Category: Interviews

‘The Center of Gravity is in the Local Work’: Liz Theoharis on the Poor People’s Campaign

Rev Dr Liz Theoharis interviewed by Erik Gunn
The Progressive
May 1, 2019

An ordained Presbyterian minister and veteran social justice organizer, the Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign with the Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II. Founded half a century ago by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the campaign was revived in late 2017 by Barber and Theoharis to empower the nation’s poor and marginalized people, and help build coalitions to address their challenges.

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(AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana)

How the Poor People’s Campaign Is Building a ‘New Electorate’

The Nation
January 21, 2019

A conversation with Reverend Liz Theoharis on the campaign’s broad agenda for 2019.
By Greg Kaufmann

On New Year’s Eve, Reverend Drs. Liz Theoharis and William Barber II, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, laid out the campaign’s plans for 2019. The Poor People’s Campaign will continue its pursuit of an audacious agenda: eradicating poverty and systemic racism; addressing ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy; and changing the narrative about poverty in this country from one that demonizes the poor to one which recognizes their strengths and vision while questioning the morality of current public policy.

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Poverty and inequality under Trump: ​​human ​​rights under ​​threat

The Guardian
June 26, 2018

The Guardian partners with the UN and the Graduate Institute in Geneva to discuss a burning issue for America.

A panel debate with Philip Alston (UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty), Rev Dr Liz Theoharis (co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival), Kenneth Roth (executive director, Human Rights Watch), Catherine Flowers (rural development manager, the Equal Justice Initiative). Moderated by Ed Pilkington (the Guardian’s chief reporter in the US)

On Tuesday, 26 June the Guardian moderated a discussion at the Graduate Institute in Geneva to discuss a burning issue for America: how the country’s vast inequality and the Trump administration’s apparent determination to exacerbate it are posing a direct threat to human rights.

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50 Years After MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign, 2,500+ Arrested Over 6 Weeks Calling for Moral Revival

Democracy Now
June 25, 2018

We feature voices of the thousands who marched on the nation’s capital Saturday for the Poor People’s Campaign. The mass demonstration followed six weeks of actions around the country and more than 2,500 arrests, as protesters join what they are calling a “moral revival” to demand an end to systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and ecological devastation. The march brought together activists from around the country more than 50 years after demonstrators converged on Washington, D.C., in 1968 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 original Poor People’s Campaign. Demonstrators rallied to protest widespread poverty just days after U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley slammed a new U.N. report slamming the Trump administration’s policies for worsening the state of poverty in the United States.

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Jeff Sessions got the Bible wrong. We care for strangers, not rob their rights

The Guardian
By Rev Dr William Barber and Rev Dr Liz Theoharis
June 19, 2018

Last week, the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, used scripture to justify closing America’s borders to those in need of refuge and tearing children away from their families.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said.

His remarks smack of theological heresy.

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Religious Leaders Shackled, Held in Jail Overnight, After Praying in Protest Outside Supreme Court

Democracy Now
June 13, 2018

Nine religious leaders were arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court on Monday in Washington, D.C., after participating in a national day of action for the new Poor People’s Campaign. They were handcuffed for five hours and jailed overnight in cells with cockroaches before being brought into court in ankle irons. The religious leaders were among 100 people arrested in Washington, D.C., Monday as part of the protests against poverty and racism. We speak with Rev. Liz Theoharis, who was one of the nine arrested Monday.

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Interview on the Off-Kilter Podcast

Off-Kilter Podcast
By Rebecca Vallas
June 1, 2018

One month after the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, a group of faith leaders resuscitated the civil rights icon’s final project by launching the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. You’re probably familiar with campaign co-chair Reverend William Barber II from his leadership of the Moral Mondays movement. But less well known is his co-chair, the Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, who has spent the past two decades working as an organizer with groups led by people in poverty, such as the National Welfare Rights Union and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Rebecca speaks with Rev. Dr. Theoharis about what’s behind the campaign - and how it’s trying to change the narrative on poverty in the U.S.

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