Pictured: Moral Monday March on July 29
CHAPEL HILL – Events have been taking place in the nation’s capitol and across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Here in North Carolina, the state NAACP’s “Taking the Dream Home” Rally, happening simultaneously in all 13 congressional districts on Wednesday, is coming to Chapel Hill.
Attorney and activist Tye Hunter of Chapel Hill is speaking at the rally in front of the Peace & Justice Plaza on Franklin Street. Hunter will be joined by other speakers such as former state senator Ellie Kinnaird, Dr. Bill Turner, and Paige Johnson of Planned Parenthood.
“We hope to be and certainly the NAACP hopes to be a continuation of that struggle which started a long time ago and has made some progress but still has a lot of progress to make.” Hunter says.
Hunter explains the rally is also a continuation of the Moral Monday protests, led by NAACP State Chapter President Reverend William Barber. The series of demonstrations, which happened over the summer in Raleigh, and then in cities across North Carolina, saw more than 900 arrests in the General Assembly. Hunter was arrested during the second Moral Monday on May 6.
Thousands gathered at those rallies, and he hopes the same energy will carry over to Wednesday’s event.
“I think it is just very important that we continue,” he says. “This is what Reverend Barber always says, that ‘we are a movement and not a moment.’”
Hunter says his talk will center on criminal justice in North Carolina, specifically the repeal of the Racial Justice Act. The 2009 law allowed convicted murderers to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if they could prove that race played a major role in their cases, but was overturned in June. Hunter says statistical data proved that it was necessary to maintain fairness
“It’s pretty outrageous that the legislature’s reaction to all that is to say, ‘Well, let’s do away with that [the Racial Justice Act],’” Hunter says. “So we found we had a problem and the legislature said let’s do away with it.’”
Other topics slated for discussion include voting rights and economic justice. For more information about the rally happening at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Courthouse on Franklin Street, click here.