SCSJ Mourns Loss of Tireless Durham Justice Innovator

Justice System Reform

DURHAM — Southern Coalition for Social Justice is sharing in our Durham community’s sadness as we remember Chukwuemeka “Chuck” Ajiri Manning Sr., a tireless justice innovator and a mighty force for good, who died June 18, 2023.  

A Durham native, Chuck mentored, reached, and supported anyone who may have been struggling or needed a hand up. Through his own lived experiences, Chuck understood the challenges of an unjust legal system, the stigma and obstacles returning citizens face after incarceration, and the importance of a strong community in navigating such hardships.   

Chuck — past member of Bull City United and Durham’s Innovation Team — has been at the center of Durham’s cutting-edge efforts to develop a more effective, supportive, and responsive community. For the last number of years, Chuck was a key member of Durham’s Welcome Home Program, a city-run reentry program offering formerly incarcerated people immediate support when they return home. 

Sala Abdallah, a community organizer with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, credits Chuck as essential for his own reentry and development.  

“Chuck impacted so many people’s lives in such a positive way,” he said. “He was my mentor. He was my big brother. He was family.” 

Chuck’s funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at True Way Holy Church, 403 Baptist Rd., Durham, NC. Family and friend visitation is from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and the funeral service is at 12:00 p.m. 


The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color 
and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.