Posts tagged with "poor peoples campaign"

Poor People's Campaign illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Nancy Pelosi × Poor People’s Campaign

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she will share the Poor People’s Campaign moral policy agenda with her colleagues in Congress, calling it “a sweeping transformative plan to advance the values of justice, fairness and the freedom upon which America was founded.”

Pelosi spoke during a congressional briefing that the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival held to review its Moral Policy Agenda to Heal America: The Poor People’s Jubilee Platform, released during a time of three pandemics: COVID-19, systemic racism and systemic poverty.

“A budget should be a statement of our national values,” Pelosi said. “What we care about as a nation should be reflected in our budget. This is a wonderful guide to lifting us to a higher standard.”

More than 200 activists listened to the briefing along with Democratic members of the House and Senate. Republican leaders, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, also were invited but did not attend.

“We’re looking for those Congress people that will champion not a left platform, not right platform, not a conservative platform and not a liberal platform, but a moral platform that’s rooted in our deepest moral principles, our deepest constitutional principles and yes, rooted in our deepest economic policies because … the cost of inequality is worse than the cost of fixing it,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

The sweeping Jubilee platform offers a roadmap for lawmakers to take seriously the moral and constitutional principles upon which this country was founded: to establish justice, promote the general welfare, ensure domestic tranquility, secure the blessings of liberty and provide for the common defense.

Policy prescriptions include new protections for voting rights, equitable and quality public education, guaranteed incomes and housing for all, including rehabilitating the country’s 18 million uninhabitable homes, a national water affordability plan, ending medical debt and student debt, and redirecting resources from policing, prison, immigration enforcement, the military and fair taxes towards living wages, a federal jobs program, green transition and more.

“For too long our society, including Congress, has invested in punishing the poor,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice in New York City, “Too much state, local and federal money is invested in the wealthy and in large corporations while poor and low-income people are left to fend for ourselves.”

Mikaela Curry of Kentucky said she knows many people are thinking about her state because Breonna Taylor was killed in her home by police who broke in using a no-knock warrant and David McAtee was killed by the Kentucky National Guard during a protest in Louisville over Taylor’s death.

“I think a lot of times when people think of rural areas, when they think of rural, eastern Kentucky, they have fixed ideas about what that is,” she said. “I think when they think about rural folks, they think about hillbillies, and they think about rednecks, and they think about people from the South. But we’re not their scapegoats. We’re not on board with their regressive policies that are not just affecting Kentucky and are not just affecting the American South, but are affecting all of America.”

The briefing followed the campaign’s digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on June 20th, when more than 2.7 million people tuned in to the digital justice gathering to hear the reality facing 140 million people who are poor or low-income in the wealthiest country in the world and where 700 people die each day from poverty – even before COVID-19.

Poor People's Campaign illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign will demand a moral policy agenda to heal America in a congressional briefing Thursday as it follows up on its digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington that drew millions of viewers.

Legislators and other political leaders from both sides of the aisle have been invited to attend the digital briefing, where campaign leaders will lay out the specifics of the Moral Policy Agenda to Heal America: The Poor People’s Jubilee Platform

The agenda is grounded in constitutional and moral values and offers concrete solutions to end the ongoing, concurrent crises of the five interlocking injustices: systemic racism, systemic poverty, militarism, ecological devastation and the false moral narrative of extreme religious nationalism.

“It’s time that we lift from the bottom, which requires us to address all five of the interlocking injustices,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “We cannot put more money in systemic racism, corporate interests and the war economy than we do in living wages, health care, public education and guaranteeing equal protection under the law. Poverty is lethal; systemic racism is lethal; COVID-19 is lethal. This agenda demands what must be now and after the election to heal the nation.”

Also invited to attend are the tri-chairs from the 45 states where the Poor People’s Campaign is organizing, along with the campaign’s national partners and faith partners.

The briefing follows the campaign’s digital justice assembly on June 20th, when millions of people tuned in to the digital justice gathering to hear the reality facing 140 million people who are poor or low-income in the wealthiest country in the world and where 700 people die each day from poverty — even before COVID-19.

Also on that day, the campaign’s coordinating committees from 45 states and over 200 organizational partners, labor unions and religious denominations came together around the moral policy agenda to heal America.

