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"Our LIVES Begin To End The Day
We Become SILENT About Things That MATTER"
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: May 2022

Motor Coach Trip to Montgomery

A little over two years ago, the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project’s Leadership Team planned a trip to visit the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. However, the trip was canceled the week before COVID-19 forced the unprecedented lockdown. The “postponed” trip is currently planned for June 10 – June 12. The plans are to leave from a downtown Asheville location on Friday, June 10, at 7 a.m., and return to Asheville late afternoon/early evening on Sunday, June 12.

Because of the generosity of the Project’s sponsors and community, the Project Team is able to pay for the motor coach, tickets to the museum, and a portion of the hotel room. The Planning Committee is also checking on additional free tours while in the Montgomery area. The anticipated cost to individuals includes at least one night hotel expense and meals.

Anyone interested in going to Montgomery should contact Dr. Joseph Fox by May 5th, if your name is not already on the travel list. (Read this entire article here.)

Dr. Joseph Fox
Chair, Buncombe Community Remembrance Project

The Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality. Visit our website to learn more:

In this video of the dedication for the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, speakers share the pain of the past and present and look to a future of healing. This will be one of the important sites that will be on the trip to Montgomery in June.

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

A community healing session is set 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 session.

The session is set for Wednesday, May 11th, from 1 – 5 pm. There are still spots available; please let Ron Katz know by Friday, May 6th, if you are a person of color that would like to participate.

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. Interested in voting absentee this year for the NC primary? Get details on how to get and submit your ballot from the NC Board of Elections here.
  3. Common Cause NC shares some opportunities that they are supporting to engage people in voting this year. Get details here.
  4. City of Asheville staff have created a proposal to restructure the advisory boards to address challenges within the current system. This proposal aims to make the City’s boards and commissions more inclusive, strategic and efficient. Get details and how you can impact that proposal here.
  5. Skills Accelerator 50+ Workforce Initiative: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Vice President, Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education, Deborah Wright, has announced the AARP Back to Work Initiative for individuals 50 years and older. Individuals must be willing to participate in a “Back to Work 50+” overview workshop by May 31. The initiative’s focus is to help lower-income individuals 50+ enhance employment skills. Get details and information on other efforts here
  6. The Racial Justice Coalition offers their Government Accountability Project Report most Mondays. Please review and take action where and when you can.

Blue Note Junction Campaign Video

In this video, learn about the Blue Note Junction Campaign and how you can support this effort to help revitalize Burton Street, one of the historically Black neighborhoods in Asheville. To financially support this effort, go here.

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. The Asheville View is a daytime-style talk web series hosted by Aisha Adams, Kirby Winner, Myriam Weber, Tina White, and Kahlani Jackson. The show serves as a morning cup of coffee for equity advocates across the South. Known for their edgy content, style, and witty banter, the show hosts share the grit of all things diversity, equity, and inclusion in true Asheville style. The Asheville View is produced by Aisha Adams Media.Get details for this event happening on May 28th, at 11 amhere.
  3. Wilma Dykeman’s birthday anniversary is always a good opportunity for Ashevillians, Buncombe Countians, Western North Carolinians, and tourists alike to chill for an afternoon in Asheville’s River Arts District. This year, the Wilma Dykeman Legacy is partnering with Black Wall Street AVL to celebrate the resilience of seekers after social and environmental justice. Get details of this event happening on May 21st, from 1 – 4 pm, at Black Wall Street here.
  4. The Tzedek Social Justice Fund just awarded its first round of Impact Award winners. Get details from this link of some impressive members of the community.
  5. The Poor People’s Campaign issued a “Pandemic Report”, noting the intersection of poverty, COVID, and race. Get details here.
  6. The League of Women Voters Asheville Buncombe has put together this fact sheet for voting in the primary and this year’s general election.
  7. Several statewide groups have put together voter guides for certain parts of the state for the upcoming primary. Here is the one for the city of Asheville and Buncombe County Sheriff races.

#TBT: Obama on the Importance of Voting

Former President Barack Obama, speaking to representatives from college campuses, discusses the importance of voting in this video from 2016. “Don’t let people tell you that what you do doesn’t matter – it does. Don’t give away your power.”

Remembrance Projects Nationally and Locally

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) has been the 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 webpage 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.

Blue Note Junction Campaign, Former President Barack Obama, Government Accountability Project Report, Historical Markers Installation Ceremonies, Impact Award Winners, League of Women Voters, Legacy Museum, Mr. Bob Brackett, Mr. Hezekiah Rankin, Mr. John Humphries, Ms. Phyllis Utley, National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Pandemic Report, Rev. Tami Forte Logan, Skills Accelerator 50+ Workforce Initiative, The Asheville View LIVE, Vote

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