Is the “Moral March” for Me?

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Approaching the North Carolina State Capitol, 2012

Our family has marched in HKonJ the last two years, and we will be marching again on Feb. 8, 2014. I find that doing something for the first time is intimidating, so I prepared this list about HKonJ to help you decide if you should go this year (yes).

1. What’s up with the name, HKonJ? Is it the the “Moral March” that I’ve been hearing about? Is it the same as a “Moral Monday”?

HKonJ stands for “Historic Thousands on Jones Street.” Jones Street is the name of the street the North Carolina General Assembly building is on. This year, building on the momentum of the Moral Monday movement, the march is also called the Moral March. And if you participated or wanted to participate in any of last year’s Moral Mondays, you should come to this event. HKonJ is much bigger, has a longer history, and this year there are predictions that HKonJ will be the largest civil rights rally in decades.

2. Who organizes it?

The NC NAACP is the lead organizer, but they partner with over 150 other social justice organizations. You can see the full list here. http://www.hkonj.com/coalition_partners

3. What is it?

It is a seven block march in downtown Raleigh that usually ends in front of the North Carolina Legislative building on Jones Street, where speakers address the issues. This year due to the large crowd expected, the march will end, and we will assemble, at the state capitol building.

4. So, what are the issues?

There is a 14-point agenda for the march that includes a wide range of social justice, voting rights, immigration, and public education issues. You can find the full list here. http://www.hkonj.com/coalition_partners If you were mad about an issue in this past legislative session, you will probably find it addressed here.

5. Can I participate if I’m not with one of those groups?

Yes! The first year that we went, we went because Equality NC http://equalitync.org/ said that they were marching in solidarity with the NAACP in opposition to Amendment One. We weren’t with a group, but just fell into the crowd. There have been 10,000-15,000 people at this event, so it is easy to join in.

6. Should I bring my kids?

Yes. The  march is a very kid-friendly activity, with lots to watch and hear; colorful flags, marching drums, and thousands of happy people. And to me, encouraging my kids to participate in this type of civic event is very rewarding. Two years ago I wore him in a carrier. This year, like last year, we will be bringing our two-year old in a stroller to keep him contained in the crowd. And when he has had enough, the backup plan is always to visit the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural Sciences, located adjacent to the rally.

7. If I don’t want to drive, is there a bus?

Yes! There are buses coming from all over the state (and even NYC!). You can find that full list here. http://www.hkonj.com/buses

8. If I don’t want to take the bus, will I have trouble parking?

No. We have not taken the bus the last two years, and have had no trouble parking in one of the downtown Raleigh parking decks, since it is a Saturday morning. We have paid to park, but there are free decks. Here’s a map that shows some of this logistics. http://carolinajustice.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8342c247a53ef017d40c9dd58970c-pi

9. If I have mobility issues, should I stay home?

No! There are trams that will be running continuously from the gathering point to the speakers stage, with chairs in front of the speakers for those that need seating. These trams can also take you back to the starting point at the end of the rally.

I hope I see you, and thousands of other people there on February 8th!

Elizabeth Read

Alamance County Resident, joining the Alamance NAACP for the 2014 HKonJ

Alamance NAACP buses, Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/228324490679882/

NC NAACP HKonJ Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/577895312291914/

Website: http://www.hkonj.com/

Promo Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMoyapZmWco

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