This has been a phenomenal summer. I have learned so much about organizing and how far I’m willing to go for what I believe in, and I have my experience with Moral Freedom Summer to thank. This summer I worked in Person County and not only did I work here but I was living here a majority of the time. Throughout the summer I, along with a few dedicated volunteers, had walking canvasses once a week in low-income housing complexes and we also tabled outside of major businesses either once or twice a week. Two of our bigger events were the combination canvass and watch party and also our community picnic.
The Moral Monday watch party was held at Quinn Chapel but due to technical difficulties we ended up not being able to stream the video and having a discussion about Roxboro’s current political issues and the history of the community instead. This was when I was first introduced to the folks that would continue to volunteer with me all summer. The group consisted of two adult members of Avie Lester’s Church, Elijah Grove Baptist Church, and one teenage girl who sang in the choir at this same church and was heavily involved in church functions and dealings. Throughout the summer these were my go-to folks when I needed help with a canvass, when I needed information for a contact, or when I just needed to talk.
The Person County branch of the NAACP also sponsored a picnic on July 12th at the local Huck Sansbury Park Complex. The picnic was open and free to the public and along with food being served; there was also a special program at noon discussing topics such as unemployment, voter education, and the importance of voter registration. Attendance at this event was great, as youth and adults gathered together to hear about our current political climate and the pressing issues affecting many North Carolinians. Speakers included board of elections member, Roxie Russell, Moral Monday arrestees Joanne Burroughs, Robert Trotter, Avie Lester, and myself. Roxie spoke about the unemployment crisis and why continued changes to the regulations are causing many people to be left in the cold once their unemployment benefits are cut off weeks earlier than they would have been just a year ago. She expressed the need for folks to wake up and realize what’s happening before its too late, “if your comfortable then you need to get uncomfortable, because life is not about comfort it’s about challenges.”
- Kearra Brinson, Person County MFS Organizer