At the North Carolina NAACP’s 10th annual Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People's Assembly on Saturday, the crowd chanted over and over again, “Forward together, not one step back.”
Over 200 organizations participated in the march and rally for social justice, equality, education and voting rights. HRC’s Senior Regional Field Organizer for the South Ryan Wilson joined volunteer leaders from HRC North Carolina’s Charlotte and Triangle steering committees. They joined representatives of Equality NC, PFLAG and the LGBT Center of Raleigh, waving HRC, bisexual pride, trans pride and rainbow flags. The marchers carried a variety of signs, calling for restoring the Voting Rights Act, increased funding for education, LGBTQ rights, #BlackLivesMatter and women’s rights.
Speakers on stage called for immigration reform in both English and Spanish, prayers were offered by Christian, Jewish and Muslim faith leaders and the crowd broke into dancing as the sound system played “Lean on Me.” The atmosphere was electric as the crowds shared the spirit of unity and common purpose, rallying for the North Carolina NAACP’s 14 Point Agenda.
Bishop Tonyia Rawls from Charlotte spoke about being a lesbian, a person of faith, a woman and a person of color. She called for an end to politics that oppress LGBT people in the South and called on LGBT people to fight for a broad social justice agenda.
A major focus of the day was voting rights and empowering people to vote for issues that are important to their community. Both Republicans and Democrats took to the stage, and while no candidates or political parties were endorsed, the speakers repeatedly called on the audience to vote in upcoming elections to elect candidates who will advance issues like reforming the criminal justice system, medicaid expansion and LGBT equality.
HRC is proud to stand with the North Carolina NAACP as we move forward together, not one step back.