On Friday, January 29th, Reverend William Barber II spoke at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. Rev. Barber launched the well-known Moral Mondays in North Carolina. Moral Mondays are protest that were created because of several laws created by the N.C. government. The protests have spread to South Carolina and Georgia, as well as Illinois and New Mexico.
Rev. Barber is a member of the national Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. In 2006, he was awarded the Juanita Jackson Mitchell Esquire Award for his work in legal activism. Rev. Barber is the pastor is Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C. Former Governor Beverly Purdue awarded him with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2009 for being an outstanding North Carolinian and citizen. He wrote two books called Preaching through Unexpected Pain and Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation and has published several articles. Barber graduated from North Carolina Central University with a political science degree. He then went to Duke University for a degree in Master of Divinity.
Rev. Barber communicated to the audience about how important an upcoming event, called HKonJ, was to ensure the drive toward what he referred to as “The Third Reconstruction.” Rev. Barber believes that there will be a third reconstruction period and it starts with the young people of America. “In every part of history, young people have been pivotal in the reconstruction of America,” said Barber. Barber assembled HKonJ in 2006 with other high profile people—lawyers, religious leaders, and other activists. HKonJ is the shortened name for Historic Thousands on Jones St. The movement congregates around the theme “Forward together, not one step back.” Since 2007, the HKonJ coalition has grown from 3,500 to 80,000 people. HKonJ focuses on voting and labor rights, education equality, healthcare, environmental justice, equal protection under the law, criminal justice reform, and ending The next HKonJ event will be held in Raleigh on February 13th, 2016. HKonJ organizes a march on the second Saturday in the month of February. This year they will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the marches. The pre-rally will start at 9 o’clock where protesters will gather on Wilmington and South Street in Raleigh. The march begins at 10 o’clock and conclude at the State Capitol building. HKonJ invites everyone to come out and march with them in order to unite over people’s rights.
See more about HKonJ here and learn how you can get a free ride to the march!