Books

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

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2017

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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Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing

By The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, with The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and The Rev. Dr. Rick Lowery
Beacon Press
2018

In this collection of sermons and speeches, Rev. Barber lays out his groundbreaking vision for organizing across racial, economic, and religious lines, paired with essays from leading activists in his Moral Mondays movement who write about implementing his ideas in an age of division. The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II has been called “the closest person we have to Martin Luther King Jr. in our midst” (Cornel West) and “one of the most gifted organizers and orators in the country today” (Ari Berman).

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Articles & Interviews

Interview on Sojourner Truth Radio

Sojourner Truth Radio
Interview by Margaret Prescod
September 11, 2020

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, joint coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, joins us to discuss an upcoming virtual event entitled: “Voting is Power Unleashed.” This, as voters sort the confusion and seeming mystery about how to vote in November. All voters are warned to come up with a plan.

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To Win in 2020 and Beyond, the Democrats Need a Bolder Moral Vision

The urgent case for setting our sights higher.

In These Times
By Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theoharis
August 19, 2020

It is pow­er­ful sym­bol­ism and his­tor­i­cal sub­stance to have a Black woman, a woman of col­or, on the pres­i­den­tial tick­et of a major U.S. polit­i­cal par­ty, a mul­ti-racial tick­et that could lead this nation still strug­gling to deal with the ves­tiges of what Rev. James Law­son described at Con­gress­man John Lewis’ funer­al, as the dis­ease of ​“plan­ta­tion capitalism.”

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The Importance of the Poor Person’s Vote

CNN
By William J. Barber II and Liz Theoharis
August 13, 2020

For the last three years, the Poor People’s Campaign has organized among the 140 million Americans who are in poverty or one emergency away from poverty, and who have decided it’s time to build the power to change their country. From California to the Carolinas, Mississippi to Maine, the mountains of Kentucky to the backroads of Alabama, we’ve seen how paid-for politicians have threatened the voting rights of poor folks of every race, creed and sexuality. We’ve also seen what’s possible when the dispossessed of this nation begin to move together.

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Woe to You Who Legislate Evil and Rob the Poor of Their Rights

Our government’s abandonment of the people is sin of the highest order.

Common Dreams
by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
August 02, 2020

On Monday, August 3, faith leaders with the Poor People’s Campaign will flood Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Senate with calls saying that it is treacherous and heretical to hold up the Constitution and the Bible while trampling on the right of every person to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We demand a true relief bill, one that guarantees healthcare and an adequate income, protects housing, water and utilities, and prioritizes the needs of all people, especially the poor, not the wealthy and corporations. 

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A Jubilee Moment in Pandemic America?

Tom Dispatch
by Liz Theoharis
July 21, 2020

The word jubilee comes from the Hebrew “yovel,” meaning a “trumpet blast of liberty.” It was said that, on the day of liberation, the sound of a ram’s horn would ring through the land. These days, I hear the sound of that horn while walking with my kids through the streets of New York City, while protests continue here, even amid a pandemic, as they have since soon after May 25th when a police officer put his knee to George Floyd’s neck and robbed him of his life. I hear it when I speak with homeless leaders defending their encampments amid the nightmare of Covid-19. I hear it when I meet people who are tired, angry, and yet, miraculously enough, finding their political voices for the first time. I hear it when I read escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’s speech on the eve of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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The way the US measures poverty is outdated, misleading, and could leave millions of Americans without the help they need to make it through the pandemic

Business Insider
By Shailly Gupta Barnes and Liz Theoharis
Jul 18, 2020

recent article in The New York Times offered a surprising assessment of poverty during the pandemic. It outlined how massive federal aid over the last three months may have capped a rise in poverty or actually lowered it.

For those who have stood for hours in food lines or for anyone who has made upwards of 200 calls before reaching an unemployment office, this news might not only seem inaccurate, but insulting. 

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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 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).