A great day

hkonj1small.jpgThe crowd was enormous and the energy was electric. Progressives turned out in force for the Moral March in Raleigh, and we’re all the better for it. We need a movement to reclaim North Carolina from the grips of conservative extremism, and this event felt like both like a continuation of last year’s Moral Mondays and an even larger springboard for the fight we all must wage this year to protect voting rights and workers’ rights, expand Medicaid, restore unemployment benefits, improve public education, defend women’s health choices, preserve our beautiful environment, and win fairer treatment of immigrants. And that’s just for starters!

We took eight vans over from Charlotte, including a good mix of immigrants, seniors, progressives, and folks who just care about the direction of our state and wanted to be seen and heard. It’s a lot of work to get 8 van loads over, and props are due to our staff for some long days this past week, and to some friends and allies who stepped up to drive when needed them. Charlotte has always been under-represented at HKonJ, and we were determined to do our part this year to take advantage of this important moment.

We all should be thankful and excited about the work the NAACP and Reverend Barber have done. HKonJ’s slogan has always been: Not just a moment, but a movement. And that’s really is how it felt on Saturday. This is energy and momentum that all progressive and progressive groups can feed on in our own work. Social change is our mission, and that’s something neither our organization nor any other can make much of a dent in without working together, and hanging together for the long haul. That’s what coalitions ideally are for, and HKonJ and the Forward Together movement are playing that vital role here in NC.

It was a privilege to do our part to swell the crowd, and our members loved it. After a welcome Sunday to catch our breath and catch up on our sleep, we’ll be back at organizing around issues and elections with even greater optimism and determination. That’s what the Moral March is for, and it served that purpose wonderfully this year.

Forward together!