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Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: April 2022

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Next Steps

As we celebrate Spring and our desire for getting back to some sense of normalcy, I would like to personally thank each of you for your ongoing support of the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project. All too often, we forget to thank people for the things that they do that positively impact others. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted our ability to fully implement our community engagement plan, but we had a village of people that stepped up and assisted with updating the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County’s website, Facebook account, and YouTube Channel, as well as the monthly e-newsletter.

The Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Leadership Team continued to operate like a well-oiled machine and for that I say Thank You! The list of individuals that continue to support our efforts is too long to present here, but I would like to thank those of you that participated in the Community Stakeholders’ Group, the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project Steering Committee, the various Workgroups, Aisha Adams Media Group, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association Board, and a special thank you to Ron Katz and Virginia Pett for their dedication to producing the monthly e-newsletter! (Read this entire article here.)

Dr. Joseph Fox
Chair, Buncombe Community Remembrance Project


The 2022 Rosa Parks Awards: Overview by Jonathan McCoy

This year’s Rosa Parks Award winners are announced in this video. 2022 honorees are Ms. Kathey Avery, Ms. Sophie Dixon, Ms. Antanette Mosley, and Dr. Tiece Ruffin. In the March e-newsletter, the first two honorees were highlighted. Here is the acceptance speech from Ms. Antanette Mosley, and the second is from Dr Tiece Ruffin. Get additional details from this article in the Mountain Xpress.


“Marking History, Healing the Present, Protecting the Future”

A community healing workshop is being planned for May for residents of color that have been impacted by personal and community trauma because of racial terror. Rev. Tami Forte Logan, Equity Missioner from Faith 4 Justice, and Ms. Phyllis Utley will be leading the workshop.

The original workshop was scheduled as a three-part series; however, most individuals indicated that one four-hour time span would be better. That session is set for Wednesday, May 11th, from 1 – 5 pm. Registration had ended for the event; however, please let Ron Katz know if you are a person of color that would like to participate now that the format has changed to a four-hour session.


Sen. Cory Booker to Judge Jackson: “Don’t worry, my sister. Don’t worry. God has got you.”

In this video, Senator Cory Booker shares his thoughts and feelings about US Supreme Court nominee, the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Democracy Docket shared this article highlighting the career and background of the nominee.


Calls to Action or Engagement

  1. Voting will be important in 2022 just as it is every year. Are you ready to voteAre you interested in supporting others as they prepare to vote? This e-newsletter will share important information about the 2022 election. Get details here to help you vote in the upcoming primary in NC.  
  2. 2022 MLK College Scholarships: Get details here to apply for this opportunity for high school seniors who reside in Buncombe County. The deadline to apply is April 15th.
  3. Thirty-eight states have expanded Medicaid in some form. Unfortunately, NC is not one of them. However, there are signs that the NC General Assembly may be looking to do so in some form before the midterm elections. The NC Justice Center is a leader in this effort in cooperation with other groups. If this is something you support, please check out this overview of actions to take. This document will be updated regularly.
  4. In an effort to help spread the word on community opportunities and news in the WNC BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) entrepreneurial community, Mountain BizWorks has developed the Catalyst Resource Digest
  5. The YWCA is sponsoring its 2022 Stand Against Racism challenge starting this month. Get details and how you can participate here.
  6. Common Cause is asking people to contact their senators in support of the Martha Wright-Reed Just and Reasonable Communications Act, addressing the high cost of phone call rates for those incarcerated. Get details and the way to take action here.

Biden signs law making lynching a federal hate crime

It has taken a long time – too many years, but the federal government has finally made lynching a federal hate crime. Get details here from the PBS NewsHour about the passage of the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act that was signed into law by President Biden on March 29th.


BCRP Trip to Montgomery

The Buncombe Community Remembrance Leadership Team is in the process of planning a trip (late May or early June) to the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration, and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, AL. The plan is to spend two nights in which those in attendance will also have the opportunity to visit other local sites such as Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, the Rosa Parks Museum, the Freedom Riders Museum, and the Civil Rights Memorial.

