Rob Thomas_Racial Justice Coalition

Rob Thomas

Strategic Coordinator
Racial Justice Coalition

Rob is a 34-year-old African American male, Asheville native and Community Activist. Rob is a formerly justice-involved individual with first-hand experiences related to the inequities that are congruent with the disparities that he now works passionately to unravel. Rob has facilitated and been a keynote speaker in over 4 dozen community related events. Rob is the recipient of CoThinkk’s 2020 community leader award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, 2021 Service Award, the Peacemaker of 2020 in Western North Carolina award, the Tzedek Social Justice Fund’s 2020 Impact Award,and Fayetteville P.A.C.T. 's Certificate of Appreciation. As a public speaker, team collaborator,and systems changeadvisor, his achievements are directly related to empowerment, strategizing,and support that redirects power to communities of color. Rob uses his lived experience in collaboration with his native connections to inform, educate,and mobilize community toproduce systems change. Rob believes that true transitional justice requires redistribution of power and fights to place vulnerable and disenfranchised community members in a decision-making position over processes where they are the most impacted demographic.

  • This comprehensive report unveils the systemic challenges and aspirations of Asheville's Black community through participatory research. It emphasizes the community's perspectives on systemic racism affecting various sectors such as housing, education, employment, healthcare, and the criminal justice system.

    February 19, 2024



  • Reparations are one policy solution that can advance racial equity and justice in the United States and can decrease racial inequities in health and well-being. Yet reparations cannot be truly effective and reparative if they are not deeply accountable to the people who were harmed. Building on the authentic grassroots organizing and meaningful community engagement of the Racial Justice Coalition in Asheville, North Carolina, the research team will utilize qualitative methods to study the local reparations process underway in Asheville and Buncombe County, North Carolina.

    December 14, 2021


    Has Evidence