Reader letters, 2-17

Feb 12, 2014

Forward Together Moral Movement is Humbling, Enriching and Empowering

Growing up in Western North Carolina, I was proud of my home state.  But the actions of our governor and the radical regressive wing of the North Carolina General Assembly have made me heartsick.  Sometimes I think they confuse governing with dancing the limbo, as if they think we want to see how low they can go.

As a person of faith, I have been unable to reconcile the legislation passed by the NCGA in 2013 with spiritual teachings to care for ‘the least of these.’  As Rev. Julie Peeples said at the recent Moral March on Raleigh, “As people of faith, we cannot claim to love our neighbor while refusing them access to healthcare or a living wage or a vote.”

Last June, I heard Rev. Curtis Gatewood, vice-president of the North Carolina NAACP speak at the Forward Together Tour in Hendersonville.  What touched me most deeply were the words, “If you are about justice, you were born for this time.  If you are about peace, you were born for this time.”

His words catapulted me into the Forward Together Moral Movement, and I've been a support person for four Moral Witnesses who have been arrested for participating in civil disobedience while protesting legislative actions.  While it has been a deeply humbling experience, my association with the many diverse members of this Movement has enriched my life and empowered me to help organize a new unit of the NAACP in Haywood County.

This Movement is about justice.  I feel a deep call to advocate for those who can’t march or speak for themselves — for the most vulnerable and marginalized of our society.  Participating with like-minded fellow Haywood County residents in Saturday’s march and rally was one of the high points of my life.

If you feel a call to work for a more just, inclusive and compassionate North Carolina, join the Forward Together Haywood People’s Assembly, the group which has applied for a charter to become an NAACP Authorized Committee.  Our next meeting is 2 pm, Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center, 450 Pigeon Street, Waynesville.  Contact forwardtogetherhaywood@gmail.com.

Mary McGlauflin

Maggie Valley

To the editor:

For the last 27 years of my life I have grown to love and be proud of living in Haywood County.  I have found it to be an exceptional place to live, and I am proud to be associated with the school system.

At Junaluska Elementary School, like Meadowbrook Elementary, we have been faced with the loss of a loved family member, Mrs. Nichole Reeves.

I just wanted to take a moment to thank:  the school community for their love, prayers, and other expressions of concern, the many people in the community who really did not know Mrs. Reeves, but who would ask how “we” were doing, Nichole’s family for allowing “us” to be a continued part of her life after her passing, the many other schools who made sure we were taken care of by sending cards, floral arrangements, and food, Superintendent Dr. Anne Garrett, Associate Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte, and Principal Mrs. Sherri Arrington.  Our school and county administration was there to support “us” and allow our staff to come together in a manner that we needed to do to find comfort in such a heart wrenching time.

What a wonderful place to live and work, Haywood County!

Connie Allen

Junaluska Elementary teacher

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