Saturday morning, the streets of Raleigh filled with thousands of people carrying signs, chanting and waving flags for the NAACP's annual Moral March.
Marchers representing a wide variety of groups gathered for the 14th annual march, under this year's theme of "When we vote, we win: Save our democracy." The event began in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts and ended near the North Carolina State Capitol, where representatives from different groups represented within the march gave speeches.
To lead the march, 14 young people carried umbrellas to represent the state NAACP's 14-point agenda.
People carried signs—and more lively emblems—for a variety of issues. One marcher got creative with his statement about gerrymandering, a topic that drew a lot of attention to North Carolina last year due to a Supreme Court case about the state's congressional maps.
Other issues represented at the march included immigrant rights, environmental activism, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+ rights and more.
Organizers with NC Raise Up, part of the national Fight for $15 movement, carried a banner advocating for unions for all workers and a bullhorn to lead chants. The movement advocates for $15 minimum wage—it's currently $7.25 in North Carolina and federally—the ability to form a union and better working conditions.
Cierra Brown, a member of Raise Up, spoke about her experiences working in the service industry, including her current role at a fast food restaurant. Brown said she joined the fight for $15 because she realized the only way change could be made was for workers to band together and demand it.
Rev. William Barber II, M.Div. ’89, spoke to the crowd about the importance of voting in the current political climate. He is a former president of the North Carolina NAACP, and he was a leader in building the Moral Mondays movement.
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