The Gathering: The war economy is killing our nation's spirit

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The United States spends more money on war than on programs to house, feed, provide health care for the people. Although we call our veterans the nation’s heroes, we fail to provide them and their families with adequate pay, quality health care, and other needed supports to prepare and return from war. 

As people of faith and moral conscience, we denounce war-mongering and efforts to create more conflict and division within and between nations, and demand that our legislators support programs that combat this resource inequality and instead promote the life and livelihood of all human beings.

Join us on Sunday, Nov. 5 at The Gathering, co-hosted by Bishop William J. Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh and via livestream, where we'll hear how the war economy is affecting our communities, and how we can join in the struggle for peace.

WATCH THE LIVESTREAM ON NOV. 5 AT 6PM ET

SUBSCRIBE TO THE GATHERING PODCAST

Join the Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.

The Gathering: A Time for Reflection, Revival & Resistance is a highly spiritual/issue-based monthly program to equip our community with resources for faithful reflection and public action on moral issues, produced in North Carolina by Repairers of the Breach.

Repairers of the Breach to Launch Mobile Course in Public Theology & Activism

As a part of our national training and education ministry to “educate church and lay leaders who will pursue policies and organizing strategies for the good of the whole,” Repairers of the Breach is pleased to announce a Mobile Course in Public Theology & Activism in diverse locations across the country during Spring, 2018.

The four hours of instructional time will be co-led by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, who is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, distinguished visiting professor of public theology at Union Theological Seminary, and Bishop with the Affirming College of Bishops; and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a celebrated author and director of the School for Conversion in Durham, NC. There will also be instruction in musicology of the Movement from the Rev. Shyrl Uzzell and Yara Allen.

As a national organizer for the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign, Repairers of the Breach is engaging faith communities and preparing moral leaders across America for this work, through the mobile course in public theology and activism.

This course will introduce participants to:

  1. A freedom Movement framework for understanding faith in American public life, with an emphasis on the faith tradition(s) at hosting institutions.
  2. Scriptural and theological basis for public engagement, as well as an immersion in the musicology of the Moral Movement.
  3. Analysis of current context in the particular state in the nation.
  4. Introduction to moral fusion organizing principles & stories of current faith-rooted organizing.

We also invite participants to engage with various supplemental readings including:  One Nation Under God, by Kevin Kruse; Democracy in Chains, by Nancy McLean; White Rage, by Carol Anderson; The Third Reconstruction, by William J. Barber, II; Reconstructing the Gospel, by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (2018 release); and Always With Us?, by Rev. Liz Theoharis.

For more information regarding registration, please contact the host seminary you are interested in attending.

MobileCourseTourDates.jpg

Highlights from September Mass Meetings of The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

Albuquerque packed house.jpg

The  Moral Movement and the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, before a packed audience in Albuquerque, NM.

In the last thirty days the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival mass meetings and organizing conferences have hit full stride. Since mid-August Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II have issued the call to engage in a radical revolution of values in America. They traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 15 for a march and rally. The rally focused on standing in solidarity with those in Charlottesville and calling on New Mexico legislators to stand against white supremacy in all of its forms--including those enacted through policies such as voter suppression laws, anti-immigrant policies, and the denial of healthcare for all.

Hundreds of people marched people through Albuquerque and processed to the church for the Mass Meeting. At the meeting, the crowd was standing room only, with people sitting in the window sills, on the floor, and in the aisles of the sanctuary. The crowd also filled the narthex and even spilled outside the front door onto the steps and entry area.

Marchers take to the streets before Mass Meeting of the Poor People's Campaign

Marchers take to the streets before Mass Meeting of the Poor People's Campaign

On August 24 and August 28 the Poor People’s Campaign went to Louisville, Kentucky, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis issued a call for civil disobedience by citing Dr. Martin Luther King’s analogy of the ambulance and the stop light.

“There is nothing wrong with a traffic law which says you have to stop for a red light. But when a fire is raging, the fire truck goes right through that red light, and normal traffic had better get out of its way. Or, when a man is bleeding to death, the ambulance goes through those red lights at top speed... 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. Massive civil disobedience is a strategy for social change which is at least as forceful as an ambulance with its siren on full.”

Dr. King’s words remind us that when people are hurting, it is our moral obligation to become ambulance drivers and run the red lights of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and environmental degradation.

On September 5, the Moral Revival Mass Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan. Many of the testifiers spoke about environmental racism and injustice in Detroit and Flint, specifically in relation to water contamination. In the video below, you will hear Gina Luster testifying about the health impact of drinking water contaminated by lead on her and her young daughter.

Other testifiers spoke about the Detroit authorities cutting off people’s water in an attempt to evict them from their homes. With no access to water, the authorities can proceed to break up families, separating parents from their children on the grounds that the existing housing does not provide a safe or sanitary living environment.

Click here for more pictures and videos from the Moral Revival Mass Meetings.

Forward together, Not One Step Back!

