22nd President and Provost's Diversity Lecture & Cultural Arts Series: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

My name is James Moore and I am the vice provost for diversity and inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer at The Ohio State University I would like to welcome you all to our Annual President and Provost Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series. This is our 22nd year but our first voyage into this virtual format I would like to thank my special events team headed by Rose Wilson-Hill for all they did to pull this event together, we’re going to be hearing in a few minutes from Reverend Dr. William Barber II, an icon minister and social justice advocate as we consider how best to turn passionate protest into actionable policy It’s important to hear from people like Reverend Barber, the leader of a diverse coalition that fought racial and economic inequality in North Carolina and beyond As we look for leadership in this front, we must recognize there is work to do in our own house. We must improve our own policies, procedures processes and practices that act as barriers to inequity To that end Ohio State has convened the task force for racism and racial inequities led by myself and Dr. Tom Gregoire, the Dean of Social Work Before we hear from REVEREND DR. BARBER, I would like to acknowledge and recognize my supervisor Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron And our co-hosts Center for Ethics and Human Values, the College of Social Work, the Kirwin Institute for Study of Race and Ethnicity as well as our very own John Glenn College of Public Policy I would like to also introduce a special University leader who has joined us today to say a few words, our 16th President, Dr. Kristina Johnson An engineer inventor entrepreneur President Johnson brings decades of a cross section of experiences from the academic business and policy, public policy sectors

Since she has arrived this fall, I’ve had a chance to visit with President Johnson and I know that she is someone who’s truly committed to the hard work of creating inclusive opportunities for all folks. She is the real deal. She’s also on the cover in a really terrific issue of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine that hit mailboxes earlier this month I learned from that story about President Johnson’s impressive credentials, but also integrity passion and courage have been the hallmark of her career. Tucked away in that magazine I also ran across a fascinating story about President Johnson’s paternal grandfather Charles Johnson, who was an 1896 Ohio State engineering graduate and a member of the Buckeye football team, it seems that her grandfather went on to have a successful engineering career working with George Westinghouse in the early 1900s. Yes, I said the early 1900s, but he also recognized systemic unfairness of education the educational system that did not allow women and blacks, the opportunity to pick up technical skills like engineering So he took it upon himself to start a technical night school to try to bring new skills, knowledge and career opportunities to folks who looked far different than himself The great truth is there have always been those ahead of their time who bent the arc towards justice in their own way And here is a great example from a man who lived a full century ago who did that very thing. It is a wonderful story and I encourage you to read that issue of the alumni magazine I’m sure President Johnson and all the other members of her beloved family are extremely proud of her grandfather’s legacy We’re proud to have President Johnson and her lovely wife Veronica as a part of our Buckeye family and we wish them the absolute best as they get settled in Columbus life. I now relinquish the mic to our 16th president president Kristina Johnson. Thank you user avatar President Kristina Johnson Thank you so much, Dr. Moore for that really personal introduction, I very much appreciate it. And I’d like to thank you and your team for hosting this event, on behalf of the President and Provost as Dr. Moore mentioned we have over or nearly 1000 guests tonight. So thank you all for joining us and also for submitting 300 questions for the Q and A session which is awesome. And it’s really powerful. And it’s a powerful example of the kind of engagement that we’re hoping to achieve with this annual event At Ohio State in our communities and people everywhere are gathering to discuss society’s most pressing issues, thanks to programs like the president and provost diversity lecture and cultural arts series For 22 years this event has connected the community with thought leaders dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusive excellence We’ve been honored to have some of the most distinguished scholars leading the charge on this work across the nation and around the world Previous guests include Colin Powell, award winning essayist and novelists Zadie Smith astronaut Mae Jemison, and my dear friend, Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Tonight I have the privilege of introducing our next outstanding speaker in this important series. Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II He is the pastor of Greenleaf Christian church former president of the North Carolina NAACP and founder of the morality based leadership development organization Repairers of the Breach DR. BARBER IS A man of deep faith and principal an advocate for individuals and communities impacted by the most important and critical challenges of our time systemic racism, poverty, social justice environmental degradation and voter suppression to mention a few He understands that excellence is a habit. It’s a habit of doing your best, every day not just a single achievement and that we must ask the very best of ourselves in everything we do, particularly in the way we treat and care for one another

