N.C. Impact Coalition

Lakisha Womack, left, Sherilla Horton and Lanisha Bailey are co-founders of the N.C. Impact Coalition.

A caravan will travel through parts of the Sandhills on Thursday to protest the killing of George Floyd, whose death in police custody has sparked a national outcry.

People participating in the demonstration are encouraged to decorate their vehicles. The protest is being organized by the N.C. Impact Coalition.

Lakisha Womack, a local educator who co-founded the coalition with her relatives Lanisha Bailey, Shirella Horton and Charles Taylor in 2016, said the group felt a caravan would minimize the protestors’ risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

“We want to show the right way to address the issue,” Womack said Monday in a phone interview. “With this being a retirement community, we can’t afford to have COVID-19 run rampant here.”

About 34 percent of Moore County‘s laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 involve residents older than 64, a demographic especially vulnerable to the disease. Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, during a press conference on Monday said she “fully support(s) the need to peacefully protest” Floyd’s death.

Acknowledging the many demonstrations held across the state over the weekend, Cohen said she was “heartened to see that in the midst of such pain, many showed their care for those around them by covering their faces.”

“In North Carolina, African Americans make up an estimated 22 percent of our population, yet account for 34 percent of our COVID-19 deaths,” she said. “Too many families have lost loved ones.”

Protestors will gather beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the National Guard Armory baseball field, located off Morganton Road in Southern Pines. Escorted by members of the Southern Pines, Pinehurst and Aberdeen police departments, the caravan will depart at 4 p.m., merging onto U.S. 15-501 and turning onto N.C. 5 before reconvening at the field, where Womack said representatives for various civic groups will be waiting to share information about their organizations.

“Our goal is for people to join these organizations and to make people aware that this is something that is going on in Moore County,” Womack said. “We also want people to join in on conversations about legislative change.”

Womack said families of individuals killed in altercations with law enforcement through the years are expected to participate in the demonstration. The event comes days after a peaceful protest in response to Floyd’s death was held in the parking lot of Walmart in Aberdeen.

(10) comments

Matthew Gritzmacher

I've just returned from the caravan and have to say it was a humbling event to participate in. I'm grateful to the organizers for all their work, and to law enforcement who staffed the route and kept the event safe. Looking forward to coverage in the coming days.

Brenda Burt

The killing of innocent people must stop.

Patricia Bryan

This is not a political thing - it is a human thing for those who believe humans are equal regardless of any political affiliation. Kent, I do wish you would move to South Carolina which you have favored over NC and Moore County by your constant comments that really are pretty much off subject, as well as distasteful. However, I do believe you have the right to say them.

Kent Misegades

Wouldn’t this peaceful demonstration be best held in cities run by Democrats like Raleigh? For decades they have promised to solve all the problems purportedly still faced by minorities. Yet as in Minneapolis, when Democrats are in charge, things don’t seem to improve for all. Doing this in Raleigh would give you a chance to protest the severe, unnecessary shutdown imposed by Democrat Governor Cooper. Prior to this, African-Americans enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in a half century thanks to President Trump.

Kathy Wright

Out of curiosity Kent, are you living on this planet and also, are you nuts? I am wondering because you come up with some of the most outrageous and stupid comments.

Sherri Mangum


Anna Jeffries

Well spoken, Kathy

Elizabeth Leonow

Kent lives in his own virtual reality, whatever that is. He never lets facts get in the way of his opinions.

Anna Jeffries

"What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Jim Tomashoff

Anna, I don't know where the quote you've highlighted comes from. But I strongly disagree with one part of it. It reads: "Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it." If this is a reference to Kent's comment, I think it is wrong. We are always wiser, not dumber, when we "listen" (actually read) to Kent's comments. In doing so we better understand how critical the election in November is. Do we re-elect Kent's favorite President of all time, empowering Kent still further and people like him? Or do we soundly reject Kent and people like him and send his President packing (and hopefully indicted and arrested by the District Attorney of New York state and/or the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York for his far too numerous to enumerate crimes before he became President)? It's always worthwhile, I think, to "know your enemy." And Kent gives us ample opportunities to do so.

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