MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Poor People's Campaign announced they are holding a "Moral March on Memphis" Monday, May 23, starting at 4:30 p.m. at Robert R. Church Park by the FedEx Forum.
The march, which will end in a gathering at the National Civil Rights Museum, is designed to address policies like the state's planned financial takeover of Mason, Tennessee, which the Campaign said is based in systematic racism and is disproportionately affecting poor and low-income people in the Mid-South.
Mason had filed a lawsuit against the Comptroller's Office, claiming the state's actions to take over the town's finances were punitive instead of construction, and were designed to see the town fail.
One of the goals of the march is to raise money to pay off Mason's $250,000 debt to their water and sewage fund, which Mason plans to pay off within 27 months of the town's agreement with the Comptroller's Office.
"The way that Mason has been treated is the same way Memphis will be treated, if we continue to allow communities like ours to not get the support they need," said Justin J. Pearson, a member of the Poor People's Campaign from Memphis.
The Campaign plans to raise money by reaching out to their network of donors, including recent individual donors, and by advocating for the fund during the march.
Pearson pledged to donate $5,000 of his own money towards Mason's debt at the town's recent town hall meeting with its citizens, which addressed the financial agreement with the state made last month.
In addition to the march, the Campaign has also organized a website for people to learn more about how to help Mason, including how to donate to help pay down the town's debt.