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.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

Articles & Interviews


A Life’s Calling

By Samantha Drake
The Pennsylvania Gazette
February 22, 2023

For Liz Theoharis C’98, activism has been a way of life—from assisting her parents with their justice work, to community service as a Penn undergrad, to cochairing the recent revival of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. The Presbyterian minister, social justice leader, and biblical scholar is committed to reframing the narrative around poverty and the poor while pushing for lasting policy changes.

Continue reading →

Poverty Amid Plenty

Poverty Amid Plenty: A World Fragmented by Inequality

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
February 7, 2023

A few weeks ago, the world’s power brokers — politicians, CEOs, millionaires, billionaires — met in Davos, the mountainous Swiss resort town, for the 2023 World Economic Forum. In an annual ritual that reads ever more like Orwellian farce, the global elite gathered — their private jets lined up like gleaming sardines at a nearby private airport — to discuss the most pressing issues of our time, many of which they are chiefly responsible for creating.

Continue reading →

Fellowship Magazine

Christianity will fail if we don’t stop Christian nationalism

We must resist Christian nationalists’ heretical form of religion, which parallels the “morality” of the Roman Empire that Jesus challenged.

Fellowship Magazine
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
January 17, 2023

Social media was abuzz on the topic of white Christian nationalism for much of the summer, with the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene selling T-shirts that proudly proclaim her identity as a Christian nationalist, encouraging followers to join in. As each part of the Jan. 6 hearing unfolded, the influence of white Christian nationalism showed through — whether it’s the Jericho march directly preceding the Jan. 6 attack, or the “crusade” to challenge election results that followed.

Continue reading →


Ending poverty will take a new look at wealth, too

By E. West McNeill and Liz Theoharis
Albany Times Union
Dec. 31, 2022

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency last week as a winter storm of historic proportions bore down on western New York, warning families: “We want all New Yorkers to get where they need to go safely to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.” As we continue to deal with the aftermath of that deadly  storm, we would do well to remember the millions of families in New York that were already experiencing the storms of poverty, inequality and policy violence, not to mention those who have nowhere safe to celebrate the holidays.

Continue reading →

Rev Dr Barber - Rev Dr Liz Theoharis - Danny Glover

Everybody In, Nobody Out: Dreams of Democracy This Christmas

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
December 20, 2022

Last week, I was in Washington, D.C.’s Union Station. The weather had turned cold and I couldn’t help noticing what an inhospitable place it had become for the city’s homeless and dispossessed. Once upon a time, anyone was allowed to be in the train station at any hour. Now, there were signs everywhere announcing that you needed a ticket to be there. Other warning signs indicated that you could only sit for 30 minutes at a time at the food-court tables, while barriers had been placed where benches used to be to make it that much harder to congregate, no less sit down.

Continue reading →


This Midterms, the Bible Reminds Us Poor People Have All the Power

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
November 4, 2022

“Come on, come on, come on! Don’t you want to vote? … Yes, I’m gonna vote … for justice!” was the song that closed out a Zoom rally with hundreds of poor and low-income people, moral leaders, clergy, activists, and advocates who are part of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Yara Allen, co-director of theomusicology and movement arts for the Poor People’s Campaign, led the song as participants registered to text bank five million poor and low-propensity voters before the midterms in order to enliven and enlarge the electorate of low-income voters.

Continue reading →

About the Author

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is a theologian, pastor, author, and anti-poverty activist. She is the 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 with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. 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.