RALEIGH Civil rights leaders are working with some of the state's largest and most influential church groups to bring thousands of people to Raleigh on July 20 to protest the end of Wake County's socioeconomic school diversity policy.
The Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP, has organized a wide range of church groups that have historically been involved in civil rights and social justice issues to oppose the move to neighborhood schools in Wake County. Using language heavy with religious overtones and accompanied by a comparison between ending the diversity policy and the old Jim Crow segregation laws, speakers at a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol argued that they had the moral high ground in the fight.
"We're here today to fight against something that is extremely evil," said the Rev. John Mendez on behalf of the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, whose 400,000 members represent the largest black denomination in the state. "We would not be here today if evil was not pervasive. But there is something evil because it is divisive."
In addition to the General Baptist State Convention, the NAACP also announced Tuesday that the group had the backing of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and the N.C. Council of Churches, a coalition of 16 Christian denominations and a handful of independent churches. The Eastern North Carolina district of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church had previously announced it was backing the protest.
The various religious groups, along with secular organizations, hope to generate a crowd for a mass march in downtown Raleigh that will culminate in a protest at the July 20 school board meeting.
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Massive Rally Planned for Wake County on July 20
Supporters from all faiths and political persuasions are joining the campaign to reinstate the successful socioeconomic diversity plan in Wake County, NC. From the News Observer: