DRNC is honored to host a virtual film screening and community conversation with our sister P&ADisability Rights Maryland (DRM). We invite you to view an excellent and hard-hitting 20-minute film, “To Serve and Protect.” The film will be followed by a conversation with panelists addressing the critical need for alternatives to armed police responses to people experiencing mental health crises in our communities.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

About this event

Disability Rights North Carolina (DRNC) is honored to host a film screening and community conversation with our sister Protection & Advocacy agency, Disability Rights Maryland (DRM). On Tuesday, August 10, 7-8:30 p.m., we invite you to view an excellent and hard-hitting 20-minute film, “To Serve and Protect,” produced by DRM to show personal accounts of the human toll and trauma resulting from violent police emergency responses to people in need of help. Thomas Hicks and Marcella Holloman-Hill, whose personal stories are featured in the film, will be on hand to discuss their experiences and perspectives. Along with DRM litigation director Lauren Young, they will discuss the urgency for reform of dehumanizing, racist and life-threatening approaches. DRNC criminal justice attorney Luke Woollard and Promise Resource Network founder and CEO, Cherene Allen-Caraco, will provide insight into potential solutions to decriminalize disability in North Carolina.  

The session will be moderated by DRNC CEO Virginia Knowlton Marcus, and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. ASL and live captioning will be provided.

Please join us for this important community conversation.  


Thomas Hicks, featured in video 

Marcella Holloman-Hill, featured in video, mother of Maurice Donald Johnson 

Lauren Young
Lauren Young is the Director of Litigation for Disability Rights Maryland  where she coordinates legal work in consultation with clients and organizations advocating for people with disabilities. Her work includes lawsuits to address: discrimination in housing, transportation, voting, sexual assaults of individuals in state and community facilities, the unconstitutionality of a state commitment statute for persons found incompetent to stand trial, discrimination in high school athletics and the failure of the State to provide adequate Medicaid services. Young has involvement with the Baltimore City Police consent decree and with prison work undertaken by DRM.

Cherene Allen-Caraco
Cherene Allen-Caraco is CEO and founder of Promise Resource Network (PRN), a Charlotte, based community-wide collaborative operated and staffed by people who have been directly impacted by and involved with mental health services and systems. They have extensive experience as survivors of trauma, suicide attempts, incarceration, homelessness, involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations, substance use, domestic violence, traumatic brain injury and affiliated life challenges. PRN partnered with SAFE Coalition NC, Jarrod James and Rep. John Autry, to identify 17 recommendations for an alternative community response team to support people experiencing emotional distress, psychiatric disabilities, substance use, homelessness, and other wellness challenges through non-traumatizing alternatives that reduce and/or eliminate the use of involuntary hospitalization, confinement, arrest, restraint, handcuffing, shackling and other uses of force when responding to people in our community who experience emotional distress. Allen-Caraco serves as secretary of the Disability Rights NC PAIMI Mental Health Advisory Council. 

Luke Woollard 
Luke Woollard joined DRNC’s criminal justice team in January 2019. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University. He attended UNC School of Law after spending two years in Americorps. Prior to DRNC, Woollard began his legal career working to correct the wrongful convictions of indigent North Carolina inmates.