(Photo Credit: Protect Charlotteans Now Rally via Facebook)

The “Protect Charlotteans Now” rally takes place May 24 at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. Scheduled just before the beginning of Pride Month, the community gathering is organized by the Charlotte LGBT Chamber of Commerce (CLGTCC), LGBTQ Democrats of Mecklenburg County, Sunrise Movement Charlotte, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Organization for Women (NOW) and Charlotte Pride. This rally is an effort to extend nondiscrimination ordinances to Charlotte. This rally is an effort to extend nondiscrimination ordinances to Charlotte. 

The murders of Jaida Peterson and Remy Fennell, two black transgender women who were killed in Charlotte last month are also a major motivating factor behind this rally. The Facebook event page states, “We especially uplift our Transgender siblings, who continue to face tragic levels of violence and discrimination.” 

The page confirms the ordinance will protect natural hairstyles, hiring and job security for pregnant individuals, marital or familial status and veteran status, as well as gender expression and sexual orientation. 

The coalitions and organizations involved in the rally respond to social issues outside of the LGBTQ community. The Sunrise Movement Charlotte defines themselves as “a national movement of young people uniting to stop climate change and bring about climate justice.” Meanwhile, the NAACP continues their efforts to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights and to eliminate racial hatred towards people of color and discrimination against the LGBTQ community. 

The interconnectedness of these groups and issues has encouraged the intersectional approach that will be taken by the “Protect Charlotteans Now” rally. According to their Facebook page, the rally’s focal purpose is to ensure that people have equal access to employment, public accommodations and housing.

To sign up for the “Protect Charlotteans Now” petition, go to bit.ly/3vNokIy. For more information on the rally, go to bit.ly/3upnKjZ.

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