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Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: September 2020

Welcome Current and New Subscribers!

Welcome to the September edition of the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project e-newsletter. To our regular followers, we want to thank you for your continued support. We also want to welcome our new subscribers! We have experienced a number of new inquiries and individuals signing up for the e-newsletter in the last few weeks. We are especially appreciative of those who continue to share the e-newsletter with your family, friends, and coworkers. Remember that previous editions can be viewed by going to the MLK Association’s Website. (See more)

Joseph Fox, Ed.D., M.B.A., PHR
Vice President, MLK Association of Asheville & Buncombe County
Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Coordinator

Call to Action – Hotel Moratorium

The Racial Justice Coalition is asking people to contact Asheville City Council to ask them to extend a moratorium on land taken during “urban renewal”. Get the details and the specific action they are requesting here.

Updates on the Project’s Work Groups

  • Logistics/Historical Marker Work Group: The Buncombe Community Remembrance Project is now looking at one or more appropriate places to install historical markers that are at the sites of racial terror lynchings or at sites of significance to the Black community. Please help us by taking this one-question poll of possible locations for the Project to consider for one or more sites where a historical marker should be erected. Feel free to share this with others you think would want to offer their opinion. Please complete by September 15th
  • Communication/PR Work Group: What do you think of this e-newsletter? This is the 6th monthly edition, and we would like to know your thoughts. Please complete this three question survey to help us improve.

If you are interested in helping any of the Project’s work groups (or have questions), please contact Dr. Joseph Fox.

Addressing Racial Inequities

Here are 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.

Important Training Opportunity

The Lenoir Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute (LREDI) is designed to support, inspire, and equip executives, non-profit leaders, educators, students, social activists and other community members who intend to spark change and cultivate better communities through their professional careers.

LREDI learning opportunities can be taken as stand-alone courses to enhance one’s professional profile, or taken as a suite to yield an Equitable Leadership Certificate. Registration is now open for September and October courses. Please visit this link to learn more about their wide array of courses, esteemed team of instructors, and online delivery methods.

More Excerpts from The Betrayal of the Negro

The June and July issues of the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project’s e-newsletters provided some insights from the book, The Betrayal of the Negro: From Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson, by Rayford W. Logan, as we look to understand the framework that has created a system of oppression, discrimination, white supremacy, and racially motivated violence. The June edition provided information that demonstrates how deep-rooted the systemic problem of racism is in the United States, while the July issue of the e-newsletter provided “Cliff Notes” of events and quotes that shaped the nation’s cultural norms. (see more)

2020 US Census

  • Way to take action: It’s not too late to respond to the census or to share this information encouraging others to do so. Here is the link to take action; people can complete the census online, by phone, or through the mail. Please share!
  • Census and Nonprofits: Through the Dogwood Health Trust, funding is now available for nonprofits to help people complete the US Census in the amount of $10 per person. Go here for the details. 
  • Want to know the “self-response rate” for North Carolina? You can find it here, and from this link you can also find our state’s rank, your county’s rate, and more.

Are You Ready to Vote?

With 63 days before Election Day (November 3rd), it is time to develop your plan to vote. Check out this link to put your plan together and get answers to your questions.

One of the best resources in our state for voting is Democracy North Carolina. This link provides important dates and resources this organization provides. 

You or others may have questions about voting this year. A first choice is to call your Board of Elections. The general number for the Buncombe County Board of Elections is (828) 250-4200. If you are in another county, you can get their phone number here. If you want, feel free to email Ron Katz with any questions you have. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will do the research to find it and get back to you

Finally, one very key element is to act early. The sooner an absentee ballot request form is completed and submitted, the sooner you will get your absentee ballot. Then, rather than waiting until the last minute, complete your ballot and get it to the Board of Elections either by mail, by going to the Board of Elections office or by dropping it off at Early Voting. And, if you feel comfortable and safe to do so, vote in-person during Early Voting. There are 16 sites and 17 days in Buncombe County. If you or others are in another NC county, you can find your One-Stop Early Voting sites and schedule here

Don’t be discouraged by the rhetoric and misinformation. For some, their goal is indeed to suppress your vote. Don’t let anything stop you from voting!  John Lewis didn’t and wouldn’t. 

Pandemic Resources

These are challenging times. Buncombe County has created this webpage that provide important information and resources to help our community. The state of North Carolina also provides this page that provides valuable information.

“Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble”

In the last edition, this e-newsletter included some memories of the accomplishments of Rev. C. T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis. What both contributed to our country and world needs to be remembered, and we offer several of those links again:

  • The Detroit Youth Choir offer this wonderful version of Glory in this moving video
  • At the memorial in the Capitol this past Monday for him, Congressman Lewis was still able to inspire after Speaker Pelosi yielded the floor to him.
  • Oprah Winfrey shares this video recognizing the contributions of Rev. C. T. Vivian. 
  • In this segment from CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday, historian Jon Meacham shares his opinion about John Lewis, the book he wrote about him, and what he expects all of us to do: VOTE
  • And finally, when Congressman Lewis knew he was going to die, he penned an essay that he asked to be published on the day of his funeral. This is his call to all to continue the work of him and other civil rights leaders to acknowledge past and build the Beloved Community. Here is that essay, narrated by his friend, Morgan Freeman. 

Census, Hotel Moratorium, Pandemic Resources, Racial Inequities, The Betrayal of the Negro excerpt, Training Opportunity, Vote

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