Meet Toia Potts, a dedicated Organizer at Emancipate NC. As a parent who has been falsely accused of child abuse and a victim of the family regulation system, Toia is committed to raising awareness about the ways in which CPS separates families. Toia frequently shares her personal experience publicly to educate the people and advocate for parents facing similar issues.
Over the past two and a half years, Toia has served on the Durham Community Safety & Wellness Task Force on the Criminal Legal Roundtable. Alongside other appointed members, they made recommendations for reforming Durham Social Services and Abuse/Neglect/Dependency Court. The report they recently launched on October 28th includes recommendations that could be implemented immediately to make short-term improvements for families. Some of these recommendations include increasing parent-child visitation and providing earlier access to legal representation. They also suggested expanding pre- and post-arrest diversion programs, reducing the use of cash bail, implementing suggestions from survivors of gun violence, establishing an Office of Survivor Care to support victims of violent crime and their families, improving conditions at the Durham jail, and expanding Local Reentry Council services for individuals returning from incarceration.
In addition to the Taskforce, in the future, Toia will be organizing a fundraiser for parents in custody at the Durham County Jail. The funds raised will be used to provide financial support to these parents, allowing them to make phone calls to their loved ones or children, order hot food, or meet their other needs. Having experienced the holiday season away from her family in jail, Toia is passionate about connecting with and supporting those on the inside who are going through the same ordeal.
If any parents, community members, or organizations would like to connect with Toia regarding their experiences, resources, or issues related to the child welfare system, please reach out to her via email firstname.lastname@example.org.