7 July 2010
Contact: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, Pres., 919-394-8137
Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Exec Dir, 919-682-4700
Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, Religious Affairs Chair, 704-267-9017
Rev. Anthony J. Davis, AME Zion Church, 919-225-1660
WHO: AME ZION CHURCH BISHOP RICHARD K. THOMPSON, PRESIDING PRELATE FOR THE EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA EPISCOPAL DISTRICT AND REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER, II STATE NAACP PRESIDENT & NATIONAL NAACP BOARD MEMBER
WHAT: AME ZION CHURCH TO HOLD SOLEMN ASSEMBLY & PRAYER VIGIL IN SUPPORT OF NAACP’S ANTI-RESEGREGATION AND PRO-DIVERSITY AND SCHOOL EXCELLENCE FOR WAKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
WHERE: SAINT MARK AME ZION CHURCH
531 SOUTH ROXBORO STREET
WHEN: THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2010 at 7:00 PM
As the State NAACP upholds its first point of the HK on J 14-Point People’s Agenda (www.hkonj.com), “All Children Need High Quality, Well-Funded, Diverse Schools” it continues to receive support from the AME Zion Church. Bishop Richard K. Thompson, Presiding Prelate of the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District, which encompasses 400 churches from Durham to Manteo, and has a collective membership of over 40,000 members announced that they will hold a Solemn Assembly and Prayer Vigil on Thursday, July 8 at St. Mark AME Zion Church in Durham beginning at 7:00pm.
At a press conference led by the State NAACP yesterday, other representatives of the faith community confirmed their support for NAACP’s anti-resegregation and pro-diversity and school excellence position for Wake County Schools and all schools throughout the state. Again in a statement to the press, the State NAACP reiterated its seven principles that constitute high quality and excellence in education:
- Stop Resegregation;
- Equity in Funding For All Schools;
- High Quality Teachers and Smaller Classrooms;
- Focus on Math, Science, Reading and History;
- Parental / Community Involvement;
- Address Unjust and Disproportionate Suspensions
- Reduce Dropout Rates and Increase Graduation Rates
In today’s press statement released by the AME Zion Church, Bishop Thompson stated: “We can no longer sit in our sanctuaries silent while it is evident that recent activities are turning back the hands of time…I know this is a very sensitive issue, and there are some who believe that there are other things we should do to help strengthen our schools. I couldn’t agree more. That is why we are already active participants in the village but there is so much more that needs to be done. We can begin by embracing the NAACP’s seven principles for building strong schools. However, this is not an either or proposition. Segregation was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.” Plans are underway to engage the AME Zion national church convention during NAACP’s July 20th mass protest.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II will be the keynote speaker at the assembly. “We welcome the support of this august body from the faith community with strong historical ties to the civil rights movement and our nation’s notable freedom fighters, such as Frederick Douglass. We honor the AME Zion Church’s support and vigilance on this issue and look forward to their participation in our Mass Mobilization and March on July 20th for school diversity and school excellence.”
Organizations and parent, student and civic groups may sign on in support of the July 20th Mass Demonstration and March for socio-economic diversity and school excellence by sending your organization’s name and contact data by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEE BELOW & ATTACHED NEWS RELEASE FROM AME ZION CHURCH
· For Immediate Release, July 7, 2010
A.M.E. Zion Church Bishop Calls Entire Episcopal Area To Action In The Wake County School Re-Segregation Debate With a Solemn Assembly and Prayer Vigil!
Bishop Richard K. Thompson, Presiding Prelate of The Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District of The A.M.E. Zion Church, has called the entire Episcopal area to a solemn assembly and prayer vigil in response to the Wake County School re-segregation debate, and as they prepare for the upcoming mass protest scheduled for July 20th. The assembly and prayer vigil will be held on Thursday July 8th, at The Saint Mark A.M.E. Zion Church, 531 South Roxboro Street, Durham beginning at 7:00 pm. The Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church with its 400 churches from Durham to Manteo, and its collective membership of over 40,000 members has pledged its support to Dr. William Barber, state branch president of The NAACP, who is the special guest speaker for the assembly. Additionally, Bishop Thompson and the church is strongly opposed to any policies that will lead to segregated, high-poverty, racially identifiable public schools in Wake County or any other school district in the state. Bishop Thompson in a recent press conference said; “We can no longer sit in our sanctuaries silent while it is evident that recent activities are turning back the hands of time. This cannot happen, and will not happen! We will be the voices for those who cannot speak for themselves!” Bishop Thompson also said; “I know this is a very sensitive issue, and there are some who believe that there are other things we should do to help strengthen our schools. I couldn’t agree more. That is why we are already active participants in the village but there is so much more that needs to be done. We can begin by embracing the NAACP’s seven principles for building strong schools. However, this is not an either or proposition. Segregation was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.” Over the next few weeks, Thompson will mobilize the church’s clergy, laity, and members of their respective local communities. Additionally, there are plans to engage the national church during the July 20th mass protest. The Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District headquarters is located in the Capital City and will host the highly publicized Connectional Council meeting and Quadrennial Convention on Christian Education which will be held in Raleigh later this month. This meeting will be the second largest convention scheduled for the city this year. For Further information please call Rev. Anthony J. Davis at (919) 225-1660.
Wake County Public Schools