NC receives hundreds of calls a month from sterilization victims

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation receives hundreds of phone calls every month from people who were sterilized, but foundation officials don’t always know what groups performed the procedures, the agency head said Tuesday night.

The foundation has records of sterilizations of victims of the state’s eugenics program, which operated for much of the 20th century, said Charmaine Fuller Cooper, the foundation’s executive director. It is likely that many people were sterilized in programs conducted by county health boards, nonprofit groups and private charities, she added.

“These people we don’t doubt were sterilized,” she said. “We don’t know by whom.”

Cooper participated in a panel discussion about the state’s eugenics program and the Racial Justice Act at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro.

The forum was sponsored by American Express Philanthropy. State Reps. Earline Parmon, D-Forsyth; Mary Price “Pricey” Harrison, D-Guilford; and Paul Luebke, D-Durham, also were panelists. About 30 people attended the discussion.

This article was written by John Hinton and originally appeared in The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read more.