Yancey & Mitchell Counties

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From weekly canvasses to a Neighbor to Neighbor rally held in mid-July, it feels like we have walked many miles in both Yancey and Mitchell Counties. Our big Moral Freedom Summer kickoff event was a well-attended “Neighbor to Neighbor” Cookout that brought together Y-M NAACP members, residents of both counties, educators, community activists, and faith leaders.  Several speakers talked about how the extremist legislation passed in Raleigh over the past two years has affected them: from education, jobs for the future, or drawing on our faith traditions to explore social questions, folks had important issues on their minds. But joining and engaging with the Forward Together Movement during this Moral Freedom Summer has given many of us hope.

    Just last Friday, the Y-M NAACP hosted a showing of the PBS documentary “Freedom Summer” in Bakersville where many shared their memories of how protests and organizing during the summer of 1964 affected them. Many shared experiences of growing up in rural Western North Carolina and the impact that geographical, social, and economic isolation had on their lives. But they saw this movement as a sign of hope- one participant noted how inspired he was by the youth and the activism pouring forth from a younger generation. The struggle to love our neighbors more fully, to stand up for and with the least of these, and to engage more fully with the movement was one everyone’s mind.  

    Of course, knocking on doors and getting folks registered and ready to vote has also been on our minds. We have carried out weekly canvasses, some followed by watch parties full of engaging conversation, and weekly registration drives at regional library branches and health clinics. Yet, we have so much more ground to cover- don’t expect us to miss your door, Mitchell and Yancey! We’re making sure everyone is registered and ready to vote in this corner of Western NC by 10/10. Forward Together!

- Wilmarie Cintron-Muniz, Yancey and Mitchell Counties MFS Organizer