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Feinberg Series: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

Feinberg Series Keynote Address and Inaugural James Baldwin Lecture

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is president of Repairers of the Breach, national co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign, and leads an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations best known as “Moral Monday.”  This coalition has led justice work in North Carolina for a decade and inspired organizing across the nation.  The Washington Post called Barber’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention “the most engaging” of many strong ones. Dr. Barber was recognized as one of the International Black Achievers by the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool England and his portrait now hangs on the Black Achievers Wall in the Legacy gallery.

As the architect of the Moral Monday he stands for a multi-racial, multi-faith movement fighting for voting rights, public education, universal healthcare, environmental protection, and the rights of women, labor, immigrants and members of the LGBTQ community. In 2013, thousands joined weekly protests at the North Carolina state legislature; more than a thousand were arrested in civil disobedience. Monday coalition continues to draw tens of thousands each year.

For the past two years, Rev. Dr. Barber has led a national organizing tour called “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values,” working alongside Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, and Sister Simone Campbell to redefine public morality and support state coalitions to address poverty, injustice, and inequality.  Rev. Dr. Barber headed the state NAACP from 2006 to 2017 and serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors.  He is currently co-chairs with Rev. Dr.  Elizabeth Theoharis the Poor People’s Campaign, A National Call For A Moral Revival, which focuses on Systemic Racism, Poverty and Inequality, Ecological Devastation, the War Economy and Militarism, and National Morality.

Rev. Dr. Barber graduated from North Carolina Central University, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, and a doctorate from Drew University.  He is Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and the author of Forward Together: A Moral Vision for the Nationand The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.  He is a member of the College of Affirming Bishops and lives in Goldsboro, N.C. where he has pastored Greenleaf Christian Church for 25 years.  

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