Ethical Humanist Society Discuses Ferguson, Missouri

book-The Thirteenth JurorAsheville journalist Nelda Holder will discuss the events surrounding the death of Michael Brown, Jr. in Ferguson, MO, at the Sunday, August 21 meeting of the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville.

The meeting takes place on Sunday, August 21, 2016 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at Asheville Friends Meeting House, 227 Edgewood Rd., Asheville, NC. All are welcome.

Holder will discuss her book, The Thirteenth Juror, an in-depth investigative report that analyzed the contents of more than 6,466 pages of transcripts and documents released in the Missouri grand jury investigation into Brown’s death in August 2014. She will describe her approach to the material: to slip into the role of a grand juror as she read every word of testimony and analyzed the evidence presented in the transcripts.

Holder will also discuss the disparate eyewitness testimony in the case and its striking unreliability, as well as personal stories from witnesses who knew Michael Brown and their experiences in the community, particularly involving police interactions. She will also share her research into America’s grand jury processes—unique to each state—and potential reforms.

Questions and discussion will be welcome. Refreshments will follow the presentation.

An Asheville resident, Holder has been a journalist for most of her professional life. She began her career with The Tampa Times in the 1970s and has practiced investigative and documentary journalism ever since. In Asheville, she formerly served as associate editor of Mountain Xpress and is currently the legislative columnist for Asheville’s The Urban News. Holder also manages and edits her own website, Politically Purple NC, which publishes political and cultural articles on the state of North Carolina. She is a graduate of NC State University and holds an MS from Antioch New England.

The Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville is a non-theist alternative to traditional religion, a member of the American Ethical Union and an affiliate of the American Humanist Association. Its purpose is to nurture the capacity and responsibility of human beings to act in their personal relationships and in the larger community to help create a better world. Inspired by the ideal of working to create a more humane society, recognizing each person’s worth and dignity, and helping to bring out the best in him or her, the group assists each other in developing ethical ideas and ideals, celebrating life’s joys, supporting each other through life’s crises, and cultivating ethical behavior in the broader community.

For more information, call (828) 687-7759, email, or go online to or MeetUp:


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