Socialists Among Us: Turning a ‘Proffitt’

In our multi-part series on the Socialists Among Us in North Carolina, we turn to a relatively well-known figure, Bryan Proffitt, who is often cited by local media as simply ‘a history teacher’ in Durham.

Part One: The Socialists Among Us In North Carolina
Part Two: The Socialists In NC: Close-up of a Comrade

Proffitt is anything but ‘just a history teacher’.  He’s a far Left activist who is a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and multiple other social justice related organizations.

Proffitt is a history teacher at Hillside High school in Durham, North Carolina. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t also an activist in his classroom as the Durham Voice reported:


“Hillside History Teacher Bryan Proffitt encourages students to become activists.” (Image credit: Durham Voice Staff photo by Safiyah Gray)

Hillside history teacher Bryan Proffitt works with an organization called People’s Durham, which is a group of students, teachers and parents who come together to solve problems related to education and the economy.

The group will be going out to working-class neighborhoods and trying to get people to vote in the upcoming election.

Hillside English teacher Holly Jordan is also a part of People’s Durham, and she said, “I think that People’s Durham has the right vision on improving society.”

People’s Durham is one of many socialist front organizations tied to FRSO.  Holly Jordan is Proffitt’s significant other and she also has ties to FRSO.

Proffitt is a member of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE). As part of that membership, Proffitt has led the controversial sub-group of the NCAE called Organize 2020.

This offshoot self-describes as the NCAE’s “social justice caucus.” Organize 2020 has been behind multiple state-wide ‘teacher walk-in’ protests and related events. Leaflets, like the one below, were sent home in student’s backpacks for parents to discover:

Earlier this year in May, the NCAE announced its Facebook page that Proffitt was a “finalist for the NEA Social Justice Activist Award.”

Proffitt didn’t win the award, but not for lack of trying — like staging a protest at the Governor’s office this year, which resulted in Organize 2020 member chaining themselves together in the middle of downtown Raleigh.

This sit-in in the middle of the street in Raleigh was the culmination of a two-day walk from Durham to Raleigh.

The narrative from these protesters was, ‘the Governor won’t meet with us’. Yet, these Organize 2020 protesters were told in advance the Governor would not be there and they declined to accept a different meeting date with the Governor.

Arrests followed the sit-in, which included Proffitt. The charge was resisting arrest. Read the full backstory on this turn of events.061516 Morgan St Protest Arrest BRYAN PROFITT

Other organizations Proffitt is aligned with include Occupy Durham, Moral Monday, Men Against Rape Culture (Founding Member), Hip Hop Against Racist War and United for Peace and Justice.

Proffitt is also a board member of Action for Community in Raleigh (ACRe). American Lens has exposed ACRe back in November as being the common link between dozens of socialist-themed social justice organizations.

ACRe - Jillian Johnson - Durham Solidarity Center - Southern Vision Alliance

In that November report, it was revealed that ACRe had been collecting ‘donations’ for Black Lives Matter supplies and for bailing out those arrested at protests.

It was also uncovered that ACRe’s non-profit license had expired in May of 2016, bringing into question the legality of the group’s fundraising:

Via the North Carolina Secretary of State records accessed while writing this article, ACRe’s charity status expired in May of 2014. Any donations received after 5/15/14 by ACRe, DSC or the Youth Organizing Institute were therefore likely received illegally. Attempts to locate a single IRS 990 filing for ACRe were unsuccessful.

On Sunday, October 30, 2016, the FRSO hosted a conference call on “Revolutionary Strategies to Beat the Rising Right Wing.” The invitation went out on Facebook and included Bryan Proffitt.  The related image and text of the event are below.

102916 FB FRSO Rev Strategies to Fight rising Right

What’s the nature of this right-wing threat? What has this election cycle changed about the political terrain we’re fighting on? How do we need to prepare for whats coming after the election? Hear about these crucial questions from our panel of top political strategists, including Nelini Stamp, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Linda Burnham, and Sendolo Diaminah.

The next time you see Mr. Proffitt cited as ‘just a history teacher’ from Durham, now you know he is one of the Socialists Among Us in North Carolina.

This article first appeared at American Lens News on December 30, 2016.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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