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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.

M.A.R.C.H Newsletter: October 2023

Dear Readers,

As you can see, the newsletter has been renamed to the M.A.R.C.H. This was done to emphasize the purpose of the newsletter. Each letter of the title has a specific meaning.

“M” is for Memory. The core purpose of this newsletter is remembering, honoring, and learning from the lived experiences of our elders be it here in the community, across the state or nation.  

“A” is for Awareness. The purpose of memory is to guide our awareness, so that we understand the context and complexity of the work that is needed regarding achieving racial and social justice. 

“R” is for Resilience. Memory and awareness are built on the resilience of our spirit. Racial and social justice work requires one to be mentally, physically, and emotionally strong and the purpose of this newsletter is to build up that needed strength.   

“C” is for Community. The purpose of this newsletter is to remind us that our strength to fight for racial and social justice is fueled by knowing that the work is not done in solitude but in solidarity. As Dr. King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  

“H” is for Hope. We know that racial and social justice is not just going to happen. Our hope is that through our actions of voice, feet, or mind we will get closer to it happening. This newsletter highlights ways folks are working toward the goal of this nation truly being a place of racial and social justice for all. 

I hope that you see the renaming of the newsletter is not only a reaffirmation of its purpose, but it is also a my sincere thanks to each of you for your interest and efforts in working toward racial and social justice. 

Jonathan McCoy

This e-newsletter shares what the MLK Association and its Community Outreach Providing Empowerment (COPE) Program is doing and offers other news, events, and stories that align with its efforts. Below are some items that are noteworthy.

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

2024 MLK Association Prayer Breakfast News

Here is information on sponsorships and souvenir journal advertising for the 2024 MLK Association Prayer Breakfast which will be on January 13, 2024. Links:

Prayer Breakfast Sponsorships

Advertising Rates

Recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community this month


Registered voters who need an acceptable ID card to vote in NC can get them free at their county board of elections office.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Steven Horsford, “Black people are under attack.”

National News

  • The National Cathedral in Washington, DC has replaced their windows honoring the Confederacy. View Article
  • The Supreme Court reaffirms that Alabama must re-draw its congressional district lines. View Article
  • Florida’s re-districted voting map must be redrawn. View Article
  • This essay examines the fact that the history of Christian Nationalism in America is longer than most suspect. View Article
  • Today in America, the issue of race is what divides our political parties the most. View Article
  • Two Black Creek Freedmen won their case for citizenship into the Muscogee Nation. This returns full tribal citizenship to Black Creek Freedmen and their descendants. View Article
This summer was the 155th Anniversary of the 14th Amendment.

State News

  • The home of the famous Black furniture maker of the 1800’s, Thomas Day, is about to become a historic site. View Article
  • Anita Earls, the only Black woman on the North Carolina Supreme Court, is being investigated for criticizing the court’s lack of diversity. She says that the investigation violates her 1st Amendment rights. View Article

For more information go to

In 1966 Marvin Jones Sr. was one of 15 students to desegregate Brunswick High School in Virginia, where he spent the loneliest years of his life facing racist taunts and KKK flyers. But he recently reached out to one student who hadn’t bullied him, writing a letter to Paul Fleshood. The two met for lunch, and a friendship blossomed. It led to efforts to celebrate the courage of the “Brunswick 15,” and an emotional return to Brunswick High.

Issues in Education

  • Over the past 30 years, HBCU’s in 16 states have been underfunded by about $12.6 billion. View Article
  • New Hanover County Schools ban the book Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi from their high school curriculum. View Article


  • Robert P. Jones, noted scholar on white supremacy, has a new book out entitled the Hidden Roots of White Supremacy which explores Trump’s racist appeal and Chruch messaging are intertwined. View Article
  • The British monarchy continues to be confronted about its legacy of profiting from the slave trade. View Article
  • Like the US, Germany is wrestling with the reality that racism is a danger to democracy. View Article
  • Banco de Brasil, one of Brazil’s largest banks, is about to be investigated regarding its role in the African slave trade. View Article
  • It seems that a new chapter to the story of the federal government using the Black community as unwitting test subjects could be coming. View Article
  • Internal report shows lower pay for Black employees compared to white employees at Google. View Article
  • Co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Jann Wenner, was removed from its board after his racist comments. View Article
  • Black churches in Florida are stepping up to teach Black History to counter the state’s watered-down version of history. View Article
  • A Gullah-Geechee community on the coast of Georgia is fighting against losing their land to wealthy outsiders. View Article
  • A Georgia federal court allows the grant program for female entrepreneurs to continue. View Article
  • There is increasing concern among African American communities about the way they are portrayed in the news media. View Article
  • They are still exhuming bodies in Tulsa as they search for victims of the 1921 Race Massacre. Some of the bodies’ genetic genealogy is associated with folks in NC. View Article
  • An African American High School student in Texas is suing the governor and attorney general over his suspension because of his hairstyle. View Article
  • A High School football coach in Ohio resigned after his team used racist and antisemitic language during a game. View Article

Decoding racial bias in artificial intelligence.

