Today, TurnOUT! North Carolina (NC), a coalition of HRC, Equality North Carolina, the ACLU and the Campaign for Southern Equality, continued its three-city press tour across the Tar Heel State featuring the voices and perspectives of women in North Carolina against the discriminatory HB2.
Starting in Raleigh on Monday, in Greenville yesterday and arriving today in Charlotte, “Women for the Repeal of HB2” has been featuring a diverse range of women’s voices, experiences and concerns calling for full repeal of this discriminatory law. Speaking in Charlotte today were Rev. Debra Hopkins, Delores Hurt, President of League of Women Voters-Charlotte-Mecklenberg, Reia Chapman of Sister Song and Gloria De Los Santos, Durham Director of Action NC.
“In the state of North Carolina, discrimination is a constant battle for women of all race, religion, beliefs, appearance, or anything else that makes one person different from another -- it’s happening every day,” De Los Santos said today. “One significant place where discrimination occurs is the workplace. Women who are equally trained and educated, and with the same experience of men are not getting equal pay.”
There are sections of HB2 that are not widely discussed, such as those which eliminated the existing ability of people who have been discriminated against - including on the basis of race, religion, and sex - to sue in state court, and also a provision that prevents municipalities from passing living wage ordinances.
Calling for full repeal of all of HB2, De Los Santos noted, “According to the National Women’s Law Center, a majority of women are minimum wage earners. North Carolina women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to an annual wage gap of $6,376. The situation is even worse for African American and Latina women in North Carolina. African American women only earn 64 cents on the dollar and Latina woman only earn 48 cents on the dollar for the same jobs as white men.”
She closed by saying, “As an advocate who works with women and fights for these issues, I do not feel that our elected leaders are actually fighting to protect women and families in North Carolina. Give us equal pay, affordable childcare, affordable healthcare, and the equality that we deserve and have earned over the years.”
TurnOUT! NC is working to mobilize the voices of women to speak out for the full repeal of HB2 with field organizers based in Asheville, Charlotte and the Triangle area. Additionally, HRC staff is on the ground working with coalition partners across the Tar Heel State. There are daily opportunities to volunteer with weekly phonebanks and weekend canvassing opportunities.
If you live in North Carolina and want to join the efforts to repeal HB2, RSVP for upcoming phonebanks and volunteer opportunities. For more information about our work in North Carolina, contact HRC Associate Regional Field Director Ryan Rowe at Ryan.firstname.lastname@example.org.