. About 30,000 state residents work for Japanese companies, Cooper said.

One of those companies, Fujifilm, announced a $1.2 billion investment in its biopharmaceutical manufacturing plant in the state hours before Kishida landed.

The luncheon will mark the first time a foreign head of state has visited the governor’s mansion since records began being kept in 1891, state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources spokesperson Michele Walker said.

Kishida met with President Joe Biden on Wednesday to discuss security concerns about China’s military and reaffirm the U.S.-Japan alliance publicly. In a joint address to Congress on Thursday, Kishida made his case for the U.S. to remain an involved player in global security. He called China’s actions the “greatest strategic challenge” to the international community. Beijing has pushed back strongly on Kishida’s actions during his visit.

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Later Thursday, the first trilateral summit between the U.S., Japan and the Philippines met at the White House to respond to Chinese “intimidation” in the Indo-Pacific.





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