Join us November 1st for Folding Chair: Using Your Racial Equity Lens to Implement DEIB Strategies. FREE! RSVP Now


The Community Reparations Commission, City of Asheville, Buncombe County Government, and the University of Asheville Africana Studies program are hosting a Community Reparations Summit featuring keynote speaker George Fatheree articleOn Saturday Oct. 7 from 10am-3pm at the UNCA Sherrill Center (227 Campus Drive.) Parking and admission are free, but space is limited so registration is needed. Click here to register 

Asheville and Buncombe County Community Reparations ComissionCommission webpage

  • The Commission’s project page Project page  
  • The next meeting of the Community Reparations Commission is scheduled for October 16, 2023 from 6pm-8pm at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Banquet Room:  87 Haywood Street,  Asheville, NC 28801

The Reparations Stakeholders Authority of Asheville has created the RSAA Reparations FundHere is information on how people can learn and support this effort organized by the Tzedek Social Justice Fund. 

Yes! Magazine offers the article Realizing Reparations about reconciliation and healing. 

The Asheville Racial Justice Coalition has issued four ways for people to support reparations in Asheville and Buncombe County. They have new webpage on their site for Reparations Are Due Updates you can go here to learn what you can do to support this effort. 

The Racial Justice Coalition of Asheville had a community discussion regarding reparations earlier this year.

Local Happenings

  • Project Aspire gains Asheville City Council approval even though a number of residents in the historic Black community of East End/Valley Street object. View Article
  • Award-winning Chef Ashleigh Shanti’s restaurant “Good Hot Fish” will be opening soon! View Article
  • Black Wall Street AVL works to support Black Businesses in Asheville. Check out their website for more information.
  • Hood Huggers offers a fun way to learn about the history of Black Asheville. They also organize volunteer opportunities at the Peace Garden  – there are regular Community volunteer days. The Farm stand is open on Fridays from 3pm-7pm every week. Get details about how to book a tour, volunteering or taking part in their other community actions here.
  • The Color of Asheville’s Black-Owned Businesses and Community directory 

The Plant Club Pop Up Market is welcoming to all plant lovers and growers alike. The Pop-up Market happens on the 3rd Saturday of each month, features around 10 local plant people, and is free to attend and to vend! Come find plants and plant-goodies from a wide range of local growers and makers, and make new plant friends!

Saturday, October 21st | 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The Canopy at Art Garden
191 Lyman St, Suite 316
Asheville, NC 28801

Email if interested in vending!

The Shiloh Community Association monthly meeting is

The East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association Meeting is happening on Thursday, October 12, 2023, at 6 pm. Join us at St. James AME Church (Fellowship Hall) located at 44 Hildebrand Street. If you have something important to share with the neighborhood, please reach out to us at

There will be a community work day at the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park on Friday, October 20th from 2:30pm to 5:30pm. The park is located at 30 George Washington Carver Avenue. There is parking in the Stephens Lee Recreation Center parking lot.

Upcoming Estate Sales

Shop our estate sales showroom packed full of new estate items while supporting WNC Bridge Foundation  

October 05 – October 07

October 19 – October 21

November 02 – November 04

Our Estate Sales and Thrift Store is located at 75 Fairview Road, Asheville.

Hours 10:00 am-4:30 pm.

This national organization is committed to funding to help small nonprofits across the country fight for reparations for Black citizens and their communities. Learn More

Feeling inspired to voice your concerns? Here is an updated list of print and online media here in WNC and a writer’s guide to writing a well-organized letter-to-the-editor (LTEs) or opinion article can be found here.

Remembrance Projects Nationally & 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.

     Please remember:

  1. That if you 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.

The NC Black Alliance offers this webpage with a page entitled – “Access to Healthcare: What You Need to Know” along with other pages that have articles and information concerning the Black community.

Anita Earls, Black Wall Street AVL, Book Bannings, Brunswick High School, Christian Nationalism, Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Steven Horsford, Gullah-Geechee, Hood Huggers, Prayer Breaksfast, Reparations, Robert P. Jones, The Color of Asheville, Voter ID

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