By Bob Geary, Independent Weekly
Leaders in the pro-diversity movement who are battling the Wake school board majority to stop resegregation of the county’s school system, have called a prayer meeting for Monday, August 30 at 7 p.m. in Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. The church is located at 1801 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, near the NCSU Bell Tower. Its senior pastor is the Rev. Nancy Petty, who along with the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, has led the protests at school board meetings. Petty and Barber have each been arrested on two occasions for acts of civil disobedience.
This is the message sent by the organizers:
Clergy to Hold Day of Prayer, Clergy Summit and Prayer Meeting in Raleigh, NC to Promote Schools Excellence and Stop Resegregation.
Rev. Dr. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church and Rev. Dr. Earl Johnson of Martin Street Baptist Church will lead a steering committee of clergy which include: Rev. Portia Rochelle, President, Raleigh/Apex NAACP Branch; Rev. Anthony Davis, AME Zion Church; Rev. Lorraine Ljunggren, Pastor, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; Father Michael Hunn, Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina; Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, Pastor, Clinton Tabernacle AME Zion Church Hickory, NC and Religious Chair of the NC NAACP; Rev. Paul Anderson, Pastor, Fountain of Life Church; and David LaMotte, Program Associate for Peace, NC Council of Churches.
Our purpose is to open our churches for prayer, hold a Clergy Summit and a Mass Public Prayer Meeting on August 30, 2010. The Clergy summit will be held at Martin Street Baptist Church at 3:00 p.m. and the Mass Public Prayer Meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.
August 30th is a historic day in Wake County. While there had been modest steps towards desegregation, on August 30, 1971, following the Supreme Court decision inSwann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Raleigh students began more intentional and broader steps towards desgregation of public schools 17 years after Brown vs. Board of Education.
Rev. Dr. Nancy Petty notes that the reason for calling this Day of Prayer and Clergy Summit is to be clear that the issues we are dealing with around public education have enormous moral, ethical, and spiritual implications. For people of faith, prayer has always been crucial to the work of social justice. Now, more than ever, we must be faithful in not only working for justice but praying for justice. And so we gather on August 30 to pray that our community and our elected leaders will stand up and speak out for ALL our children.