Meyer Memorial Trust Equity Speaker Series: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Thursday, November 14, 2019 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pmFree
Meyer Memorial Trust and our cohosts, the Coalition of Communities of Color and the Oregon Center for Public Policy are pleased to welcome Reverend Dr. William Barber II as the next speaker in our Equity Speakers Series.
Rev. Dr. Barber is a progressive Christian pastor and nationally recognized social justice advocate building a broad-based grassroots movement. Through a lens of ethical and moral treatment of people in social justice, Barber merges moral and activist traditions to create a faith-based framework for action that strengthens civic engagement and inspires people to imagine a more humane society.
An engaged member in his community, Rev. Dr. Barber has served as the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro (N.C.) since 2003 and as president of the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP (2005–17). He is effective at building connected, inclusive multiracial and interfaith coalitions that reach across gender, age and class lines.
In 2014, Barber founded Repairers of the Breach, a national leadership development organization, to respond to lawmakers in North Carolina who were working against efforts to expand voting rights, health care access, living wages, immigrant rights, public education and LGBTQ rights in the state. Through his work, Rev. Dr. Barber began a series of “Moral Monday” rallies outside of the statehouse to protest laws that cut funding for public education and health care, suppress voter turnout and further disenfranchise poor white, black, First Nations and LGBTQ communities. The Moral Monday movement waged successful legal challenges to voter suppression and racial gerrymandering and it engaged massive voter registration and education efforts.
To expand upon the Moral Monday movement, Rev. Barber helped revive Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign for the twenty-first century. The Campaign conducted an audit of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy in the United States since 1968 and the findings have been used to inform and build state and local, nonpartisan movements committed to challenging laws and policies that are antithetical to social justice.
In recognition of his street-level activism and long history of leading national civil rights campaigns, last year, Rev. Dr. William Barber II was named a recipient of the 2018 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant Award.