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6/17/2018: "The Poor People’s Campaign Gains Momentum" by Laura Dely


The current Poor People’s Campaign  “stands on the shoulders of the 1968 Freedom Church whose members marched up from the neglected shadows to demand their government address bitter poverty in the wealthiest country in the world. “ 1  Rev. Martin Luther King led that PPC, and  now 50 years later, today’s Poor People’s Campaign is led by Moral Mondays, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II , co-founder and Co-Director of the Kairos Center, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-founder.

Much has happened since 1968 in the U.S. We have become the most economically unequal developed country in the world, we are the only developed country without universal healthcare, we have lost millions of middle class manufacturing jobs, we have chipped away at labor union protections, we have become gerrymandered. College education is fantastically more expensive now as it was then, as is housing, and food.

We have cut programs that would help the poorest of us live among these new conditions, and that has brought forth the impassioned renewed Poor People’s Campaign

Hundreds of thousands of people have now joined the PPC and you should too because our UU faith shapes us for a moral revival that declares poverty is immoral. At a time when 40,600,000 Americans exist below the poverty line, with an additional 140 million deal with economic insecurity every day, we need a national moral revival.

If you’re going to the GA, vote Yes on the Poor People’s Campaign “Action of Immediate Witness,” (AIW) that the UUJEC is sponsoring, and visit the UUJEC booth there for more information, then work to engage your  congregation when you return home.

If you’re not able to go to Kansas City, then go to the PPC site today. Join, and look for events in your area. If nothing is yet happening where you live, work to spread the PPC word, and get together a group that can lead your area in PPC events. (Start with your  congregation.) 

Our UUA President, Rev. Susan Frederick Grey, was arrested while praying that our country finally address poverty on the steps of the Capitol Building the first day of the current 40 days and nights of PPC activities. The 40 days culminates in a huge rally in Washington next Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Read: The Souls of Poor Folk - Auditing America 50 years after the Poor People’s Campaign challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism, and Our National Morality, by the Institute for Policy Studies. 

By Laura Dely, Member of the Universalist Church in Washington, D.C. and former UUJEC Board member