Every act of change starts with a small group willing to make a sacrifice for the greater good of society. The men and women who participate in the Moral Monday movement are no exception. They gather every week to protest North Carolina laws that do not work for the greater good of the state’s citizens. They stand together to give a voice to those who feel oppressed, mistreated, and discriminated against.
Moral Mondays are a series of peaceful protests held throughout the state of North Carolina every Monday, with the occasional Wednesday meeting. The movement was started on April 29, 2013 and is led by NC NAACP president Reverend William Barber. According to the NAACP website, the protests are a “push back against an extreme agenda” that includes “cuts to education, social programs, and unemployment benefits; rejecting Medicaid expansion; new restrictions on voting laws and labor rights; and restarting the death penalty.” The movement is in response to actions taken by the government of North Carolina to expand discrimination in the state. Every Monday, protesters from around the state gather at the announced location and engage in civil disobedience —a refusal to comply with certain laws as a form of peaceful protest— by entering the state legislative building or courthouse where they are meeting, then being peacefully arrested. Since the movement started in 2013, it has spread beyond the North Carolina borders to states like South Carolina and Georgia, where they are dealing with similar issues.
In 2007 a committee led by Reverend Barber launched a movement called HKonJ or Historic Thousands on Jones Street. The movement began with 3,500 supporters in 2007 but has since grown to almost 80,000 in 2014. They meet every year on the second Saturday in February to march and protest for various issues such as voting rights, Medicaid expansion or public education. Last year’s event consisted of more than 125 NC state conference and NAACP branches, youth councils, high school and college chapters, and members and friends of over 160 other social justice organizations. The event was set up to protest the extremist attacks on voting rights, economic justice, public education and more. The NC NAACP has decided to do a similar event again later this year on July 13th, known as Mass Moral Monday.
Mass Moral Monday will be a walk and rally held in downtown Winston-Salem to acknowledge the beginning of the NC NAACP v. McCrory trial. This trial will focus on the strict voter suppression laws in North Carolina signed by McCrory in 2013 and its outcome will impact voting laws across the nation. The event will begin at 8:00 A.M. with the pre-trial press conference, then will continue with a day of teach-ins until 5:00 P.M. when the Walk for Voting Rights and Justice will begin and march through downtown Winston-Salem.
Anyone interested in attending or volunteering at the Mass Moral Monday or weekly Moral Monday events is encouraged to sign up on the website, www.naacpnc.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. •