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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: April 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.

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

March 11 – April 10

April 23rd

Freedom Monument Sculpture Park honors the lives of enslaved people
  • Black voters in America are being targeted with faked AI images of Black voters supporting Donald Trump. article  
  • Crime rates in the US have continued to drop. article 
  • An investigation by AP News finds that Black people bear a disproportionate impact of police force. article 
  • State and local diversity programs across the nation are being targeted by conservative groups. article 
  • More people of color are joining the survivalist “preppers” community. article 
  • The number of Black players in major league baseball remains historically low. article 
  • Dawn Staley, head coach of the University of South Carolina’s Women’s Basketball team, is inspiring Black basketball fans across South Carolina. article 
  • The United States has made changes to how it categorizes people by race and ethnicity. article

Gender disparity in pay remains

  • The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to allow redrawn NC state Senate districts to remain. article 
  • Donald Trump endorsed NC Lt Gov. Mark Robinson for governor, calling him a “Martin Luther King on steroids.” article 
  • The Republican candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction has a history of making extreme and controversial comments. article 

  • Segregation in our nation’s schools continues. article 
  • GOP lawmakers in Tennessee have replaced all ten-member trustee board of Tennessee State University, the only state supported HBCU. article 
  • How Rhiannon Giddens speaking about the banjo and slavery influenced Beyonce’s new album “Cowboy Carter.” article 
  • The NAACP is encouraging Black student-athletes to boycott Florida public colleges and universities over the state’s anti-DEI policy. article 

MLK Association VP Jonathan McCoy discusses Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Nikole Hannah-Jones exposes the ‘Colorblindness’ Trap. article 
  • Black Telsa employees in California are suing the company for racism in its factories. article 
  • “More Republicans think racism against white people is a problem than think that racism against Black, Latino or Asian Americans is.” opinion article 
  • Once again Black businesses are facing barriers in their efforts to succeed. article 
  • The movement to preserve Black cemeteries is growing. article

In February, the MLK Association celebrated men in the community with their John Lewis Awards. Honorees were Spencer Hardaway, DeWayne Barton, Calvin Hill, and Kenyon Lake (not pictured)
  • The city of Asheville won the NC Supreme Court case over disassembling the Vance Monument. article 
  • Progress at the rediscovered cemetery at the site of the historic Black church, Wilson’s Chapel, stays at a standstill. article 

In March, the MLK Association celebrated women in the community with their Rosa Parks Awards. Honorees were Renee White, Becky Stone, and Johinne Nelson Grant

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 April 15, 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 Coalition encouraged people to support the Asheville Buncombe Community Reparations Commission’s request for an 8-month extension to do its work. Go here  for an update of the City and County’s response to that request. Here is the Citizen Times article about the report.

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’s Black-Owned Businesses and Community directory

Calling all poetry lovers! We’re now hosting a monthly Poetry Slam Night with The Pot Stirred in The Canopy. Test out your poetry skills or come to just listen and vibe. Come be a part of Poetry Slam Night every second Sunday of the month starting at 6:30 pm.Sun. April 14th 6:30pm-9pm at The Canopy at Art Garden 191 Lyman St,
Suite 316,  Asheville, NC 28801
$5 to listen, $10 to slam – Pay at the door

The Shiloh Community Association monthly meeting is

The next East End/Valley Street Neighborhood Association Meeting is Thursday, April 14, at 6 pm. St. James AME Church Fellowship Hall, 44 Hildebrand St. If you have something important to share with the neighborhood, please reach out to us at We’ll do our best to accommodate your request.

Resources of Interest
Data from the 2016 election shows how statistics on sexism, racism, and nationalism can be used to explain and predict election results. article 

The North Carolina State Capitol Historic Site has begun a “From Naming to Knowing” project. The goal of this project is to name and, as much as possible, share the stories of the enslaved men who built and maintained the State Capitol between 1833 and 1865. 

The National Museum of African American History & Culture has 500,000 pages of Freedman’s Bureau records available online. 

The Official mapping Police Violence database – 

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. Do 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.

anti-DIE policy, Black Cemetaries, black preppers, Black survivalists, Diversity Programs, HBCUs, Rhiannon Giddens, segregration, Tesla

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