New coalition for peace, love, justice forms

A new coalition has been formed to respond to recent acts of racism, antisemitism, homophobia and intolerance in our community. The Sandhills Coalition for Peace, Love, and Justice has been formed to promote fellowship among the people of Moore County, announced the coalition in a press release. The ideology of hate demonstrated by the placement of banners over one of the main entranceways into Pinehurst and Southern Pines and the December attack on our electrical grid has stirred the group into action.

The Coalition for Peace, Love and Justice is spearheaded by a diverse group of community leaders. Barbara Rothbeind of the Sandhills Jewish Congregation, Charles Oldham of Sandhills Pride and O’Linda Watkins-McSurely of the Moore County NAACP are founding members along with members of other nonpartisan faith and cultural organizations. Recognizing that silence can be construed as complicity, the coalition members call on individuals, political, business and faith leaders to join with them and strongly condemn such acts of hatred.

On Dec. 18, the first day of Chanukah, an antisemitic banner was flown over U.S. Highway 1 in Vass, and on Christmas morning, another hateful message was flown over U.S. Highway 1 in Cameron. As far back as July 2015, racist graffiti was painted on three bridges over U.S. Highway 1 near Vass and Cameron.

An event entitled “Take Back the Bridge” is planned for Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to noon. It will occur near the NC-690/Lobelia Road Bridge over U.S. Highway 1 in Vass. The event will honor the Town of Vass for its courageous proclamation unequivocally denouncing hate in all forms. Local elected officials and state representatives have received invitations to stand alongside Moore County residents. All persons of good will are welcome to attend.

For further information or to join the coalition, please contact; Barbara Rothbeind at: [email protected] (910) 603-0600 or Charles Oldham at [email protected] (704) 572-3372.

The mission of the Sandhills Coalition for Peace, Love, and Justice is to act as a positive force against discrimination, intolerance, and hatred of all kinds through education and action.

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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