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-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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

The purpose of the M.A.R.C.H. newsletter is spelled out:

“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.

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 celebration entitiled “Still Marching Forward: Fighting for Justice Never Ends” which will be on January 13, 2024.

Links:

Tickets | Donations

Advertising Rates

***All camera-ready ads must be received by November 30, 2023. They may be emailed as a PDF, JPEG, or EPS file***


Recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community this month

Hanukkah this year is from the evening of Thursday Dec. 7th through Friday Dec. 15th

Kwanzaa is celebrated from Tuesday Dec. 26th through Monday Jan. 1st

Community Holiday Events!

View Events


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

Jonathon Heyward is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s first Black music director

  • A cure for sickle cell disease, common in people of African, Indian, and Middle Eastern descent, may be coming. View Article
  • Racism effects the hearts of Black Americans. View Article
  • The culture wars are causing a Red State Brain Drain. View Article
  • An HBCU will host a general election presidential debate for the first time. View Article
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) could create huge job losses for African American workers. View Article
  • A CBS poll in early November showed that 58% of Trump voters believe that in the US people of color have an advantage over white people. View Article

  • The Urban News reports that hate crimes are on the rise in NC. View Article
  • Black voters in northeastern NC are suing the State Board of Elections NC Republican leadership over the newly redrawn state Senate map claiming that it discriminates against Black voters. View Article
  • Racist language can still be found in real estate deeds and community covenants. View Article
  • The search for the new chancellors of NC A&T University and UNC-Asheville are following a new process that hopes to avoid any controversies. View Article



  • A new Department of Education data shows that Black and Brown students have less access to quality education. View Report
  • Teachers in Oklahoma are finding ways to get around the state’s laws that restrict how race can be taught. View Article
  • Schools aren’t prepared to handle racist bullying. View Article
  • The Columbus County NAACP and the NC State NAACP call for the Whiteville City Schools Board of Education chairperson to resign. View Article

Hammer & Hope: Celebrating the impact of Black chair makers at Center for Craft

Historians estimate that skilled Black artisans outnumbered their white counterparts in the antebellum South by a margin of five to one. However, despite their presence and prevalence in all corners of the pre-industrial trade and craft fields, the stories of these skilled workers go largely unacknowledged.

Borrowing its title from a Black culture and politics magazine of the same name, Hammer and Hope celebrates the life and labor of Black chairmakers in early America. Featuring the work of two contemporary furniture makers – Robell Awake and Charlie Ryland – the pieces in this exhibition are based on the artists’ research into ladderback chairs created by the Poynors, a multigenerational family of free and enslaved craftspeople working in central Tennessee between the early nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Learn more about the Center for Craft at www.centerforcraft.org 

Find out more about the Hammer & Hope exhibit at https://www.centerforcraft.org/exhibition/hammer-and-hope 

To purchase Hammer and Hoe: Alabama Communists During the Great Depression by Robin D. G. Kelley, visit https://amzn.to/47yp9sm 




  • The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals goes against established precedent and rules that private citizens cannot bring lawsuits under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. View Article
  • A US District Court judge finds that North Dakota violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act in its redistricting of two tribes. View Article
  • After a century, the US Army overturns the convictions of 110 Black soldiers. After a century, the US Army overturns the convictions of 110 Black soldiers. View Article
  • Tracy Chapman is the first Black songwriter to win song of the year in the 57-year history of the Country Music Association Awards. View Article

The Schulz Museum examined the controversy of where the character Franklin is seated in “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” article 

  • Chief Judge of the 28th Judicial District Court Judge J. Calvin Hill, Buncombe County’s second African American judge, will not run for re-election in 2024. Urban News article Citizen-Times article 
  • Former city council member Keith Young received a fellowship to help other cities work on reparations. article 
  • Color of Change is hosting two free, virtual training sessions (Tue. 12/5 & Wed. 12/13) to provide the tools to combat book banning and safeguard Black history. article 
  • The city of Asheville is looking for an individual or group to create a two-year plan to support their “Boosting the Block” project. The Block is a historic Black business district and multicultural center of downtown Asheville. article 
  • There are concerns that Asheville’s affordable housing formula is unfair to Black families. article 
  • Parents accuse a Hendersonville Middle School staff member of using racial slurs. article

The Black Wall Street Legacy Awards 2024 – Nomination

Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals who have helped make this world a better place. Nominations are open! Submit Now


The 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 December 4, 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. 

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

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


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’sBlack-Owned Businesses and Communitydirectory


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!
Sat. December 16th 11am-3 pm

Our Biggest Plant Sale of the Year!
Monday Dec. 18th – Friday Dec. 22nd 11 am-5 pm

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

Email connect@artgardenavl.com if interested in vending!


The Shiloh Community Association monthly meeting is


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

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 


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, we will continue to highlight several items from the 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.

event week, Remembrance Project, Reparations

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