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Mass Poor People’s Assembly Moral March to be held online

By Shavonne Potts
shavonne.potts@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, a public gathering two years in the making, will now be held online following continued COVID-19-related gathering restrictions.

Members of the local Salisbury-Rowan circle say just because they aren’t gathering together doesn’t mean local residents can’t be apart of the digital event.

The event will allow poor and low-income people from throughout the country the opportunity to testify about their experiences of systemic poverty, systemic racism, the war economy and more. There are 140 million poor and low-income people nationwide.

Organizers of the event say this global pandemic has exposed even more the already existing crisis of systemic poverty and racism.

The 2.5-hour program will be streamed at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 20, on major television and radio networks as well as via June2020.org.

The Poor People’s Campaign is a movement of people nationwide who are organizing to end the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation, explained local circle member Anthony Smith.

He said oftentimes poverty is not part of the conversation. This event brings poverty to the forefront and reminds people that it’s not just a black or brown issue but can affect all races.

“People want to be involved. This is one way to be involved with change. This is an action that you can be apart, to engage and get involved locally with the circle,” Smith said.

“Poverty knows no color,” said local circle member Dr. Regina Dancy.

“This really brings those who are impacted by this issue to the forefront. America will hear from them. They will explain what it is like every day to live in this situation,” Dancy said.

“There are people in this country doing everything they can to survive. It’s like their lives aren’t worth much. Here is a large group of people who are being neglected and it’s time to make their voices heard,” Dancy said.

Several celebrities and activists including Danny Glover, Wanda Sykes, Debra Messing and former Vice President Al Gore will introduce the featured speakers.

“This in of itself is a pandemic if we think about the number of people who died of COVID-19 — 250,00o within a year and 700 a day die of poverty,” Dancy said.

“A lot of times when people deal with social justice issues they deal with one issue. This shows how they are all interlocking with each other,” Smith said.

He said this event is an opportunity for people who have a passion for racial justice to connect with people who are passionate about climate change.

“Millions of people are engaged in different cities, states, this is really a pooling together as many people as possible,” Smith said.

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