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William Barber bringing 'Poor People's' campaign to Hendersonville

William Barber II, the civil rights activist who founded the Moral Majority movement, is bringing his national Poor People's Campaign to Hendersonville.


Activists decided that Barber needed to visit Western North Carolina and first considered an event in Asheville, said Melinda Lowrance, president of the Henderson County NAACP branch and a regional leader of the organization. Instead, the local NAACP decided on Hendersonville. He is scheduled to speak at 6 Friday evening at Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College in a "Moral Revival for Voting Rights."

"It's get out the vote (message) and the Henderson County banch is co-sponsoring it," Lowrance said. "I’m hoping that it will bring some unity. He’s a unifier and it would motivate all us to get out and vote. We to need to get out and vote what’s good for the people. I feel like he’ll be a real a motivator for people."

Lowrance said other speakers plan to cover Medicaid expansion and how many middle-class families and needy people expansion would cover in North Carolina and talk about laws proposed by the Republican-controlled Legislature that the NAACP regards as voter suppression. While some details remain to be worked out, Lowrance said she is scheduled to sign a contract for Barber's appearance on Wednesday. The event is sponsored by NAACP branches in Henderson and seven other counties, the N.C. Poor People's Campaign and Democracy NC.

Barber, a minister from Goldsboro, led the Moral Mondays movement that protested Republican policies starting in April 2013. Last year, Barber stepped down as state president of the NAACP to start the national Poor People's Campaign, reviving the name of the campaign Martin Luther King Jr. led in 1968. Three weeks ago the 55-year-old pastor was named one of 25 winners of the MacArthur Fellowship's "Genius Grant," which grants recipients $625,000 over five years.