He embodies an incredible sense of urgency to effect change and he embraces the power of inclusive coalitions to stand for what is right We see this time and again throughout his life in his writings in his achievements in his teachings and in his actions The Moral Monday rallies are one such example in which he led outside the North Carolina State House to protest the regressive and divisive laws. They’re chipping away at progress, Justice, Freedom and fairness The rallies spread throughout the state and across the south growing to include 10s of thousands of activists and were ultimately successful in helping to challenge voter suppression and racial gerrymandering before the Supreme Court In 2017 DR. BARBER further expanded nonviolent civil disobedience. When he launched a revival of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign Once again, using the lessons he learned throughout his life to make people’s lives better. As I mentioned earlier, he’s an accomplished author and also a 2018 MacArthur Fellow, a 2018 Tar Heel of the Year and Auburn Seminary Senior Fellow He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Central University a Master of Divinity from Duke University, a doctor of ministry from Drew University and I’m so excited to welcome him tonight albeit virtually to The Ohio State University DR. BARBER. Before you begin, I want you to know that when Buckeyes do something we make it We make a big impact. And we do it big. So everyone tuning in, please listen and envision how you will take what we learned tonight and change the world Even in the most difficult times, we must lift up others through our words and our actions. So let’s do all that we can to move forward Dr. Barber’s message and his work and from whichever or wherever you happen to be joining us extend to DR. BARBER a very warm Buckeye welcome DR. BARBER user avatar Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Thank you so much, Dr. Johnson. I’m so honored to be at THE Ohio State University And Dr. James Moore, you might be kin to me, my grandfather. My step-grandfather was actually a Moore. Now we may have a little trouble. I was born in Indiana. So I’m a Hoosier and so we will see how this proceeds with a Hoosier being on Buckeye Territory, I do also want to acknowledge all of the 300 questions. That’s incredible And I hope I get a chance that if we can’t answer them all to see them and would love to try to take a shot at sending some of them back through various means of social media Because of time, I’m going to forego any further intro comments but simply to say how humble I am on behalf of the movement to be with you today. I want to talk about America’s future demands a poor people’s campaign A third reconstruction and a moral revival If we are to be the promise of America We must address systemic racism And how it connects to four other interlocking injustices that I want to lift up today The truth of the matter is, I believe that we are in a battle for the soul of America Since the rejection election of 2016 When forms of white rage propelled the candidate who was endorsed by white supremacist KKK, all the way to the Republican National Convention and on to the White House race has been ever before us in America And yet, if you think about it, out of all the presidential debates 2016 and even this year we’ve not spent one hour, or even 30 minutes wrestling with the issue of systemic racism and all of its format Or systemic poverty Now national conversation about racism has sometimes become confused and the post Charlottesville debate about whether or not they were good people on both sides EVERY POLITICIAN America who has any basic political sense condemned hate, hate after Charlottesville but racism is not just about overt, hate, Sometimes we have even

strived to suggest that if you address police brutality, you have addressed the fullness of racism but it’s horrific horrible and abhorrent police brutality is towards people of color, even that does not fully penetrate what systemic racism is As I said, racism is not just about overt hate that you hear overhear, Richard Spencer white supremacist when he went back to Charlottesville. He actually said we came peaceably And we will come peaceably again he said racism and peaceful again racism, you see isn’t about whether you have a black friend or you use the N word or you condone overt acts of racism institutional racism is about what’s written into policy My good friend Ibram Kendi says racism ultimately is not about bad people. It’s about bad policy Even this morning, the current candidate for the Supreme Court said she abhors racism She has actually adopted two black children But in policy. She has supported voter suppression in policy, she’s even said, it’s all right for felons to retain gun rights, but a felon should not retain voting rights Racism systemic racism is about power from the inception of slavery in this country racism was ultimately about evil economics And that is the money justifies the means sick sociology, that is certain people couldn’t be on the same level and be around each other It was also about political pathology. What power politics and the decisions of politics were designed to protect a power structure It was about What we call heretical ontology, and that is that God intended it to be this way. It was about bad biology that people based on their just basic DNA are different. And it was about the meanness and madness of military might used to enforce racism and slavery. It’s about power After the Civil Rights Movement. If I might come forward There were certain white forces people who are afraid of losing power and they learn how to perpetuate the culture of racism without appearing to be racist Code words and dog whistles were developed the southern strategy was a strategy deliberately designed to play the race card in a way to drive Southern whites to vote for so called conservative white politicians and leave the ranks of the Democratic Party that had elected people like John Kennedy and Lyndon Baynes Johnson, who had helped usher in some of the public policy goals and demands of the Civil Rights Movement In a starkly revealing interview former GOP strategist Lee Atwater boldly described how the southern strategy worked on demand fusion type movements that brought people together regardless of their race Which had built up and expanded democracy, doing the first two reconstructions, the one between 1868 and 1896 And the reconstruction between 1954 and 1965 He said in his words, you start out in 1954 saying nigga nigga nigga, but by 1968 Atwater said that you can’t say nigger that hurts you. So it backfired. So you start talking about things like forced busing states rights and all that stuff. He said, then you get really abstract and you talk about cutting taxes And all these things you’re talking about sound like they’re just economic things, but the byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites and whites began to blame blacks for their economic trouble The target of this southern strategy, was initially the states of the old Confederacy, with the goal of developing a solid south to ensure that the majority of Southern whites would resist and repeal any fusion alliances with African Americans and Latinos But it turned out that race baiting worked in other parts of the country too For instance, in Wisconsin’s Democratic primary in 1964 more than a third of the state’s democrats cast a ballot for an open racist named George Wallace, the man who would gain national attention by saying segregation yesterday, today and tomorrow in February of 1963. Three weeks later, Wallace landed at 30% of the votes cast in an Indiana primary

