Hamlin said the bill would take funding away from the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and make getting an education more difficult for students.
“I have a problem with a billionaire in the White House being able to get his loans forgiven, but we cannot expect the same for our children,” she said.
Although the marchers promoted a number of causes, healthcare, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and voting rights were the main issues everyone seemed to have on their minds — and the main theme was encouraging people to go to the polls this November for the midterms.
Laveda Joseph, who is originally from the U.S. Virgin Islands, said she came to the march for inspiration, and she wants to lead in the development of people who want to make a positive change in their community.
“Nothing is what it seems, and I can no longer stay silent to the inequalities that keep existing,” she said. “No matter who you are or where you’re from, we all have a lot to offer this country. You should not be denied.”
Marches such as this one bring hope that coming together for a common goal can actually make a difference. Renee Scaggs, a participant from Cary, said she marched because she enjoys seeing people come together and support one another.
“I’m passionate about people who aren’t here that should be — people that are indifferent or ignorant and don’t think that there’s a problem or that there’s nothing we can do to fix it,” she said. “The more people that show up show that there are people who care about others and come together to make a statement.”
Concerns about voting rights drew many people to the march, including Erwin Cohen from Durham. He said he attended the march because he is committed to making sure people are allowed to vote and that voting is fair.
"Over the last ten years, since the last census, there’s been a great deal of gerrymandering and people have been disenfranchised,” Cohen said. “It’s un-American and it’s wrong.”
Health care was also on the minds of many marchers, and a large group of doctors and health care providers attended in scrubs and lab coats. Neva Bartholomew, a family medicine doctor in Chapel Hill, said she is concerned about access to health care as well as the state of the union under President Donald Trump.
“We’re concerned about the lack of accessible health care in the state of North Carolina,” she said. “And there’s a large contingent of people here who are also concerned."
Another marcher with health care on his mind was Joshua James from Fayetteville. He wants to help people from Fayetteville who do not work for the military achieve more economic stability.
“I’m mostly concerned about health care, especially after the scare of them almost repealing the Affordable Care Act in Washington,” James said. “My son has autism, my wife has a disability, so I know that fight isn’t over.”
Members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Assembly spoke to thank protesters for their sacrifices and to remind the crowd why they fight.
“While we may grow weary, we will keep fighting the good fight,” they said.
Members of the crowd also expressed why marching and continuing to resist is important.
“There are a lot of people who care, and as long as people refuse to stay home and sit down, things can progress,” Cohen said.