Just days away from the upcoming "Moral Monday" protest in uptown Charlotte, the NAACP announced its latest initiative called "Social Justice Sunday."
It's a push for religious leaders to support the NAACP's effort to challenge recent laws and motives of the Republican-led North Carolina legislature.
"Social Justice Sunday" is set for Aug. 23 and will involve three days of religious leaders and scholars from all denominations preaching and teaching on social justice and moral issues. Religious scholar Dr. Rodney Sadler helped to develop the lessons in what's being called the "Forward Together Lectionary Series."
"Faith is something that is meant to be lived every day and is supposed to shape the nature in which we view the world, and therefore the nature of the policies we support," Sadler said.
NAACP leaders want the faith community to use the materials to talk to their congregations about issues like voting rights, healthcare, education and unemployment. They also want them to discuss the role morality should play in upholding constitutional rights.
State NAACP President Dr. William Barber said many of the recent choices by Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers show a disconnect between the two and hurt working families, children and the poor.
Holding a Bible in one hand and a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the other, Barber said, "Both of these documents are used by politicians when they swear themselves into office. Think about that. So our position is, if you put your hand on this one and swear to uphold this one, you ought to know what’s in both of them."
But before "Social Justice Sunday," a "Moral Monday" protest will be held at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte Aug. 19. At a recently rally in Asheville, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 people participated. The NAACP said it’s focused not on the turnout but the message.
"We don't measure our strength by numbers, we measure it by the commitment to the values of our constitution and in the values of our religious faith," Barber said. "We see that it is making a difference."
The NAACP estimates 2,000 could attend Charlotte's "Moral Monday" protest. Eyewitness News asked and city leaders do not plan to designate the protest as an extraordinary event.