The Moral Revival Mass Meeting is a part of a 15-state public event tour, which includes stops in Los Angeles, California (Sept. 19), Chicago, Illinois (Oct. 12), Binghamton, New York (Oct. 17), Boston, Massachusetts (Oct. 19), El Paso, Texas (Oct. 22), Seattle, Washington (Nov. 6), Jackson, Mississippi (Nov. 13), and the District of Columbia (Dec. 4).  

 

PPCNM.jpg

Join the Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.

The Gathering: When the Earth suffers, the poor suffer first

DSC02080-903x600.jpg
When hurricanes strike, the poor suffer. The Earth is crying out against our society’s greed, but the people who have done the least to create climate change are suffering the most.
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Millions of people on the frontlines of climate change are struggling to recover from the extreme effects of ecological devastation this month – and that’s just in the United States.

We cannot claim to love our earthly neighbors and sit quietly while the Earth herself is made unfit for human habitation. We cannot love humanity and yet give way to forces that derail the very climate that gives us life. We cannot be silent in a world devastated by our predatory relationship with nature. We must choose community and care of the earth over chaos and greed, recognizing that to protect the Earth’s delicate climate balance is to challenge the policies that increase militarism, advance poverty, and suppress democracy.

On Sunday, Oct. 1 at The Gathering, co-hosted by the Rev. Dr. William J Barber II and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, we partnered with 350.org, Appalachian Voices and Our Children’s Trust to hear from people affected by ecological devastation around the world on how we can join the fight for climate justice.

WATCH THE LIVESTREAM RECORDING

LISTEN TO THE GATHERING PODCAST

TAKE ACTION FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE

climatejusticeinfo.png
climatechangeaction.png

Join the Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.

The Gathering is a highly spiritual/issue-based monthly program to equip our community with resources for faithful reflection and public action on moral issues, produced in North Carolina by Repairers of the Breach.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Statement in Regards to Recent Rescinding on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

By The Rev. Dr. WIlliam J. Barber, II, President & Sr. Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church, Member of College of Affirming And Accepting Bishops

When Trump says he loves Hispanic students and DACA recipients while nullifying DACA, he sounds like Jim Crow-era white supremacists who said they loved all people but had to follow the segregationist law of their time.
 
This action is immoral and inhumane. These young people have served our country, died for this country, and contribute to this country. In many ways, they have acted more American than the President.

Trump's decision to rescind their status undermines America's moral claims and will negatively impact our economy.

Trump and Sessions have been wrong on voting rights, wrong on white supremacy, and they are wrong on DACA. In fact, this attack on mostly Latino young people is in line with the policy agenda of white supremacy and white nationalism. The hate groups Trump and Sessions claim to condemn want to see mass deportations of undocumented immigrants rather than have just immigration laws.

President Donald Trump is not evolving on DACA. He is devolving and leading the nation in a downward moral spiral.

President Obama's executive action on behalf of Dreamers has not been proven unconstitutional. Taking DACA from 800,000 thousand young dreamers is itself a violation of our deepest constitutional values, which demand a commitment to establish justice.

This action establishes injustice.

Governors, states Attorneys General, and every politician, Democrat or Republican, along with every clergy person who believes in our deepest moral and religious values, should stand up publicly against these actions by President Trump. To say nothing is in fact to be an accessory to this very cruel and inhumane policy action against humanity.

Finally, members of the President's party who kept silent during the campaign when he was clear about what he was going to do are in large part to blame for what we are witnessing. Silence then has emboldened the President now, which means he alone is not to blame.

 

 

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II Comments on Actions Across the Country Responding to Charlottesville Challenging White Supremacy and White Nationalism

By The Rev. Dr. WIlliam J. Barber, II
President & Sr. Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach
National Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church
Member of College of Affirming And Accepting Bishops

I was honored to join Charlottesville clergy this past Saturday at their invitation to preach at the “Love Over Fear Call to Conscience” community worship service and to cosponsor “Forum for the Nation: A Public Conversation on Democracy and White Supremacy.” Charlottesville clergy issued a powerful nationwide call to action to nonviolently challenge white supremacy.

I am also encouraged by the many organizations that have chosen to walk from Charlottesville to D.C. We bless this action led by millennials from diverse backgrounds in this political social moment. The theology of Pentecost says sons and daughters, the old and young must all play a role in the cause of love, justice, and nonviolence. There is much work to do. Our cause requires long term commitment and fusion engagement that moves us forward together. I will also honor a request by millennial organizers to come by the march, pray with them, and listen to their vision for the nation.

We believe in working to ensure nonviolent love and justice movements complement and support a shared vision for justice. As we continue to lead the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, we pray blessings upon this effort and our shared commitment to advance justice. We are also glad to hear the success of the more than 1,000 clergy that marched in D.C. today for racial justice.