The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice are open to the public Wednesday – Sunday. Please let Dr. Joseph Fox know if you are interested in going on the trip, as well as which of the three travel options fits best for you.

  • Departing Asheville Tuesday and returning Thursday
  • Departing Asheville Thursday and returning Saturday 
  • Departing Asheville Friday and returning Sunday

Important News/Events/Stories

This e-newsletter shares what the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project is doing and offers other news, events and stories that align with its work. Below are some items that are noteworthy.

As always, feel free to share any or all of these items or the entire e-newsletter.

  1. As in each edition, here are articles, blogs, audios and videos focused on racial injustice and inequity and efforts to make positive change locally, regionally, statewide and/or nationally. Items are organized into categories to help readers more easily find those that interest them. 
  2. According to this article from the Mountain Xpress, the city of Asheville approved a 6 lane track as part of the improvements for Memorial Stadium. Citizen input in support of local residents helped make this happen!
  3. Join April’s “Folding Chair” webinar on April 11th, beginning at 6 pm. The guest this month is Ms. JéWana Grier-McEachin, the Executive Director of the Asheville Buncombe Institute of Parity Achievement (ABIPA). She has been with the organization since 2008. ABIPA has been dedicated to improving the health of African Americans and other underserved populations through health education, advocacy and research since 2004. Get additional details and a way to register here.
  4. The appointments to the Reparations Commission for Asheville and Buncombe County have been filled. Here is the initial list as noted in the Mountain Xpress. Five additional members appointed by the County Commission are Dee Williams, Raynetta Waters, Christopher Gordon,  Shantelle Simpson, and Kelsey Simmons.
  5. Eighteen local residents have joined an advisory committee to provide insight and recommendations on the direction of Asheville’s African American Heritage Trail, a new cultural attraction. The Trail is shepherded by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority that will connect historic Black communities in and around downtown Asheville. Expected for completion in 2023, the trail will present sites and stories ranging from well-known landmarks visible in the community today to the unsung heroes and under-recognized achievements and contributions by the Black community in the past.
  6. The United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County announced in this press release in the Mountain Xpress that Asheville Middle will be the first of two schools in Buncombe County to implement a school-based health center.
  7. One of the alternatives that is mentioned to the deploying of police in some situations is mental health teamsThis article from the Good News Network shares that this effort in Denver has been so successful that it is increasing five times.

Bryan Stevenson Wants Us to Talk More About Slavery – History NOW

Did slavery end in 1865? In this 2016 video, Bryan Stevenson says, “No… slavery has only evolved.” He calls for the need to acknowledge the history of racial terror and lynching. That is needed as the United States moves toward a truth and reconciliation process to heal.


Remembrance Projects Nationally and Locally

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) continues to be an important partner not only to Buncombe County but to all communities willing and working to address their history of racial injustice. Below are several elements the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project continues to highlight shared by EJI.

  1. EJI is currently working with nearly 100 communities to advance Community Remembrance Projects. A little more than half have erected historical markers. You can find out more about the communities that have erected EJI sponsored Community Remembrance Project markers here.
  2. You can view what is on each of the markers for Buncombe County, front and back, here as compiled by the Equal Justice Initiative. To see the markers, go to the following sites: for Mr. John Humphries – College & Spruce Streets; for Mr. Bob Brackett – Triangle Park; and for Mr. Hezekiah Rankin – Craven Street & Emma Road.
  3. The full stories about each of the three men lynched are captured in this document
  4. The Equal Justice Initiative shared this webpost of the Historical Markers Installation Ceremony of October 30th.

Pandemic Resources

Buncombe County has created this webpage that provides information and resources to help our community. The state of North Carolina provides this page as well. Additionally, the NC Black Alliance offers this webpage dedicated to the latest information on COVID-19 for members of the Black community.

2022 MLK College Scholarships, Dr. Tiece Ruffin, EJI, Emmet Till Anti-Lynching Act, Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson, Ms. Antanette Mosley, Ms. Kathey Avery, Ms. Phyllis Utley, Ms. Sophie Dixon, Pandemic Resources, Rev. Tami Forte Logan, Senator Cory Booker, Stand Against Racism, Vote, WNC BIPOC

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