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

Buncombe Community Remembrance Project: November 2022

Addressing Racial & Other Justice Issues Thru the Vote

Election Day is 7 days away, but you can vote early, counting today, for 5 more days! Early voting offers many advantages including shorter lines, the opportunity to vote in any of 12 locations in Buncombe County, and the ability to register or update your registration when you vote. You can even check the number of people waiting in line to vote here at each of the locations..

Whether you vote early, absentee, or on Election Day, it is important for all eligible to vote to cast their ballot, and to vote their entire ballot.  To find candidate information, check out the next section of this e-newsletter for a way to get your sample ballot (and verify you are registered to vote) and for several resources that provide information on candidates.

There is a lot at stake in this midterm election. In NC, voters will be electing one US Senator, all of the 14 US House seats, all of the 50 NC Senate and 120 NC House seats, and many races for judges on all levels. Depending on where you live in Buncombe County, there are also races for board of education seats, county commission, and Asheville City Council and Mayor.

 Every voter in Buncombe County will have a two-sided ballot that also includes two referenda and the County Sheriff’s race. There are a lot of decisions for you to make. As you consider your opportunity to make positive change, please do your homework regarding the candidates and issues on your ballot. As some have said, not only are these races on the ballot, but so is our democracy.

As always, please feel free to share any part or all of this e-newsletter with anyone you wish.

Ron Katz

Candidate Information

So who is on your ballot? This is a question that is best answered before one goes to vote. Everyone in NC can find that information NOW by getting their sample ballot. In every county, there are likely to be many ballots. There are 17 different ballots in Buncombe County alone, so getting the one for your address is crucial. 

To get your sample ballot, go to the NC Voter Search page provided by the NC Board of Elections. Once you enter your name, you will go to a page where you will select the link that lists your name and address. After clicking that link, you will be taken to a webpage that offers a lot of information. Some of that information includes each of the districts you are in as well as your polling station on Election Day. When you scroll down further on that page, there will be a link to your sample ballot.

Once you have your sample ballot and view the candidates, the following list provides some good resources for getting candidate information. (Note that some counties, like Buncombe, have referenda on the ballot as well.) 

  1. Vote411 offers good information on candidates for the midterm elections. In counties like Buncombe and Henderson, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters has done an excellent job in reaching out to all candidates. When you enter your address, the races on your ballot are listed, and you can view candidate information from those that completed the League’s questionnaire.
  2. Common Cause NC has created this Voter Guide for your consideration. As with Vote411, enter your address, and the races on your ballot will appear. They posed some questions to candidates that can provide some insight into their positions on important issues.
  3. Here is the Candidate Guide for those running for the NC General Assembly in WNC and US House District 11 produced by Carolina Jews for Justice-West. 
  4. Ballot Ready is another resource that can be helpful. Simply enter your full address, and links to your ballot and candidate information are available on their positions on a variety of issues.
  5. Finally, there are likely to be races on your ballot where candidate  information is not easy to find. A tried and true method that many people use is to contact several trusted friends, particularly those who share your values, and get their opinion on the candidates in those races. 

In this segment from CBS Sunday Morning, the Nehemiah Project is highlighted. This effort created thousands of affordable homes in east Brooklyn, once one of the most rundown areas in the country.

Calls to Action or Engagement

 In this section, the Project highlights ways for people to take action or be engaged in important events or activities. The first item is one that connects directly with the work of the Project.

New & Upcoming

  1. Buncombe County announced in this press release the “Learning From our Past: Community Soil Remembrance Exhibit”, with two events happening, one on November 1st, the other on November 4th, highlighting the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project. 
  2. The Racial Justice Coalition is inviting people to attend their November Community Gathering, November 3rd, starting at 5 pm. Get details here and how you can register.
  3. NC Child shares three reasons why people should spread the word about the Child Tax Credit opportunity before November 15thThis blogpost offers details.
  4. The Board of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville & Buncombe County is thrilled to announce that after two years of virtual celebration, the 2023 Celebration events will return to an in-person format including the Prayer Breakfast. This will be the 42nd year of service and celebration, and the theme is Audacious Action During Uncertain Times. Get details from this article that appeared in the October e-newsletter. 
  5. On November 5th, Hood Huggers offers their Volunteer Appreciation Daynoon – 2 pm, at the Peace Garden, 47 Bryant Street. 
  6. Every Child NC offers an opportunity for faith communities and others to host a free docu-series titled “All Together” that is focused on education equity. Help educate voters about the Leandro Plan and North Carolina’s obligation to meet student needs. Get details and a way to register here


  1. Want to have fun and learn about the history of Black Asheville? Take a Hood Huggers Tour. Get details here.
  2. The Racial Justice Coalition has created a new webpage on its website that highlights two of its projects. Go here to get details for Every Black Voice and the Government Accountability Project. Each is open for people to support.

