Posts tagged with "rev. barber"

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.

Justice illustration

Biden Echoes Rev. Barber

Pastoral Letter to America from social justice leader Rev. Barber echoed in Biden speech

The words of social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II are being echoed by Joe Biden, the former vice president who spoke to the nation Tuesday.

“To paraphrase Rev. Barber: It’s the mourning when we find hope,” Biden said in a speech in Philadelphia. “It’s in the mourning when we find hope — when we mourn.”

Biden spoke after a third night of protests in Philadelphia over the death of George Floyd, whose dying words were recorded as a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Floyd for almost nine minutes. He was quoting from the Pastoral Letter to the Nation, which Rev. Barber wrote and delivered in a national sermon on Sunday. Rev. Barber is president of Repairers of the Breach and the minister of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

In that letter, Rev. Barber writes: “The hope is in the mourning and the screams, which make us want to rush from this place. There is a sense in which, right now, we must refuse to be comforted too quickly. Only if these screams and tears and protests shake the very conscience of this nation—and until there is real political and judicial repentance—can we hope for a better society on the other side of this.”

The link to Biden’s full speech is here and the link to his comment about Rev. Barber is here.

In addition, former President Obama recently included a quote from Rev. Barber for the Guardian on his foundation website.

“America must listen to its wounds,” Rev. Barber wrote in the May 30th column,“They will tell us where to look for hope.”

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.