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Moral Week of Action in Olympia is Aug. 22-28

OLYMPIA (Aug. 21, 2014) — The Puget Sound and Pierce County Chapters of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) will be sponsoring a week of rallies beginning Friday, Aug. 22 in Olympia as part of a nationwide “Moral Week of Action” to call attention to state policies that are violating moral standards and civil rights, particularly for people of color but also for all working families across the nation.

TAKE A STAND — CBTU invites all to join them for their 7-day walk around our State Capitol in silent prayer (starting from the north steps) at 6:30 p.m. each evening Aug. 22-28. On Aug. 28, the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington, they will walk around the Capitol seven times. The national Moral Week of Action will focus on a different social justice theme each day. Each participating state will set their own agendas. In North Carolina, for example, will start with labor rights and fair wage issues this Friday, followed by education, criminal justice, equal protection under the law (such as LGBT rights and immigration status), women’s rights, environmental justice and health care coverage.

barber-moral-mondaysIn May, several of local members attended the CBTU International Convention in Atlanta where they heard the Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP Chapter and leader of the Moral Mondays movement. Many AFSCME members also heard him speak in July at their International Convention in Chicago (see below). In conjunction with the NAACP, Barber is organizing a nationwide campaign to have a 7-day marches around each state’s Capitol, including North Carolina, where Moral Monday protests have so successfully raised awareness about the effects of state policies that violate basic civil and human rights.

“(State legislators) engaging in unconstitutional, immoral actions must be challenged and taken on with a deeper language of what’s right and what’s wrong,” Barber recently told Huffington Post. Using a morality framework means local coalitions can push state legislatures to adopt more progressive agendas, he said. “If you want to change America, you gotta think states.”

For more information about the week of actions at the State Capitol in Olympia, contact Kevin Allen at 206-200-4910, Claude Burfect at 206-719-0728, or Jacquie Jones-Walsh at 206-245-9542.

Here is the Rev. William Barber’s stirring keynote address from July’s AFSCME Convention:

Founded by former AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer William Lucy, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists is an organization of union leaders and rank-and-file members dedicated to the unique needs of African Americans and minority group workers.

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