Here is a video from Every Child NC focused on bringing attention to and ultimately funding the Leandro decision. Advocates for fair and equitable funding speak out about this need.

Challenging the Educational Opportunity Gap 
through the LOS P20 Council

by Joseph Fox, Ed.D., MBA, PHR,
Coordinator, Land of Sky Educational Attainment and Workforce Collaborative 

The concept of the educational opportunities gap challenges the notion that Black and Brown students have a learning achievement gap based on learning deficiencies. By using the term, “Opportunity Gap,” educators, advocacy groups, local school systems, and communities are recognizing the negative impact of systemic racial biases, redlining, and the lack of opportunities that have existed in educating non majority students.

(Read this entire article 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 Racial Justice Coalition recently shared an update on their Walk the Walk campaign. Get details from this recent email to supporters of this effort.
  3. In this important article from the NC Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the case is made to abolish the death penalty based in part on the fact that innocent people are frequently sentenced to death. 
  4. UNCA and the WNC community will be saying goodbye to Chancellor Nancy Cable soon. She has made a positive difference in this community. Get details from this story from Blue Ridge Public Radio. Thank you, Dr. Cable!
  5. Buncombe County has released a map of historic landmarks and markers that outline the rich and vibrant history of African Americans in Asheville and Buncombe County. Get details and where to get maps here
  6. Buncombe County will have two important items on the ballot this fall that could significantly impact the future. These are bonds for $30 million for the conservation of natural resources and farmland and development of greenways and $40 million for housing for people of low to moderate incomeHere is information on both. This link encourages people to vote “yes” for both.
  7. In this segment from the PBS NewsHour, documentarian Stanley Nelson shares his thoughts on two films he has made about Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. 

Pisgah Legal Services offered their 12th Annual Justice Forum with Dr. Jamila Michener on October 11th. If you were unable to attend or want to hear her presentation once again, view here. As noted by Pisgah Legal Services, “Dr. Michener shared her lived experience, research, and advocacy for civil legal aid. She reminded us that democracy depends on all community members having their needs met and voices heard.”

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. As in each edition of this e-newsletter, the Buncombe Community Remembrance Project continues to highlight several items from EJI. 

  1. EJI is currently working with nearly 100 communities to advance Community Remembrance Projects. 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 who were lynched are captured in this document
  4. The Equal Justice Initiative shared this webpage of the Historical Markers Installation Ceremony In Asheville on October 30th of 2021.

  Here are two additional items from the Equal Justice Initiative that the Project wants to share:

  1. Want to stay connected to the work of the Equal Justice Initiative? Sign up for updates about their work here.
  2. Every day of the year offers important racial justice history. If you want to get a daily reminder of that history, the Equal Justice Initiative offers this sign-up. Go here to get today’s reminder.

In this video from CBS Sunday Morning, they highlight the story of Emmett Till, the film that was recently produced, and an award winning segment from 2003 from CBS’s 60 Minutes with Ed Bradley

The movie Till focuses on Mamie Bradley’s efforts to educate the world on the horrors of racism and is not centered on showing the brutality of her son’s lynching.

COVID-19: It Ain’t Over Yet!

by Joseph Fox, NC CEAL Team & 
COVID-19 Community Response Team

The COVID-19 Virus is still having an impact on local communities, especially the poor, immune compromised, and the elderly. Black and Brown communities are suffering from a disproportionate negative impact due to underlying health issues, lack of access to health care, trust issues and negative experiences with health care professionals, and misinformation related to transmission, treatment, and long COVID. Determinants of health have long been discussed by various researchers over the years to determine the impact of social factors and health-related behaviors on life expectancy, as well as the overall quality of life.

(Read the entire article here.)

Pandemic Resources

COVID-19 and its variants remain a concern. 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.

12th Annual Justice Forum, candidate information, Educational Opportunities Gap, Every Black Voice, Every Child NC, Frederick Doublass, Government Accountability Project, Harriet Tubman, Hood Huggers Tour, NC Voter Search page, Nehemiah Project, Pandemic Resources, Till, Volunteer Appreciation Week, Vote, Vote411

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