“Biblically, the Year of Jubilee was a time to release people from their debts, release all slaves and ensure that all people have what they need to thrive, not just barely survive,” said Rev. Liz Theoharis, director of Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign. “Our Justice Platform provides a way for this country to do the same with policies and budgets that lift people out of poverty and revive the economy with the promise of a brighter future for all.”

The sweeping platform offers a roadmap for lawmakers to take seriously the moral and constitutional principles upon which this country was founded: to establish justice, promote the general welfare, ensure domestic tranquility, secure the blessings of liberty and provide for the common defense.

In addition to Barber and Theoharis, the policy director for the Kairos Center and the Poor People’s Campaign, Shailly Gupta Barnes, will address the briefing. The briefing begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 2:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s open only to the media and invited guests. Reporters can register here.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral  Revival, is building a broad and deep moral fusion movement rooted in the leadership of poor people to unite our country from the bottom up. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our updated agenda, the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform addresses these issues.

America can’t address the moral crisis of poverty without addressing healthcare. Some 140 million people in the U.S. – or more than 43 percent – live in poverty or are low-wealth” Rekindling a Prophetic Moral Vision for Justice, Social Change and Movement BuildingFollow Poor People’s Campaign: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Rita Azar, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE,

Digital Justice Gathering

On Saturday, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will host the largest digital gathering of poor and low-income people in this nation’s history.

Streaming/Broadcasting Available in All Formats

What: Poor and low-income people from throughout the country will testify about their experiences of systemic poverty, systemic racism, the war economy, ecological devastation, and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism. They will be introduced by religious figures such as Rev. Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center; Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry; Rev. Terri Hord Owens, the first black woman to lead the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); and Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism. Artists and activists also will introduce testifiers, including Erika Alexander, David Oyelowo, Danny  Glover, Wanda Sykes, Jane Fonda, Debra Messing, and former Vice President Al Gore. Union leaders including SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, AFSCME President Lee Saunders, SEIU 1199 President George Gresham, and Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants in the Communications. Workers of America, also are part of the program.

The assembly will be streamed on major TV and radio networks, as well as at june2020.org.

*A virtual pressroom will be set up for reporters’ questions on June 20th. Media can register for it here.

**The event will be open captioned with ASL and Spanish interpretation, all of which will be accessible at june2020.org

Who: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is co-chaired by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II of Repairers of the Breach and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis of the Kairos Center, who will frame the day’s purpose. Rev. Barber will give a call to action after all the testimony, and Rev. Theoharis will challenge religious nationalism. The campaign has the support of 20 national religious bodies, 16 labor unions, and over 200 national organizations. See full partner list here.

When: 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday, June 20th, and 6 p.m. Sunday, June 21st. All times Eastern.

Where: This online gathering will be streamed at june2020.org as well as on major TV and radio networks, and will include participants from more than  40 states.

Why: More than 140 million poor and low-income people live in the United States, or 43% of the country’s population and 700 people die each day from poverty — and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The  Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, with organizing committees in 45 states, is building a moral fusion movement to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism, to implement its Moral Agenda, based on years of policy research and budgetary analysis, and to uphold demands on systemic racism. Among the impacted people who will speak are service workers from the Midwest who have worked through the pandemic without PPE; a Kansas farm couple fighting for local health care; a coal miner from Appalachia; mothers who have lost children due to lack of health care, residents of Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and an Apache elder who is petitioning the federal government to stop a corporation from destroying a sacred site in Arizona.

As the nation rightfully continues protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the campaign upholds that public policy continues to disproportionately kill people of color and poor and low-income people across the country and that a budget is not simply an allocation of funds, but is a moral document that reflects social values. This digital mass assembly will call for poor and low-income people to build power and register to vote like never before. It presents an opportunity for all people to join together in a united call for justice from wherever they are.

We urge all members of Congress, all governors, the White House administration and both presidential candidates to watch the program to enlighten themselves about the lives of poor and low-income people in this nation and the need for a stimulus bill that helps people from the bottom up.

