Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Speech from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA
Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. introduces Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, architect of the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, who delivers a powerful message for the day called, "The Danger of America's Misdiagnosis of Terrorism, Violence, and Injustice Necessitates a Moral Revival" at the 48th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.
***ONLY AUDIO IS AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME AND MAY BE HEARD BY CLICKING THE PLAY BUTTON BELOW ON THE BAR BELOW. VIDEO WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE IN EARLY FEBRUARY.***
Rekindling a Prophetic Moral Vision for Justice, Social Change and Movement Building.
WHAT IS REPAIRERS OF THE BREACH?
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in.
— Isaiah 58:12
Our communities are torn apart by hateful violence and words, often in the name of opportunistic and hypocritical interpretations of the essence of the world’s oldest holy books and teachings. To repair the breaches caused by centuries old systems of racial and gender inequality, we need thousands of clergy and lay leaders who will dedicate their lives to rebuilding, raising up and repairing our moral infrastructure. They shall be called The Repairers of the Breach: The Restorer of our Communities.
Repairers of the Breach, Inc. is a nonpartisan and ecumenical organization that seeks to build a progressive agenda rooted in a moral framework to counter the ultra-conservative constructs that try to dominate the public square. Repairers will help frame public policies not constrained or confined by the narrow tenets of neo-conservatism. Repairers will bring together clergy and lay people from different faith traditions, with people without a spiritual practice but who share the moral principles at the heart of the great moral teachings. Repairers will expand a “school of prophets” who can broadly spread the vision of a nation that is just and loving.
Educate church and lay leaders who will pursue policies and organizing strategies for the good of the whole. Educate the public about the deep connections between shared religious faith traditions and public policy, deeply rooted in our Constitutions and the moral values of justice, fairness, and the general welfare. Challenge the version of the ultra-conservatives who have misinterpreted Christianity as a faith that hates the poor. They call 47% of us “Takers,” and they want to shut down any government agency that tries to provide for the general welfare and just economic systems.
Develop effective messengers of the social gospel in places of worship, communities and workplaces who will understand the values at the heart of an anti-racism, anti-poverty, and anti-extreme militarism movement. Develop leaders with a clear progressive moral vision for leadership in the 21st century. Create 21st century prophetic critique and consciences. Develop local leaders/clergy who can withstand the sirens of opportunism and neo-conservatism while remaining true to a principled approach to eliminating poverty and racism.
VIDEO: Moral Dissent: The Pathway to Higher Ground
A powerful message inspiring people of faith to action.
Repairers of the Breach works to reconnect our shared faith traditions with public policies rooted in the moral values of justice, fairness, and the general welfare, which are embedded in the federal and state Constitutions; and train clergy and lay moral leaders and advocates to become fusion-movement leaders and to freshen the great wellsprings of our democracy based on past moral movements that have made possible the great progressive victories in our history.
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Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II (born August 30, 1963) is a Protestant minister and political leader in North Carolina (NC). He is a member of the national Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for whom he is also Chair of the NAACP’s Legislative Political Action Committee. He was awarded the 2006 Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Esq. Award for legal activism, the highest award in the NAACP for legal redress for advocacy, he was the 2008 recipient of the Thalheimer Award for most programmatic NAACP State Conference, and in 2010 he won the National NAACP Kelly M. Alexander Humanitarian Award. Since 2006 he has been president of the NAACP’s North Carolina state chapter—the largest in the Southern USA and the second-largest in the country.
Barber has served as pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Goldsboro, NC since 1993. He has led “Moral Mondays” civil-rights protests in NC, beginning in April 2013. The Wall Street Journal credited Barber’s NAACP chapter with forming a coalition in 2007 named Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly (HKonJ), composed of 93 North Carolina advocacy groups. “With this changing demographic, we had to operate in coalition,” Barber was quoted as saying. Historian and professor Timothy Tyson named Barber “the most important progressive political leader in this state in generations… He built a statewide interracial fusion political coalition that has not been seriously attempted since 1900,” as quoted by Lori Wiggins in The Crisis magazine, January 2011. An article in the Michigan State Law Review, “Confronting Race: How a Confluence of Social Movements Convinced North Carolina to Go where the McCleskey Court Wouldn’t,” credits him with bringing together a statewide political coalition. He “has become as well known [in NC] as Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican leaders of the House and Senate,” according to a 2013 Huffington Post profile of him. He is active at the highest levels of the NAACP, e.g. traveling with the NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to meet with Georgia prison officials.
Gov. Beverly Purdue awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2009—a North Carolina citizenship award presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state. He is the author of several articles, a self-published book titled Preaching Through Unexpected Pain; and his second book, titled Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation, is scheduled for publication on October 30, 2014 with Chalice Press (ISBN 0827244940 and ISBN 978-0827244948).
Barber was elected president of the NAACP’s youth council at age 15, president of his high school’s student body at 17, and student government president at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) at 19. Barber received his bachelor’s degree in political science from NCCU, cum laude; a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University; and a doctorate from Drew University with a concentration in public policy and pastoral care. He is married to Rebecca McLean Barber; they have five children.