Moral Monday to take place in Sylva on June 13

Press release from The Canary Coalition:

Reverend Dr. William Barber II to Speak

A coalition of organizations led by the Jackson County Branch of the NAACP is coordinating a Moral Monday gathering to be held at Bridge Park in downtown Sylva on Monday, June 13, starting at 5 PM, rain or shine.

To date, Coalition partners in organizing and sponsoring the event include the Asheville, Hendersonville, Transylvania County and Haywood County Branches and Working Groups of the NAACP, Liberty Baptist Church of Sylva, Democracy NC, The Canary Coalition, WNC Physicians for Social Responsibility, OccupyWNC, Equality NC, WNC Jews for Justice, Jackson County Veterans Support Group, Mountain People’s Assembly, Mountain Voices Alliance and the Far West Local Program Unit of the NC National Association of Social Workers.

The Moral Monday Movement, a vast non-partisan coalition, began 10 years ago as the HK on J (Historic Thousands on Jones Street) Coalition in North Carolina and now fights legislation passed by the General Assembly and Governor that has negatively impacted the most vulnerable citizens in our state. Issues include the new restrictive voter ID law, the State’s refusal to accept federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid, cuts in the Unemployment Insurance Program, rescinding of the Criminal Justice Act, cuts in funding for public education, the weakening of environmental standards and the enforcement of those standards, the intrusion into local control of minimum wage, health, environmental and social standards in HB2, among other actions and in-actions of the state legislature.

In addition to The Reverend Dr. William Barber ll, President of the NC NAACP, some of the speakers at the event will represent the “Faces of Pain” created by the policies of our state government. Connie Jean Conklin, a middle-aged Sylva resident with physical disabilities, will speak of the suffering she has endured as a result of being refused Medicaid. John deVille, a teacher in Franklin, will speak about how the cuts in public educational funding have hindered teachers and impacted students. There will also be speakers who will represent those who have been disenfranchised by restrictions in the new election law, those who have been impacted by the elimination of the Criminal Justice Act and those who been impacted by cuts in the Unemployment Insurance Program.

Live music at the event will include a performance by nationally acclaimed singer-songwriter David LaMotte.  Sylva resident Stella Moore will lead the crowd in singing songs of the Movement.

The Reverend Charles Lee, of Liberty Baptist Church in Sylva, will be the Master of Ceremonies.

The gathering will begin with the Sounding of the Shofar by Frank Goldsmith of WNC Jews for Justice.

Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossaman will welcome the crowd.
A number of organizations who are coalition partners will be setting up information tables and booths at Bridge Park. The Jackson County Branch of the NAACP will be providing voter registration forms and guidance in filling them out.  Membership forms will also be available for those who may wish to join the NAACP.

For more information about the event please contact Avram Friedman, 1st Vice-President of the Jackson County Branch of the NAACP and Executive Director of The Canary Coalition 828-631-3447.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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