We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People's Campaign

We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign

Edited by Liz Theoharis
Foreword by William J. Barber II
Broadleaf Press
Available October 12, 2021

Organized into fifty-two chapters, each focusing on a key Scripture passage, We Cry Justice offers comfort and challenge from the many stories of the poor taking action together. Read anew the story of the exodus that frees people from debt and slavery, the prophets who denounce the rich and ruling classes, the stories of Jesus’s healing and parables about fair wages, and the early church’s sharing of goods. Reflection questions and a short prayer at the end of each chapter offer the opportunity to use the book devotionally through a year.

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Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company

A strong theological call for ending the abomination of systemic poverty.

Rev. Dr. Theoharis reinterprets “the poor you will always have with you” to show that it is actually one of the strongest biblical mandates to end poverty. She documents stories of poor people themselves organizing to improve their lot and illuminates the implications for the church. Poverty is not inevitable, Theoharis argues. It is a systemic sin, and all Christians have a responsibility to partner with the poor to end poverty once and for all.

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Articles & Interviews

Beto O’Rourke and Poor People’s Campaign take the fight for voting rights to the streets in Texas

American Voices on MSNBC
Interview by Alicia Menendez
July 24, 2021

As 50 Texas Democrats remain in Washington. D.C. to block Republicans from passing a restrictive voting bill, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke is teaming up with the Poor People’s Campaign to organize a Selma-style march urging for federal voting rights legislation from home. O’Rourke and Reverend Liz Theoharis, the co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign, join American Voices with Alicia Menendez to discuss what’s at stake for Texans and Americans as a whole if lawmakers fail to protect voting rights.

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Rev. Liz Theoharis of Poor People’s Campaign Arrested in Protest over Voting Rights & Infrastructure

Democracy Now!
July 23, 2021

Nearly 100 women from around the United States were arrested outside the Supreme Court as they marked the 173rd anniversary of the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls with a protest calling for voting rights and economic justice. We speak with Reverend Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and one of those who was arrested. She says Congress needs to scrap the filibuster, pass voting rights legislation and pass a “bold infrastructure bill” that addresses economic inequality, as well as the climate. She also discusses the work of her father, historian Athan Theoharis, who recently died after a lengthy career dedicated to exposing FBI misconduct.

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“A Season of Action”: Women at Center of Fight to Protect Voting Rights Step Up to Save Democracy

The attack on democracy currently playing out in D.C. and in state legislatures like Texas is the worst we have seen since Reconstruction. At the center of this crisis are poor women—especially poor women of color.

Ms. Magazine
By Dr. Liz Theoharis and Roz Pelles
July 22, 2021

On Monday, July 19, nearly 100 women were arrested with the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. while protesting the filibuster and demanding full voting rights and living wages. These women—a multiracial group of leaders from major labor unions, religious denominations, national organizations and grassroots communities that represent millions of people—demanded action from Congress and the president by August 6, the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. 

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We Marched to Protect Voting Rights Because Voter Suppression Threatens Our Future

In this op-ed, protesters Sophia Theoharis Caruso, Isabel Peterson, and Indi Barnes explain why pro-democracy activism is important to them and why they decided to join the Poor People’s Campaign.

Teen Vogue
By Isabel Peterson, Indi Barnes, and Sophia Theoharis Caruso
July 21, 2021

On July 19, 2021, we joined the Poor People’s Campaign as we protested near Capitol Hill with 100 people from all over the country who are willing to risk arrest to get voting rights, and to speak out against the voter suppression tactics rolling out across the country. Even though we’re not old enough to vote yet, we’re still ready to fight for our right to do so when the time comes because we’ve seen from history that democracy has to be fought for.

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Attacks on race education are attacks on spiritual and democratic growth

‘Critical race theory’ fearmongering seeks to paint anyone who wants to speak truth as un-American, unpatriotic and un-Christian.

USA Today
By Rev. Liz Theoharis
July 10, 2021

In 2018, a year after then-President Donald Trump took office, I was in Kentucky with the Poor People’s Campaign, along with the Rev. Dr. William Barber. We were in Harlan County, home to historic labor struggles that led to better wages and working conditions for people across the nation, but now a place with some of the highest poverty rates in our country. In the middle of the afternoon, hundreds of residents gathered together to talk about the reasons why poverty is so widespread today and the central role poor people can play in leading a spiritual and material revival. 

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Juneteenth and Filibuster Fuel Fight for Democracy That Works for Everyone

Some U.S. lawmakers are all too willing to sign off on another holiday, especially if they can use it as cover while actively working to suppress voting rights, block living wages and reparations, fight against healthcare, and more.

Common Dreams
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
June 23, 2021

Last week, an overwhelming majority of Congress voted to make Juneteenth a national holiday. Just days later, many of the same politicians voted to block the For the People Act and continue to uphold the filibuster and resist other legislative actions to protect our democracy, lift up poor rural and urban areas, raise wages, and expand social programs for the poor.

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About the Author

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. Liz is the editor of We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, October 12, 2021). She is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018). She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).