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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: January 2024

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.

Here is information on sponsorships and souvenir journal advertising for the 2024 MLK Association Prayer Breakfast celebration entitled “Still Marching Forward: Fighting for Justice Never Ends” which will be on January 13, 2024.

Get Tickets
Event Link

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

Eligible voters are being purged from voter rolls

  • According to the annual global inclusiveness index, the United States ranks 118th in the world for racial inclusion. article 
  • There are highly toxic beauty care products that are slowly killing Black women. article 
  • A woman tried to burn down Dr. King’s birth home. article 
  • Sickle cell disease affects over 100,000 Americans, the majority of whom are Black, has been a struggle with constant discrimination and pain for sufferers article. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved a powerful treatment for the disease that can bring changes across the board. article 
  • Christmas is beginning to look more diverse. article 
  • The state of New York is creating a commission to study what reparations in New York might look like. article 
  • “Extreme conservative social issues and policies” are hurting Oklahoma’s ability to attract companies to move to the state. Is this a political warning sign? article 
  • A study from Cambridge University Press explored the causes of the US rural-urban political divide. article 
  • Donald Trump’s bid to be president is seen by many Christian evangelicals as a holy crusade. article 
  • GOP presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley does not seem to think that slavery caused the Civil War. article 

Discover game-changing marketing strategies for your food business with Aisha Adams, founder of Aisha Adams Media Group. Join this free 90-minute workshop. Tickets

  • Voting rights groups and several individuals file a wide range of suits against the NC redistricting maps. article 
  • Gov. Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein say that the newly drawn NC voting district maps are just the latest in the NC General Assembly’s long history of discriminatory laws targeting Black North Carolinians. article 
  • At a December fundraiser Donald Trump compared NC Lt. Governor Mark Robinson to Dr. King. article 
  • Sen. Tillis plans to introduce a bill to restrict the use of the 14th Amendment. article

Click here to register

  • Black students in Durham schools are suspended and expelled at higher numbers than other students. article 
  • More schools are sending kids handcuffed to the ER because of misbehavior. Black students and students with disabilities make-up the largest number. article 
  • The US Department of Education is awarding $93 million in grants to 20 Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), and Tribal colleges/universities. article 
  • The Francis Howell School District, near St. Louis, MO., has reversed its decision to eliminate Black history and Black literature elective courses from the 2024-25 school year. article 

Why are more diverse dolls being made?

  • Denying racism clouds its realism and minimizes its significance. article 
  • Racism causes subtle changes to the brain that increase the risk of disease for Black people. article 
  • Black Americans see the news coverage of Black people as problematic. article 
  • A state senator in Florida has filed a resolution for a question to be put on the 2024 ballot asking Florida voters to approve an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting paying reparations. article 
  • The Texas Historical Commission removed books about slavery from plantation gift shops. article 
  • “Convict leasing” is $450 million business in Alabama; now some current and former prisoners are suing the state about this “modern-day form of slavery.” article 
  • Confederate monuments were removed in December from Arlington National Cemetery article and from a park in Jacksonville, FL after years of controversy. article 
  • The Congressional Black Caucus urges corporate America to recommit to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). article 
  • A white couple in South Carolina burned a cross in their yard facing their Black neighbors, they are now being investigated by the FBI for racial discrimination. article 
  • Navy Federal, the largest credit union in the nation, rejects Black borrowers mortgage applications at a greater disparity than other large mortgage lenders. article 
  • Former Louisville, Ky police officer Brett Hankison’s federal case in which he is accused of violating Breonna Taylor’s civil rights will be retried. article 
  • Rudy Giuliani was ordered to pay nearly $150 million to Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman for the harm caused by statements he made. article 

  • The race to serve the people of WNC in Congress as the representative of the 11th Congressional district is shaping up to be a spirited contest. article 
  • Shanita “NitaJade” Jackson, an Affrilachian poet,will be the Spring 2024 UNCA and Wilma Dykeman Legacy’s Writer-in-Residence. Urban News article 
  • The E.W. Pearson Collaborative – news from the Historic Burton Street Community, East End/Valley Street Community, and the Shiloh Community Association. Urban News 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!

Join the Mars Hill University Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies, the Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Indigenous Student Association as they present a screening of “We Will Speak” followed by a discussion with the filmmakers: directors ᎤᎶᎩᎳ / Schon Duncan and Michael McDermit, producer ᎨᎳᏗ / Keli Gonzales, and cinematographer Jacob Koestler 

With fewer than 1,500 fluent speakers left, a small group of Cherokee activists race to save their language from disappearing. 

Awards: Best Oklahoma Feature, DeadCenter Film Festival; Best Documentary, Circle Cinema Film Festival; Runner Up: Best Indigenous Feature, Albuquerque Film and Music Experience.

To learn more about the film, email 

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 January 22, 2024 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 Coalitionis encouraging people to support the Asheville Buncombe Community Reparations Commission’s request for an 8-month extension to do its work. Go here to get details and sign on to this effort.  The Coalition hasa webpage on their site for Reparations Are Due Updates.

Black Wall Street AVL works to support Black Businesses in Asheville. GrindFest 2024 will be May 24-26. Check out their website for more information about this and other events!

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 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!

Sat. Jan. 20th 11am-3 pm at 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

There will be a community work day at the Dr. George Washington Carver Edible Park on Friday, January 19 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. Kelly Applegate, from Bountiful Cities, will be guiding us. We will have some extra tools for folks to use as well as hand sanitizer, but any gloves, loppers, pruners or weeding tools you can bring are much appreciated. Masks are welcome but not required. 

Hotels have a Human Trafficking problem

  • 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, Reparations, Vote

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