Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The North Carolina NAACP and Clergy Members Representative of the Broader Forward Together Movement Clergy Deliver Letter to State Political Leadership


August 20, 2014

Contact: Sarah Bufkin, NC NAACP - or 404.285.3413

A promotional video for the upcoming Moral Week of Action was also released

Moral Week of Action Promo | Forward Together Movement

Moral Week of Action Promo | Forward Together Movement

RALEIGH - After speaking about the moral urgency of acting now at the state legislature to turn North Carolina away from a regressive public policy agenda, the North Carolina NAACP and clergy members representing the broader Forward Together Moral Movement coalition delivered a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory, Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate Leader Phil Berger today.

In the letter, the clergy asked for the state's political leadership to make a serious commitment to working together to advance policies for the common good, in the final days of this legislative session and over the coming year. A copy of the clergy letter can be found below.

The NC NAACP also released a promotional video for the Moral Week of Action, which is slated to bring people from across North Carolina to the state capitol beginning on Friday for seven consecutive days of protest marches and moral critique of the General Assembly's decision-making this summer. 

On Friday, Aug. 22, the Forward Together Moral Movement will march from Bicentennial Mall to the state capitol before holding a press conference lifting up labor rights, fair and living wages and economic justice. Once the speakers conclude, the people will head into the neighborhoods for voter registration and education canvasses.

A copy of the clergy letter delivered today is below. The PDF can be accessed HERE.

20 August 2014

Governor Patrick McCrory

State of North Carolina

1 E. Edenton Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

Senator Philip E. Berger

President Pro Tempore

North Carolina State Senate

2007 Legislative Building

Raleigh, NC 27601

Representative Thom Tillis

Speaker of the House

North Carolina House of Representatives

16 W. Jones Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

Micah 6:8

"He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

NC Constitution - Article 1, Sec. 2.  Sovereignty of the people.

All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.

NC Constitution - Article 11, Sec. 4.  Welfare policy; board of public welfare.

Beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate, and the orphan is one of the first duties of a civilized and a Christian state.

Dear Gov. McCrory, Speaker Tillis and Senate Leader Berger:

Brothers, in response to the legislation that has been produced by the McCrory administration and the North Carolina General Assembly, the Moral Monday Movement has been building for the past year and a half. We have tried to meet with you privately to discuss our concerns that governance be just and fair for all - to no avail. We have come to Raleigh to bear witness by civil disobedience, and you have not listened. We have brought thousands, tens of thousands, to our state's capital, and you have not heeded our requests as moral leaders and citizens of this state. In part because of your recalcitrance, our movement has now reached all corners of the state, has brought Republican leaders to stand with us here and in Washington, D.C., and now has affiliates working to oppose ALEC and Tea Party agendas in states across our nation.

It is again that we make the request that you meet with us to discuss the situation in our state.  Our state continues to hemorrhage money, including billions of dollars that would have come into the healthcare system through the Medicaid expansion. We are missing out on the hundreds of millions of dollars that would been infused into our economy to help care for the long-term unemployed. Our schools have begun a downward spiral under your aegis, and our teachers remain among the worst paid in our nation. Our elderly, young people, minorities, and poor are at risk of having their voting rights impinged upon by your "Voter Identification" law, and our state is at risk of facing interstate and federal challenges to this rollback of rights that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to defend in court. We have reached a crisis level, and we need to have sensible solutions to these growing problems.

It is in this vein that we are requesting a conversation with you as soon as possible. We believe we can together find a moral, just, fair and citizen-affirming way forward beyond the partisan governance that has led us to this point. The agenda we represent is decidedly non-partisan and began eight years ago in opposition to Democratic state officials. Instead of partisan solutions, we seek to do what is right, that which affirms human dignity, that which protects North Carolinians' rights and the good of the whole, and that which affirms the dictates of our collective constitutional and Scriptural traditions. Surely you all can see the merits of our position and can see the suffering of the people that your agenda has produced. It is time for a conversation; it is time for a solution; it is time for a change.

In February 2007, thousands of delegates, representing hundreds of thousands of diverse progressives from across the state, began the Forward Together Moral Movement by endorsing an agenda of hope:

(1)  Pro-labor, anti-poverty policies that ensure economic sustainability

(2)  Educational equality that ensures every child high-quality, well-funded, constitutional, diverse public education

(3)  Healthcare that ensures for all access to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and environmental protection

(4)  Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system and providing equal protection under the law for blacks, Latinos, native American, and poor whites

(5)  Protection and expansion of voting rights, women's rights, LGBT rights, immigrant rights, under the magnificent equal protection under the law constitutional guarantee we won in the 1860's.

We welcome a conversation on how we can actively and meaningfully take steps towards realizing this vision for a fair, justice democracy here in North Carolina.

Brothers, our movement has never been about opposing you. It has always been about opposing ideologies and legislation that are harmful to the people of our state as we call for moral governance. We remain eager to have a dialogue with you and to chart a new way forward, together. Please contact Atty. Jamie Cole at 919.735.9059, and she can coordinate a time for a meeting.


Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

President, North Carolina NAACP

Representative Clergy Members from the Forward Together Moral Movement:

Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler

Associate Professor of Bible

Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte Campus

Rev. Dr. Dumas A. Harshaw, Jr

Pastor of First Baptist Church

Rev. Nancy Petty

Pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Portia Rochelle

Pastor, Word for Transformation Church and Outreach, Inc.

Rev. Dr. Fred Gibson

Pastor, Greater Providence Baptist Church

Rabbi John Friedman

Judea Reform Congregation

Rev. Dr. Gregory K. Moss

Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Peter Wherry

Pastor of Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Sheldon Shipman

Pastor of Greenville Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church

Rev. Dr. Dwayne Walker

Pastor of Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner

Senior Rabbi, Temple Beth Or

Rabbi Ari Margolis

Assistant Rabbi, Temple Beth Or

Rev. Dr. Cardes Brown

Pastor of New Light Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Alfonso McGlenn

Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church

Rev. Dr. Nelson Johnson

Pastor of Faith Community Center

Imam Khalial Akbar

Masjid Ash Shaheed

Rev. Dr. John Mendez

Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Earl Johnson

Pastor of Martin Street Baptist

Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hawkins

Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church

Rev. Kojo Nantambu

Pastor of Green Oak Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. William Turner

Pastor of Mount Level Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Gerald Sylver

Pastor of Freedom Temple Church

Rev. Dr. Jay Leach

Pastor of Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte

Rev. Dr. Donnie Garris

Pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Clay Phelps

Pastor of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist

Pastor Richard and Rev. Jill Eaton

Pastors of United Church of Chapel Hill

Rev. Dr. Andre Knight

Pastor of Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Dr. Patricia Dowtin

Conference Director for Voter Registration for A.M.E. Zion NC Eastern District

Bishop Tonyia M. Rawls
Founding Pastor, Sacred Souls Community Church

The Right Reverend Michael B. Curry

The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

Rev. Robin Tanner

Senior Minister, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church

Rev. Glencie Rhedrick

Associate Minister, First Baptist Church West

Past President, Mecklenburg Ministries

Rev. Curtis Gatewood

NC NAACP HKonJ Coaltion Coordinator


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.


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