By Staff Writer, Benjamin Sepsenwol
All of Us NC is, according to their website, “an alliance of North Carolinians who stick up for each other when any of us has our humanity questioned.” In keeping with their mission, the organization is working to raise awareness about how, if passed, the proposed amendment would affect everyone in North Carolina.
Maria Rosales, Associate Professor of Political Science at Guilford and member of All of Us NC, said the organization has focused on educating rural regions of the state, where fewer people know about the amendment.
“One challenge is that North Carolina is really big,” said Rosales. “It’s hard to organize when people are so spread out.”
The organization has utilized social media outlets such as their Facebook page to advocate their cause. All of Us NC has also organized events to rally support and raise awareness.
Greensboro residents have played an active role in campaigning against the amendment. On March 25, the Blind Tiger held a charity benefit concert to raise money against Amendment One.
The organization We Are NC is another example of local activism against Amendment One. Founded by UNCG students Lindsay Welch and Robert Eldredge, We Are NC has an on-going petition on their website showing various businesses and organizations opposing Amendment One in Greensboro.
“We noticed much of the rhetoric from Equality NC and other groups was based towards faith,” said Eldredge. “As atheists, we wanted to bring a secular perspective and emphasize everyone against the amendment, showing the diversity of voices opposing it.”
Eldredge and Welch have already persuaded over 50 different organizations to sign their petition. However, both anticipate obstacles ahead. Welch emphasized the difficulty in talking to strangers, while Eldredge said he has trouble convincing people of the amendment’s negative side effects.
“If we want to persuade people and get them on board, we need stories to show the impact on people’s lives,” said Eldredge. “If you personalize it (Amendment One) in that way, it becomes morally outrageous to support it.”
Brenda Schleunes, the producing artistic director of the Touring Theater of North Carolina, uses her art to personalize Amendment One and show the human side of the issue.
Schleunes’ goal in her work is to provide dignity to marginalized groups. She has recently adapted and produced the play “Second Class,” which presents the real-life stories of couples and individuals adversely affected by North Carolina laws.
“Although the play is not telling people to vote against the amendment, the actors raise questions about it in their own narratives,” said Schleunes.
In one monologue a woman expresses her concern that the amendment will invalidate a restraining order against her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Artists and students are not the only advocates against Amendment One. Faith leaders throughout Greensboro have been highly active in organizing against Amendment One. A few leaders include Reverend Michael Usey of College Park Baptist Church, Rabbi Fred Guttman of Temple of Emanuel Greensboro and Reverend Julie Peeples of the Congregational United Church of Christ.
“I have been hearing from people of many different religious backgrounds, even conservative,” said Peeples. “People may believe in the scriptures, but they don’t want them codified into the constitution.”
While people around Greensboro are busy organizing events, passing out flyers and persuading others to vote against Amendment One, our smaller community at Guilford College has also taken steps towards opposing the amendment. Check in tomorrow to see what Guilford has done over the past few months to rally against the amendment and how you can become involved.
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The Touring Theater of North Carolina is holding showings of “Second Class” up until May 4th. Admission fees are pay what you can. See the accompany table for a schedule of upcoming shows.