By Robin Kerfoot, Local 1000, North Carolina NAACP Freedom Summer Action Project
I am working on the Freedom Summer project in North Carolina – it has been a very busy third week! This week, Victor Bowling (my UFCW GOLD partner) and I have been working with an organizer from the NAACP, Robert Gray. We have been educating people on the issues facing North Carolinians and helping them to register to vote and update their information.
On Monday and Tuesday we delivered voting registration boxes to local barber shops. We also set up volunteers who will check these boxes every few days. On Tuesday evening we attended a dinner with the Raleigh branch of the NAACP political action committee. We were able to meet several amazing people, discuss upcoming events, and listen to their take on how things are affecting their communities and how we can help.
On Wednesday evening we teamed up with the League of Conservation Voters at a local basketball tournament. This tournament was the perfect place to register voters and collect signatures for a petition against pollution. When the tournament ended, we enjoyed pizza and Gatorade with all of the spectators.
Friday evening we held a screening of PBS’s Freedom Summer at a local church. When the film ended, a lot of people mentioned that there was a lot of information in the film they had never heard before. Even people there who lived through the Freedom Summer said they learned something. Hearing everyone’s views on it was great.
Saturday we had two events scheduled, an LGBTQ expo and a neighborhood canvass. At the LGBTQ expo we handed out information and registered people to vote with Nicole, a NAACP organizer. It was a lot of fun talking with and meeting new people. That evening we met up with volunteers and some people from the NAACP Raleigh branch to canvass a neighborhood. We were able to educate people we met on current issues and even registered a few to vote. I really enjoyed getting to meet so many interesting people.
The GOLD experience has changed me in such a positive way. I’ve seen how communities can come together to help each other, and in turn help themselves. I have been truly inspired by all of the wonderful people I have met here.