LOUISVILLE – An estimated 80,000 people crowded the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina over the weekend to take part in the 11th annual Forward Together Moral March, led by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. Organizers say it was the largest crowed in the march’s history.
Among those participating was the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, who recently became director for the Office of Public Witness (OPW) in Washington, D.C.
“It was exhilarating to say the least to be in the midst of those committed to rallying around the call to justice,” said Hawkins. “We gathered to lift our voices in opposition to policies which were damaging to the well-being of the most vulnerable in our world.”
The crowd consisted of individuals, churches, non-profit organizations, young and older adults and people of different cultures. Posters denounced policies connected to the refugee issue, living wages, LGBTQ rights and women’s reproductive health among other issues.
“It was of great importance for the OPW to be part of this march because Presbyterians have had a long, rich and varied history of participating in actions supporting civil rights,” said Hawkins. “I reconnected with PC(USA) clergy from across the state of North Carolina including Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, Dudley and Chapel Hill.”