"I think it is necessary for us to realize that we have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights…[W]hen we see that there must be a radical redistribution of economic and political power, then we see that for the last twelve years we have been in a reform movement…That after Selma and the Voting Rights Bill, we moved into a new era, which must be an era of revolution…In short, we have moved into an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society." (taken from a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference staff retreat in May 1967, a year before his assassination).
Later that year, in December 1967, Rev. Dr. King announced the plan to bring together poor people from across the country for a new march on Washington. This march was to demand better jobs, better homes, better education—better lives than the ones they were living. Rev. Dr. Ralph Abernathy explained that the intention of the Poor People’s Campaign of 1968 was to “dramatize the plight of America’s poor of all races and make very clear that they are sick and tired of waiting for a better life. ~ From the Poor People's Campaign website
The Poor People's Campaign - A National Call for Moral Revival is underway! Together we will seek to change the dialogue and narrative of our nation toward just, equitable lives for all people. We begin by engaging those whose voices have been shoved to the margins - bringing into the center and into leadership those who have been most affected by poverty, racism, environmental devastation, and all forms of oppression. As we engage these relationships and build stronger ties to one another, we will begin to truly realize how these injustices are harmful to all of us, even those of us who appear to benefit from them.
So watch this page for updated information about ways to participate and engage your community (shown at right). For more information on upcoming events, or to share how your church is becoming involved, contact Kelly Gallagher.
Photo of the original Poor People's March in 1968 from the Poor People's Campaign website.
This week the campaign unveiled a Declaration of Fundamental Rights and Poor People’s Campaign Moral Agenda that will guide the movement through its upcoming 40 days of nonviolent direct action and beyond. Those 40 days will include nonviolent moral fusion direct action at the Massachusetts State Capitol in Boston.
“Fifty years after Rev. Dr. King and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign declared that silence was betrayal, we are coming together to break the silence and tell the truth about the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and our distorted moral narrative,” the Moral Agenda reads. “We declare that if silence was betrayal in 1968, revival is necessary today."
Civil disobedience training signups here: