Category: Interviews

“It’s Time for Moral Confrontation”: New Poor People’s Campaign Stages Nationwide Civil Disobedience. Interview with Democracy Now!

Democracy Now!
By Amy Goodman
May 14, 2018

On Mother’s Day 50 years ago, thousands converged on Washington, D.C., to take up the cause that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been fighting for when he was assassinated on April 4, 1968: the Poor People’s Campaign. A little more than a week after her husband’s memorial service, Coretta Scott King led a march to demand an Economic Bill of Rights that included a guaranteed basic income, full employment and more low-income housing. Half a century later, Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis have launched a new Poor People’s Campaign. Starting today, low-wage workers, clergy and community activists in 40 states are participating in actions and events across the country that will culminate in a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on June 23. We speak with Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

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Get Ready for the Poor People’s Campaign: Interview with The Nation

The Nation
By Greg Kaufmann
April 13, 2018

This Mother’s Day, at a moment when people in poverty are facing unprecedented attacks on their basic living standards, a new Poor People’s Campaign launches.

It is reminiscent of the campaign Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began developing in 1967, five months prior to his assassination. King made his intention clear in his last sermon: “We are coming to Washington in a poor people’s campaign. Yes, we are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses.… We are coming to demand that the government address itself to the problem of poverty.”

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A Key Leader, But Not the Only Leader: Interview with LA Review of Books

Los Angeles Review of Books Blog
By Andy Fitch
April 20, 2018

Reading with the poor happens on a number of levels. I and many folks I organize with have a practice of doing Bible studies within the context of social-movement organizing. We’ll actually pull out a Bible, study it with a community, and connect our readings to the conditions we see people living under. We’ll discuss the organizing strategies that poor people employ to try to end the poverty in their lives, in their families’ lives, in their communities, and in the world at large.

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2 Ministers Are Trying To Revive The Campaign To End Poverty That MLK Started: Interview with Huffpost

By Julia Craven
April 10, 2018

He couldn’t stop thinking about them, their wide eyes and the silent hunger that lay behind them.

Staring up at the ceiling from his motel bed, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told his closest confidant, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, that the impoverished children they visited earlier that day were cemented in his mind.

It was June 1966 and the pair had stopped by an early Head Start facility in Marks, Mississippi, which is the seat of Quitman County, a devastatingly poor area in the alluvial plains of the Mississippi Delta that was thought to be the most impoverished in the country at the time.

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Land of the Rich, Home of the Poor: America’s Poverty Crisis: Interview on News Beat

News Beat
March 21, 2018

The United States is one of the wealthiest nations in the world, and by certain fiscal parameters, the wealthiest. It’s richest citizens own roughly 40 percent of the world’s wealth. Yet, about 40 million Americans are living in poverty, and about 20 million are mired in extreme poverty, scraping by on less than $2 a day. At the same time that the top 1 percent are increasing their vast fortunes, the income inequality gap is ever-widening, and the middle class is dissolving. For tens of millions of Americans, the rose-colored portrait of a booming U.S. economy is pure fiction. Instead, they’re spending every waking moment simply trying to survive.

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Huge Organizing Effort, ’40 Days of Action’ Launching to Fight Poverty: Interview by Eleanor J. Bader

March 4, 2018

The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the recently launched Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of three kids in a family she describes as deeply committed to improving life for the excluded and marginalized.

South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and other peace and anti-apartheid activists were frequent guests in her home, and even as a child, Theoharis understood that religious faith—in her case, Presbyterian—had to be linked to social justice.

This coupling—faith and justice—led Theoharis to work with the National Union of the Homeless as a University of Pennsylvania undergraduate. “Their organizing was inspired by the Poor People’s Campaign led by Dr. King in 1967 and ’68, and I quickly learned the extent of the unfinished business that still needed to be done,” she begins.

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Reverend William Barber & Rev. Liz Theoharis: The New Poor People’s Campaign: Interview by Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show
February 13, 2017

We are approaching the 50th Anniversaries of the assassination of Martin Luther King and his last great movement, the Poor People’s Campaign. The Poor People’s Campaign in its 21st Century form is surging back as a national movement founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber, who created the Moral Mondays Movement and is chair of the chair of the NAACP’s Legislative Political Action Committee, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, founder and co-director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice, and coordinator of the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary. Rev.s Barber and Theoharis are touring the country working with local groups breathing a new life into the Poor People’s Campaign.

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Meet Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: Interview by Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s
January 30, 2018

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is the co-director of the Kairos Center and the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, a National Call for Moral Revival. Building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last, great unfinished project, the Poor People’s Campaign is taking on systemic poverty, systemic racism, environmental degradation, and militarism in an effort to end the war on the poor and transform our country.

We feel lucky to have had the chance to speak with Rev. Theoharis recently about her life, the Poor People’s Campaign, and how all of us, if we come together, can help save the soul of our democracy.

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Fighting for the Dream of Economic Justice: Interview by Shaun King

The Takeaway
January 15, 2018

It has been 50 years since the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his major push for economic justice.

Dr. King’s 1968 “Poor People’s Campaign” was a call for underprivileged people around the country to rise up and demand better jobs, wages, education and more. Dr. King touched on issues of poverty during a speech, on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated. At a church in Memphis, Tennessee, he spoke in support of sanitation workers in the city who were on strike in protest against low wages and unfair working conditions.

Now, half a century later, there’s a new effort underway to renew Dr. King’s campaign against poverty.

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Poor People’s Campaign Revival: A Season of Organizing: Interview by Sharmini Peries

The Real News
December 17, 2017

As the 50th anniversary of MLK Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign approaches, organizers want to take up King’s mantle to “unite the bottom of this country, to bring about real change, to shift the narrative that is demonizing people for the problems they’re facing and to build power from the bottom up,” says campaign co-chair Dr. Liz Theoharis

SHARMINI PERIES: It’s the Real News Network I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. In 1968, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. along with other civil rights leaders launched a Poor People’s Campaign. It was an effort to end poverty, racism and militarism in America.

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