Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: July 2020
Welcome to the July E-newsletter!
Welcome to the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project July e-newsletter! The leadership team realizes that our communities are dealing with the continued racial violence that has plagued the country since its inception, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that it is even more important for us to continue the work of the Remembrance Project during this most difficult time. As our communities struggle with the impact of the pandemic (sickness, loss of jobs, housing issues, access to food and supplies, food insecurities, the feeling of isolation, stress, addiction, abuse, mental health issues, etc.), coupled with the killing of Black people, the goal of the Remembrance Project of dealing with our racial past is placed in the spotlight. This “perfect storm” of events has forced the nation to see the invisible portion of racial and social inequities that have not been visible to those whose privilege has kept them blinded from the life experiences of Black and Brown communities.See more
Joseph Fox, Ed.D., M.B.A., PHR
Vice President, MLK Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Coordinator
Updates on the Project’s Work Groups
- Museum Tours Work Group: While we can’t travel to Montgomery yet to visit the Legacy Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice and other civil rights sites, we can still learn from the Equal Justice initiative (EJI). The pandemic has shown the need to learn and act. This short video produced recently from EJI talks about the legacy of racial injustice, and this video, from 2017, is taken from when the Legacy Museum first opened..
- Communication/PR Work Group:The Buncombe Community Remembrance Project continues to offer this monthly e-newsletter. Many of us are seeing the increasing awareness of people, especially those who are white, of our country’s history and present reality of racial injustice and white supremacy. That awareness has resulted in what may be a tipping point in getting action to support those who have been impacted and oppressed – black, Native American, other people of color, LGBTQ, women to name just some. This issue and future ones will offer ways to learn and take action, especially in the two-pager produced each issue of relevant articles, posts, videos and audios.
Opportunities to Learn and Take Action
- Vance Monument Task Force: The City of Asheville and Buncombe County will be taking applications to serve on this Task Force. The County application will remain open until July 7th. For details, go here. The City announced its process here, with applications due by July 10th.
- The Truth about Confederate Monuments. “Taking down these monuments will not cure the problem, but it is at least an indication that we are ready to deal with the truth.” That is the quote from Jeffery Robinson from the ACLU at the end of this short video. This is an important tool to educate people about the monuments. The full version of this talk is available here.
- Budget Workshops: Want to learn how government at different levels sets their budget? Just Economics is offering an online series of workshops starting tomorrow, July 2nd at 5 pm. Get information on each of the workshops here. To register, go here.
- New Institute to Start: Lenoir-Rhyne University Asheville, in partnership with Aisha Adams, announces the founding of the Lenoir-Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute (LREDI), which is set to debut in late summer 2020. The LREDI curriculum is designed to cultivate positive social transformation by equipping participants with the strategies, tools, and practices necessary to build workplaces and communities that cultivate diversity, inclusivity, and equity.To express interest or see a list of classes being offered, click here.
- Southern Poverty Law Center: Unfortunately, there is much hate in the world, and this organization has been a leader in identifying hate groups and taking action to stop their efforts. Their website offers a variety of resources and materials for understanding their important work.
- Poor People’s Campaign: Despite the pandemic, this “Moral March” became a “Moral Revival”. Reverend Barber reported that more than two and a half million people from all across the country and around the world viewed the program on Facebook alone. This is only the beginning, and the Poor People’s platform is offered here as a critical step to remedy poverty and injustice. This video from Democracy Now includes an interview Rev. Barber.
Addressing Racial Inequities
Here are some articles, blogs, audios and videos addressing racial inequities. In addition to noting examples of inequities, this section offers some “solutions” or efforts that are trying to positively address these issues.
This Year’s Elections
With a little over 4 months before Election Day (November 3rd), many people may have unanswered questions or uncertainty how the election will happen this fall. A statewide nonpartisan organization, You Can Vote, can help you and others get the answers you need to navigate voting this year.
Their pledge to vote campaign is more than a pledge. They will provide you (and others) with the latest information on the process for voting, check their voter registration, help them register or update their registration if needed, get their sample ballot, and more. Please share this campaign with others.
If you have questions about voting, here is a FAQ sheet from You Can Vote as well as this one offered through a local voting e-newsletter. If you still have questions, email Ron Katz, and he will research your question and get back to you with the answer.
The Importance of the Census
Have you completed your 2020 Census questionnaire? Now, more than ever, it is critical that you be counted for your community. Census data is used to distribute over 675 billion federal dollars each year for things like roads, schools, hospitals, and emergency services. It is safe and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Go to www.my2020census.gov and click “Start Questionnaire”.
You do NOT need a unique ID to complete; simply put in your home address and begin. Don’t have access to a computer? You can also call 844-330-2020, and a Census employee will assist you with your questionnaire. Do your part for our community, and complete your Census questionnaire today!
This Project is made possible under the guidance of this extraordinary organization. Some of you may have visited Montgomery, Alabama and seen the Legacy Museum, the Memorial for Peace and Justice, and the new Legacy Pavilion that were created by Bryan Stevenson, the founder of this organization. Still others may have seen the recent film, Just Mercy, based on the book of the same name.
Here is a copy of a recent report titled “Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence After the Civil War, 1865-1876”, which documents nearly 2,000 more lynchings by white mobs. Copies are also available for purchase for $2 here.