Background

In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others launched the Poor People’s Campaign, seeking to build a broad, fusion movement that could unite poor and impacted communities across the country, and organize a “revolution of values” in the United States. In 2018, that call was picked up once again by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

360 Magazine, Justice, Protest

Poor People’s Campaign Digital Assembly

On June 20th Poor People’s Campaign digital mass assembly, people from more than 40 states suffering from poverty, COVID-19 & police brutality to tell their stories & demand moral agenda.

Poor and low-income people of every race, creed, color and sexuality from more than 40 states will demand change as they share stories of struggling through poverty and protests for racial justice at a historic digital assembly and march sponsored by The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Hundreds of mobilizing partners — including 14 national unions, 16 national religious denominations and dozens civil rights organizations — will join the campaign for the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington.

The assembly and march will be aired at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern on Saturday, June 20, and at 6 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, June 21. It can be viewed at june2020.org, and MSNBC will livestream the entire event, as will other local and national media.

“When we began organizing the poor people’s assembly and march two years ago, we knew 140 million people — 43% of the nation were poor or low-income and that 700 people died each day — or 250,000 a year — from poverty,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

“We knew racist voter suppression was blocking voters from casting their ballot and blocking progressive policy decisions. We knew over 80 million people were uninsured or underinsured and millions were homeless and without clean water. And we knew that we had a war economy with a gross and unnecessary budget. We knew all of these realities are morally indefensible, constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane, undermining our national health. And then a pandemic hit and exposed the wounds of racism and poverty, and a lynching by police of a black man on camera poured salt in the wound, which makes our call for a moral fusion coalition of all people to address five interlocking injustices even the more relevant,” said Rev. Barber, a bishop and pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Former Vice President Al Gore and other young climate activists will introduce those testifying about the effect of ecological devastation on their lives.

Actors and activists such as Erika Alexander, Danny Glover, David Oyelowo, Jane Fonda, Wanda Sykes and Debra Messing will introduce testifiers and invite Americans and people around the world to tune in.

“The numbers of people suffering in this the richest nation in the world is already increasing and deepening as the effects of the pandemic, recession and racist and anti-poor policies continue to hurt poor and low-income people the hardest,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

“On June 20th, poor and impacted people will come together to tell the nation what it means to not have enough food to eat, to wonder how to keep a roof over your family’s head, and to have to choose between risking your life by going to work or staying at home and not getting paid. We will share the bold and visionary demands people are putting forth that can solve these grave injustices and the powerful and creative resistance of people organizing across the country. History shows that when those most impacted by injustice come together in a powerful movement, that this country can indeed change for the better. Those whose backs are against the wall are pushing this whole nation towards justice today.”

The campaign notes that the day’s focus will be on poor and low-income people who demand that their voices be heard. These people from 43 states — white farmers and coal miners standing with black women Latino meat packers, First Nation Apaches and Asian people — will tell the pain of their stories and demand a specific policy, moral budget and political agenda. That agenda includes a demand that the nation address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.

Among the impacted people who will speak are service workers from the Midwest who have worked through the pandemic without PP; families hurt by police brutality; a coal miner from Appalachia; mothers who have lost children due to lack of health care, residents of Cancer Alley in Louisiana, and an Apache elder who is petitioning the federal government to stop a corporation from destroying a sacred site in Arizona.

The assembly and march are being held in the wake of protests spurred by the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. His cry of “I can’t breathe” echoed that of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 when a New York City police officer put him in a chokehold. It followed those of Breonna Taylor, who was shot eight times by officers who invaded her apartment in Kentucky with a battering ram, and Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed by two white joggers who weren’t charged until a video emerged.

The campaign’s leaders decided at the end of March to hold a digital assembly and march because of the pandemic rather than gathering in person in Washington, D.C. Amidst protests that are happening in every state, this digital mass assembly presents an opportunity for all Americans to join together in a united call for justice from wherever they are.

FPWA × Poor People’s Campaign

FPWA’s chief executive officer and executive director, Jennifer Jones Austin, and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, president of Repairers of the Breach and national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, will hold a virtual rally on June 9 to bring attention to the campaign’s Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, to be held online on June 20.

Rev. Barber and Ms. Austin will lead a conversation about why every American should participate in the assembly and march, which will be the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in United States history. This gathering will bring together and raise the voices of the 140 million poor and low-income Americans.

