“The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival” Kicks Off National Tour In Charlotte

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis will travel to 15 states between August 9 and November 14 to discuss issues of systemic racism and poverty with moral activists in each state.

CHARLOTTE - On Wednesday, August 9 at 7:00 pm at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival kicks off a 15-state public event tour to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation in the states.

The events are being co-led by grassroots organizations, local faith leaders, and other people of conscience, as well as the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

In addition to North Carolina, public events will take place in New Mexico, Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alabama, California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Washington, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia.  

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is being co-organized by Repairers of the Breach; the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice; the Popular Education Project; and over 40 local and national partners.

This organizing effort aims to build a broad and deep national moral fusion movement — rooted in the leadership of the poor and dispossessed 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, and related injustices and to build a just, sustainable, and participatory society.

It draws on the history, vision, and unfinished work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign that called for a “revolution of values” in America, inviting people who had been divided to stand together against the “triplets of evil”— systemic racism, poverty, and militarism – to insist that people need not die from poverty in the richest nation to ever exist.

About the need for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, President of Repairers of the Breach and architect of the Moral Mondays Forward Together Movement, as well as Co-Chair of the Campaign, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II says, “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.

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 Poor People’s Campaign for Moral Revival to help us become the nation we’ve not yet been.”

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and Co-Chair of the Campaign adds, “These are difficult and dangerous days. 1 in 2 Americans are poor or low-income; immigrants, Muslims, the homeless, youth are under attack; upwards of 32 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.”

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will necessarily be a multi-year undertaking. The Summer of 2017 through the Spring of 2018 will be used as the public launching of the Campaign. The Campaign will force a serious national examination of the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, militarism and environmental devastation during a key election year while strengthening and connecting grassroots leadership in every state, increasing their power to continue this fight long after June 2018.

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