Rev. Dr. William Barber announces he’s stepping up for the New Poor People’s Campaign
North Carolina’s Rev. Dr. William Barber is stepping up to help lead the New Poor People’s Campaign! After spending over a decade at the center of a broad and powerful coalition of organizations in his home state, and after spending the last year traveling the country leading “Revivals” and moral and political organizing trainings, this campaign is where he’s called to focus his energy and leadership:
Dr. King, along with many other impacted people and moral leaders in the Poor People’s Campaign of 1967/68, began an effort to build a broad, fusion coalition that would audit America, demanding an accounting of promissory notes that had been returned marked “insufficient funds.” We have not finished their work. Though Trump’s presidency is the culmination of a violent backlash against the Second Reconstruction that Dr. King and many others led, the future of our democracy depends on us completing the work of a Third Reconstruction today.
This is why I hear the Spirit calling us to build a new Poor People’s Campaign.
The fights for racial and economic equality are as inseparable today as they were half a century ago. Make no mistake about it: We face a crisis in America. The twin forces of white supremacy and unchecked corporate greed have gained newfound power and influence, both in statehouses across this nation and at the highest levels of our federal government. Sixty-four million Americans make less than a living wage, while millions of children and adults continue to live without access to healthcare, even as extremist Republicans in Congress threaten to strip access away from millions more. As our social fabric is stretched thin by widening income inequality, politicians criminalize the poor, fan the flames of racism and xenophobia to divide the poor, and steal from the poor to give tax breaks to our richest neighbors and budget increases to a bloated military…
At such a time as this, we need a new Poor People’s Campaign for Moral Revival to help us become the nation we’ve not yet been.
(Read the rest of this essay from Rev. Barber at ThinkProgress.)
On Monday, May 15th, Rev. Barber held a press conference to announce his transition and provide more details about his role in this campaign:
The Kairos Center’s Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis had this to say about the announcement:
These are difficult and dangerous days. 1 in 2 Americans are poor or low-income; immigrants, Muslims, the homeless, youth are under attack; 28 million people will lose their health care under Trumpcare; 65 million workers make less than $15/hour and some states are actually lowering their minimum wages; there are millions living without clean water and sanitation services; voting rights are being suppressed; wars are waging across the world and intensifying.
These and many other crises mean it is urgent we build a Poor People’s Campaign today. It’s important to spread some of the victories you all have been winning in NC across the country.
As Rev. Dr. King said as he was building the 1967-68 Poor People’s Campaign, “Disinherited people all over the world are bleeding to death from deep social and economic wounds. They need brigades of ambulance drivers who will have to ignore the red lights of the present system until the emergency is solved.”
Rev. Dr. Barber has answered the call to help lead brigades of ambulance drivers to heal the deep wounds of racism, militarism, and poverty. He has taken up the call to finish the unfinished business of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and build a Poor People’s Campaign for today.
Grassroots impacted leaders from El Paso, Texas, Plaquemine Parish, Louisiana, Aberdeen, Washington, Lowndes County, Alabama, Flint, Michigan, Elkhart, Indiana, Burlington, Vermont, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Missouri, Marks, Mississippi, Charleston, SC, Salinas, CA, Pine Ridge Reservation and so many places across the country are excited to work side by side with you, Rev. Barber, as you help lead the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival. It’s time for a revolution of values. The Poor People’s Campaign is on! Forward Together Not One Step Back!