Times staff report
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and the Rev Dr. Liz Theoharis will co-lead a Moral Revival mass meeting in Birmingham to discuss the impacts of systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation in Alabama and across the U.S.
The meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 19, at 5:00 p.m. in Tabernacle Baptist Church, 600 Center St., N., Birmingham, AL 35204.
The event is a part of a 15-State Moral Revival Mass Meeting and Public Event Tour co-led by Greater Birmingham Ministries, Birmingham Progressive Christian Alliance, Montgomery-based Equal Justice Initiative and Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise.
“This movement intentionally addresses systemic racism, poverty, environmental degradation, the war economy, the negative impact on fulfilling the promises of our democracy, and the call of fundamental human rights,” said Barber, president and Senior Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.
“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 the rich and budget increases to a bloated military,” he said. “At such a time as this, we need a Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to help us become the nation we’ve not yet been,” he said.
The campaign draws on the history, vision and unfinished work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1967-68 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.
“These are difficult and dangerous days,” said Theoharis, co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
“One in two Americans are poor or low-income. Immigrants, Muslims, homeless people, and youth are under attack. Upwards of 32 million people will lose their health care under Trumpcare.
“Sixty-five million workers make less than $15/hour and some states are actually lowering their minimum wages,” Theoharis said. “Millions of people are living without clean water and sanitation services. Voting rights are being suppressed and 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,” she said.
The Tour has included stops in Charlotte; Louisville; Detroit; Los Angeles; Chicago; New York; Boston and will conclude Dec. 4 in the District of Columbia.