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A Voice for Social Justice: Moral Mondays Movement Comes to Indiana

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Friday, September 19, 2014   

INDIANAPOLIS - Inspired by a social-justice campaign in the South, a grassroots coalition is forming in Indiana to be a voice for equal justice for all Hoosiers. The 'Moral Mondays Movement' started in North Carolina to defend voting rights and has spread to over a dozen states. Barbara Bolling Williams, president of the Indiana State NAACP, says many people feel elected leaders are no longer in touch with what voters want and need.

"When the people who we have elected no longer listen to our voices, then it's time we speak louder and in a manner in which they can hear us," says Bolling Williams.

Among the issues that need attention in Indiana, according to Bolling Williams, are a higher minimum wage, quality public education, expansion of health care, and marriage equality. The Indiana 'Moral Mondays Movement' campaign launch is today in Indianapolis, featuring workshops and an interfaith service. There's a rally and march at the State Capitol on Saturday.

Erin Polley, program coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee, says activists, organizations and faith communities are joining together to build a better vision for the state based on values found in the secular and spiritual communities. She adds it's a movement, not a just a single moment, and state leaders need to hear their concerns.

"We are going to be paying attention in the next legislative session," Polle says. "We're going to be advocating for the moral values of the citizens of Indiana, and we would like to see our state legislature reflect the values of our people."

The Reverend William Barber of North Carolina leads the national 'Moral Mondays Movement,' and will speak at the events in Indianapolis. Bolling Williams says they are looking forward to his words of wisdom and the insight he can provide.

"We understand this is not a cookie-cutter approach because we don't all have the same issues," says Bolling Williams. "He's going to give us the principles of what they have done as a blueprint, so to speak."

In North Carolina, Moral Monday demonstrations have been held on a regular basis for over a year.


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