Want to participate?
The Liberty County Branch of the NAACP is playing a key role in a march from Selma, Alabama, to Washington particularly during the march’s Georgia leg. Here’s what you need to know if you want to participate:
• Bus from Liberty County to Atlanta: $68 per person round trip; seating is limited to 50; nonrefundable deposit of $30 required.
• Bus trip plus one-night hotel stay in Atlanta: $153 per person; room is double occupancy; nonrefundable deposit of $50 required.
• RSVP by July 31 by calling 912-408-2278 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• More information on the march is available at naacp.org.
The Liberty County Branch of the NAACP is participating in the America’s Journey for Justice March, which is planned to start Aug. 1 in Selma, Alabama.
The event is described as a historic 860-mile march from Selma to Washington coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act in August, according to a news release issued by the national office of the NAACP.
The release says that the NAACP, along with a coalition of partners representing social justice, youth activism, civil rights, democracy reform, religious, nonprofit, labor, corporate and environmental communities will march to mobilize unprecedented voter registration and advance a focused national policy agenda that ensures the right of every American to a fairer criminal-justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with living wages and equitable public education.
Graylan Quarterman, the president of the Liberty County NAACP, said he was appointed coordinator for the state of Georgia, where the march is expected to cover 204 miles across the northern part of the state and host three rallies at what he called anchoring locations.
He said each state will focus on a specific topic, with education being the focal point for Georgia. Quarterman said the first anchoring location will be Troup County on Aug. 7, with the march starting the following day.
“Atlanta will be the second anchoring location,” Quarterman said, adding that there will be a 10 a.m. rally at the Capitol on Aug. 14. Later that day, a second get-together — what Quarterman called a teach-in — will begin at 7:30 p.m. The location of the teach-in has yet to be determined.
The group will then march to Athens, the third anchor location, arriving Aug. 15 and staying until Aug. 19.
Quarterman said the NAACP will talk about exploring every opportunity to improve the state’s educational system.
“The NAACP wants to make sure new programs are leveling the playing field for all and not just a select few people. I think everybody would like to see our country in a better posture than it is now, especially after what happened in Charleston,” he said, noting the church shooting that killed nine people, including Emanuel AME Church pastor and South Carolina Sen. Clementa Pinckney in late June.
“It is an opportunity that we can stage for inclusion instead of exclusion,” he continued, adding that the NAACP will not exclude anyone from the march.
Speaking personally, Quarterman said he would like to see children be treated like children and adults held responsible for their children’s actions until they reach adulthood.
“I see quite often where we treat our children, within the school system, as children until they do something wrong, and then we turn and want to punish them as adults,” he said, noting that this is strictly his opinion and not that of the NAACP. “There needs to be a rectifying of that. If we are going to treat them like kids, we are going to treat them like kids continually, not just switch when they do something wrong. At some point, we have to go back to where we used to be, where parents were held responsible for their children until they became adults.”
He said the march will allow people to discuss and express their concerns and thoughts regarding the current education system, the pros and cons of charter schools, making education available to everyone and what improvements should be made across the board.
“As an organization, we want to make sure that everyone is provided a fair opportunity for education and progressive knowledge,” he said.
Quarterman wants area residents to participate in the march and said plans are in the works for bus travel and hotel accommodations for those interested in making their way to Atlanta.