Ms. Austin leads FPWA, whose mission it is to advocate for just public policies that promote the social and economic well-being of all New Yorkers. She is one of eight members on Mayor de Blasio’s Fair Policy Task Force to rebuild a fairer New York as the city restarts its economy by confronting the deep inequities that reach into every neighborhood.

FPWA is linking arms with the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to ensure that as we emerge from the global pandemic, which is exposing even more of the already existing crisis of systemic racism and poverty, we rebuild with the aim of no longer managing poverty but instead, ending poverty across the nation. They will also address the current state of social unrest and political disenfranchisement in the wake of incidents across the country impacting the most vulnerable.

Who:

Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and ED of FPWA Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach and national co-chair of Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

What:

Virtual rally and conversation in support of the Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington

When:

11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. June 9

National Day of Fasting

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is calling for a National Day of Fasting and Focus on Monday to call Americans to repent of systemic racism and turn toward the work of building a more just and loving society for all people.

Bishop William J. Barber II, campaign co-chair and president of Repairers of the Breach, said the campaign seeks not merely a fasting from food, but also a national fasting from systemic racism, systemic poverty, the denial of health care and from other death-dealing policies.

“We must dedicate ourselves to breathing life into our Constitution and its promises and refuse to accept a civility that covers up injustice,” Bishop Barber said. “The very life of our democracy is at stake. Not the democracy that is, but the democracy that could be.”

The upheaval in the country has shown the power of social justice movements, said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.

“People across race, across geography, across age have seen that we cannot be silent anymore,” she said. “It is only when the people organize in radical and bold ways that we can build a society that actually takes care of the needs of the people.”

The campaign is asking people to stand still wherever they are at 5 p.m. , Monday, June 7, and be still and focus for eight minutes and 46 seconds — the amount of time that an officer held his knee on the neck of George Floyd, killing him on Memorial Day. They will then be asked to read a litany that the campaign will share on social media.

After that, Rev. Barber will speak to the nation from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he is the minister.

People should also remember Ahmaud Abery, who was shot and killed by armed white men as he jogged in Georgia in February and Breonna Taylor, who died in March after she was shot eight times by police who used a battering ram to invade her apartment. As a sign that our collective repentance is real, people will also be invited to dedicate themselves to stay engaged, to vote, to hold elected officials accountable and to work for a moral agenda that addresses historic wrongs and policies that perpetuate inequality.

On Sunday, June 6, the campaign will hold a national interfaith service to recognize the more than 100,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19, especially poor and low-income workers. While President Trump wants to divert attention away from the pandemic and to his misinterpretation of protests in the streets, the Poor People’s Campaign will insist that the country doesn’t forget those who died.

The service will be co-led by Revs. Barber and Theoharis and Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Imam Omar Suleiman and Valerie Kaur.

Rev. Barber Letter to Nation

Social justice leader Rev. Barber delivers letter to nation, holds news conference Sunday amidst police killing and protests Social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will deliver a letter to the nation in the midst of a police killing and protests on Pentecost Sunday morning.

The delivery of the letter will be live-streamed across the nation after Rev. Barber was asked by many to share a moral perspective on this moment.

It was less than a week ago that a video was released showing an African American man, George Floyd, drawing his last breaths as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck.

“The lethal violence of racist officers is only one manifestation of the systemic racism that is choking the life out of American democracy,” Barber said. “This moment demands that all who care about the American experiment in democracy listen closely and deeply to the uprising that is itself a collective gasp for life.”

A remote and in-person news conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Sunday from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where Rev. Barber is the pastor. Reporters can cover the news conference at the church at 2110 N. William St. in Goldsboro. They also can ask questions by registering here.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation and email with information about joining the webinar. Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. “As a pastor, I turn to Scripture in times of crisis, and I have prayed with the prophet Isaiah that God would open my ears to offer a word that might sustain those who are distressed,” Barber said. “I have prayed with Jeremiah that we will not try to heal the wound of the people lightly and that we will not fail to recognize how the wounds of poverty demand social surgery and a strong antibiotic of truth to cleanse a septic democracy.

In the church we are preparing for the season of Pentecost, when we recall how God’s spirit allowed people from various backgrounds to each hear the truth in their own tongue. I pray this letter might be likewise received.”

The Poor People’s Campaign:

A National Call for Moral Revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism by implementing our Moral Agenda.