The head of the N.C. NAACP will make a stop Thursday in Rocky Mount as part of a statewide tour.
The Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP will host the Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the N.C. State Conference of Branches of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, at 6 p.m. Thursday in the OIC Auditorium.
“It is clear that North Carolina is at a crossroads,” said Andre Knight, president of the Rocky Mount branch. “Are we going to move this state forward or will the voices of yesterday take us back to a time of separation, segregation and overt racism?”
Barber is scheduled to speak about issues related to education, economics and equal rights.
“‘We’ is the most important word in the social justice vocabulary,” Barber said,“The issue is not what we can’t do, but what we can do when we stand together. With an upsurge in racism (and) hate crimes, criminalization of young black males, insensitivity to the poor, educational genocide and the moral-economic cost of a war, we must stand together now like never before.”
Jackie King, political action chairwoman of the Rocky Mount branch, encouraged people to attend the event “to hear about the momentum that is building across the state.” Nearly 100 organizations throughout North Carolina are mobilizing to support a 14-point agenda encompassing education, health, economics, jobs, the environment and the budget, she said. The agenda has 81 action items that has helped increase the minimum wage in North Carolina, strengthened the criminal justice system and increased voter registration and participation in elections.
“We want Rocky Mount and the Twin Counties to participate in this movement,” Knight said. “We have made tremendous gains in our region, but we also have tremendous challenges ahead of us.
“We are looking for answers and for leaders who will help our state and all its people, not just the privileged and wealthy.”
The event is free, but people planning to attend are asked to RSVP by calling 252-212-3460.