I have a birthday this week. While some may think I’m relatively young at fifty-four, I have pastored for thirty years, buried seniors and teenagers. I’ve survived life and death situations. I know from my own experience how fragile life is. We don't have time to lose focus about the unity we need to advance justice for all. We must be unified and work together if we are to achieve the moral higher ground.

Forward Together, Not one Step Back!

Mobilizing New Mexico For The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

The  Moral Movement and the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, march at the University of New Mexico in solidarity with Charlottesville, Virginia. 

On August 15, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Samia Assed, who is a board member of the Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice and part of the organizing committee for the Mass Meeting, also organized a pre-meeting rally and march from the University of New Mexico to the church where the Mass Meeting was held. Hundreds of primarily black, brown, and queer young people along with clergy and people of faith shut down the thoroughfares as they processed to the church for the meeting.   

Samia Assed  and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis marching against systemic racism.

Samia Assed  and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis marching against systemic racism.

Samia Assed                                                                                                             Albuquerque, New Mexico

Samia Assed is a Muslim Palestinian woman. She is the mother of 9 children. (Some of whom were at the press conference, march, rally, and Mass Meeting). Growing up, her Palestinian community was very close, and closed. It was only later in life that she became involved in community organizing, and that outreach came as a result of her children. Several of her children were involved in producing a youth radio program that addressed social and human rights issues in the community. In the radio program, her children identified and explored problems faced by the indigenous community, people affected by environmental destruction, victims of human trafficking, poverty, and healthcare injustice.  It became obvious to Samia that all these problems were interrelated - not only the problems, but also the paths and strategies necessary to address their solutions. She sought to instill in others the universal acknowledgement that people should have the right to a dignified life, replete with access to all fundamental human rights.

The Moral Revival Mass Meeting is a part of a 15-state public event tour, which includes stops in Charlotte, North Carolina (Aug. 9), Albuquerque, New Mexico (Aug. 15), Topeka, Kansas (Aug. 21), Louisville, Kentucky (Aug. 25), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Aug. 28), Detroit, Michigan (Sept. 5), Birmingham, Alabama (Sept. 12), Los Angeles, California (Sept. 19), Chicago, Illinois (Oct. 12), Binghamton, New York (Oct. 17), Boston, Massachusetts (Oct. 19), El Paso, Texas (Oct. 22), Seattle, Washington (Nov. 6), Jackson, Mississippi (Nov. 13), and the District of Columbia (Dec. 4).  

WATCH THE MORAL REVIVAL MASS MEETING LIVESTREAM RECORDING

PPCNM.jpg

Join the Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.

Mobilizing Kansas For The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival

image1.JPG

The  Moral Movement and the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival, before a packed audience at First United Methodist Church, Topeka, KS.

On August 21, the campaign went to Topeka, Kansas. At every mass meeting, people impacted by issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation testify about their own experiences. Mary Ackerstrom spoke about poverty and the plight of the working poor. She urged those in the audience to push against the feelings of isolation and fear that poverty can create. The counter to these feelings of hopelessness is the realization that there is an interconnectedness of all of us. We are only trapped if we think that no one else understands what problems we face, if we believe that our problems are unique.

Mary Ackerstrom speaks about poverty

Mary Ackerstrom speaks about poverty

Mary works with the Kansas People’s Agenda, a group that seeks to tie disparate social justice, environmental, LGBT, healthcare, and education groups together to create synergies of involvement. Mary’s advice to others drawn to organizing is to “dive in, don’t hold back, don’t hesitate. We are all in the same boat. You are NOT alone. No one is perfect - we all struggle - but there is strength in interconnectedness. No one can succeed in a void. Take a chance. Get involved. It is okay to learn as you go: you do not have to know every answer at the start. Simply take the time to sit and talk, listen and learn - take the time to get to know others. The shared needs and avenues to action will become self-evident. Together, we discover each other’s strengths. That awareness and interconnectedness can move the mountain of doubt, uncertainty, and inertia.”

The Moral Revival Mass Meeting is a part of a 15-state public event tour, which includes stops in Los Angeles, California (Sept. 19), Chicago, Illinois (Oct. 12), Binghamton, New York (Oct. 17), Boston, Massachusetts (Oct. 19), El Paso, Texas (Oct. 22), Seattle, Washington (Nov. 6), Jackson, Mississippi (Nov. 13), and the District of Columbia (Dec. 4).  

WATCH THE MORAL REVIVAL MASS MEETING LIVESTREAM RECORDING

PPCNM.jpg

Join the Poor People's Campaign

The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement – rooted in the leadership of the poor, marginalized and moral agents and reflecting the great moral teachings – to unite our country from the bottom up.

The call for a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has emerged from more than a decade of work by grassroots community and religious leaders, organizations and movements fighting to end systemic racism, poverty, militarism, environmental destruction & related injustices and to build a just, sustainable and participatory society. We draw on the history, vision and unfinished work of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

We need a new Poor People’s Campaign for a Moral Revival in America. It is time to become a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.