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NAACP and Reform Jewish Movement launch joint voter drive

By Yasmine Regester / August 25, 2016

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Rev. Dr. William J. Barber attends a nonpartisan voter protection initiative sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. Photo courtesy Ivan Cutler

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber attends a nonpartisan voter protection initiative sponsored by the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. Photo courtesy Ivan Cutler

Moral March to the Polls Kick-off Tour
Monday, August 29 – 7 p.m.
Pullen Memorial
1801 Hillsborough St.; Raleigh, N.C

RALEIGH – The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC) launched a new nonpartisan initiative to promote voter protection and participation across the country, beginning with a joint kick-off event with the North Carolina NAACP on August 18 in Raleigh, N.C.

The launch event, Nitzavim: Standing Up for Voter Protection and Participation, was held at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh. Nitzavim, translated from the original Hebrew, means “we are standing up.”

The event featured national and local Jewish and Christian leaders including Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday Movement; Bishop Dwayne Royster, political director of the PICO National Network; April Baskin, vice president of Audacious Hospitality, Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism and senior vice president of the Union for Reform Judaism; Rabbi Steve Fox, chief executive of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Larry Bach, senior rabbi, Judea Reform Congregation, and Rabbi Lucy H.F. Dinner, senior rabbi, Temple Beth Or. Also in attendance was Rabbi Andy Koren along with several members from Temple Emanuel in Greensboro.

Rabbi Andy Koren (left) with Lena Stein and Alex Herman. They were part of a group of 15 who traveled from Greensboro’s Temple Emanuel to Raleigh's Temple Beth Or. Photo courtesy Ivan Cutler

Rabbi Andy Koren (left) with Lena Stein and Alex Herman. They were part of a group of 15 who traveled from Greensboro’s Temple Emanuel to Raleigh’s Temple Beth Or. Photo courtesy Ivan Cutler

“The right to vote should never depend on the color of a person’s skin,” said Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner. “In the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act, we are called to protect this fundamental right of citizenship. We are stronger when we stand together, unified by a commitment to civil rights and civic participation.”

The N.C. NAACP is also calling on other branches around the state to help mobilize the vote.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of the N.C. NAACP noted in a press release that the fight for voting rights is connected to the fight for health care, living wages, criminal justice reform, equal protection under the law and access to public education.

“We are standing together to overcome racism, and those who seek to block full participation at the ballot box,” said Barber. “Voting rights are under attack in North Carolina and across America. We stand together, as people of faith, to defend the right to vote.”

Sunday, August 28 marks the 53rd anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington D.C. when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., shared his vision for America. The N.C. NAACP is calling for a weekend of action from Friday August 26 through August 27 to include voter registration drives, voting rights themed services at faith centers, and organizing to get voters to the polls.

The weekend of action will culminate on Monday, August 29, when the N.C. NAACP will hold a kickoff to the Moral March to the Polls 15-stop tour in Raleigh, at Pullen Memorial at 7 p.m., located at 1801 Hillsborough St. Raleigh, N.C.




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