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CoastLine: Frankie Roberts of LINC on how George Floyd changed the way he talks race

LINC, Inc.
Frankie Roberts, Executive Director of LINC, Leading Into New Communities

Imagine having a brother who is addicted heroin.  He keeps winding up in prison.  You're younger, but you know better.  And so you build your life without him.  You grow up and one day you notice that an entire sector of the population is suffering for the same reasons your brother suffers and are caught in the same revolving door of addiction and prison.  Many of these people are returning from Vietnam – where they were sent when they weren’t even fully developed adults. 

You learn about PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.   You start to consider your brother's circumstances.  Perhaps he wasn’t so deeply flawed.  Maybe he simply had more thrown at him than any young man could handle.  You decide your critical view of him was misguided, unfair.  So you vow to reach out to him with love and compassion – not judgment. 

You make plans to head over to the hospital where he’s recovering from surgery, but first you get an urgent phone call.  Your brother has died.  

This is part of the story of Frankie Roberts and what drove him in 2000 to co-found, with Tracey Ray, a local nonprofit called LINC, or Leading Into New Communities.  Over the last two decades, it has expanded its reach and developed new programs, some of which we hear about on this episode.  But we spend more time on how Frankie Roberts arrived at the forgiveness that changed his life and how he’s facilitating the growing awareness of – and conversation around embedded white supremacy -- in the Cape Fear region. 

Frankie Roberts, Executive Director, LINC, Inc., Leading Into New Communities

To find LINC's website and more information, follow this link: 


Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.