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, 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 Liz Theoharis
Forward by William J. Barber II
Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2017

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

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

Housing, Not Handcuffs

The Moral Response to Homelessness

Tom Dispatch

By Liz Theoharis and Shailly Gupta Barnes
May 21, 2024

On April 22nd, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case that focuses on whether unhoused — the term that has generally replaced “homeless” — people with no indoor shelter options can even pull a blanket around themselves outdoors without being subject to criminal punishment.

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Co-Create Community in Abundance: A Conversation with Liz Theoharis

New Way: The Podcast of the 1001 New Worshiping Communities Movement
May 9, 2024

“The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis grew up in activism and stops at nothing to name, reclaim, and live out God’s solidarity with the poor and downtrodden. Rev. Liz is the Executive Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, & Social Justice; and the Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, a National Call for Moral Revival.

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Can the Poor People’s Campaign Change the Outcome of the 2024 Elections?

The grassroots movement known as the Poor People’s Campaign aims to turn the exploited into a giant electoral force.

By Nicholas Powers
April 3, 2024

Suppose 53 million low wage workers across the United States seized control of politics. See the hotel maids washing bedsheets and migrants in blood-splattered aprons at meat plants mobilizing for their interests. See baggy-eyed nurses and fast-food staff take part in mass uprisings. Now imagine millions of poor people standing in long lines to vote. America would marvel at this sleeping giant, now awake.

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healthcare is a right

The Great Unwinding

The Failing Battle for Health and Healthcare in These All Too Disunited States

Tom Dispatch

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

March 10, 2024

The slang definition of “unwinding” means “to chill.” Other definitions include: to relax, disentangle, undo — all words that, on the surface, appear both passive and peaceful. And yet in Google searches involving such seemingly harmless definitions of decompressing and resting, news articles abound about the end of pandemic-era Medicaid expansion programs — a topic that, for the millions of people now without healthcare insurance, is anything but relaxing.

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The Kids Are Alright

Change Is Coming Soon

The Powerful and Visionary Leadership of Young Activists Is Crucial in These Times

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
January 18, 2024

“All Americans owe them a debt for — if nothing else — releasing the idealism locked so long inside a nation that has not recently tasted the drama of a social upheaval. And for making us look on the young people of the country with a new respect.” That’s how Howard Zinn opened his book The New Abolitionists about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the 1960s.

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy

What Pro-Democracy Activists Can Learn From Their Adversaries

White Christian nationalists have pushed an agenda eroding democratic norms — and have gained momentum by meeting people’s spiritual and material needs. Pro-democracy forces need to take note.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By Rev. Liz Theoharis and Rahna Epting
December 1, 2023

There is no shortage of commentary and analysis about the dismal state of American democracy. At the core of our crisis is a powerful strain in the nation’s political culture that needs more attention from philanthropy: white Christian nationalism and its revolt against democracy. 

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About the Author

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is a theologian, pastor, author, and anti-poverty activist. She is the Executive Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Rev. Dr. Theoharis has been organizing in poor and low-income communities for the past 30 years. Her books include: We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, 2021) and Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and she has been published in the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post, Sojourners and elsewhere. Rev. Dr. Theoharis is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary. She has been awarded the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, the Selma Bridge Award, the Women of Spirit Award from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and many others.