Were to Klu Klux Klansmen ran a shoestring camping out of a service station phone booth. in the Maryland Democratic primary and Wallace won 16 of the state’s 23 counties and 43% of the final tally And he said that without the quote vote, I won’t say it again. While this argued he would have won the whole thing Wallace’s surprising performance suggested to Republican George HW Bush that the volcanic white oppression to the Democratic Party’s embrace of civil rights, opened the door for republicans in the solid south A hopeful Bush decided to run for the US Senate, though he had never had elected office before and Bush then declared himself emphatically opposed to the Civil Rights Act of 64 Saying that the Civil Rights Act of 64 trampled on the Constitution by mandating equal access to restaurants, hotels, restrooms and other public accommodation. Bush explained to a crowd. This is in the 60s The new Civil Rights Act was passed to protect 14% of the people I’m worried about the other 86% This is the kinder, gentler white supremacy that brought Strom Thurmond, and the Dixiecrats and for the Republican Party Paving the way for the campaigns of Richard Nixon Ronald Reagan and Bushes all of whom employed the same political operatives And the same divide and conquer tactics and when they no longer could be outwardly even about the racist side they turned to be against abortion and against gay people, but all of that flowed out The original being against civil rights as Ibram Kendi has documented in his monumental history “Stamp from the Beginning” That’s hypocritical contradiction was written into law before it was justified by racist ideas. The law came first, the racist ideas came as the justification Racism began became as American as apple pie, because it made sense of the hypocrisy that made plantations work and plantation CAPITALISM WORK That is commonplace for commentators on American politics today to lament our polarization. Oh it’s so divided And to talk of racism as mere cultural dislike rather than intentional systems. To act as though a current president is racist And to act as though this is new. So-called conservatives and liberals alike express their desire to get back to less chaotic DAYS BEFORE DONALD TRUMP. But the Trump presidency Did not create America’s racial divide. It exploited the tactics that were developed alongside the racist policies and the ideas that emerged with American slavery and continued through Jim Crow and the southern strategy, even up until this day What we see the fruit. What we see is the fruits of these tactics in the disparate impact of policy decision about voting, the court and economic inequality today What we see today are the fruits of the decision to sow racial division for power, rather than deal with issues of race and poverty impacting all Americans. What we see today Are the fruits of policy rooted in a lust for power over and above a love for justice, what what the lust lead some What the lust has done for power it has led some to establish injustice to refuse the common defense to promote the welfare of a few to insure domestic division And to limit equal protection under the law. So don’t let anybody tell you that the problem is just Trump. Yes, he has embraced and emboldened white nationalists Who’ve rallied in Charlottesville and elsewhere. Yes, he has emboldened it by his refusal to call down racist police brutality But there was a precedent set long before Trump mastered the con of the southern strategy. And yes, it’s a con. Truth is, the audience that he has has been cultivated for 50 years. The truth of the matter is, if you go back to a memo that was written in the 1960s by Buchanan and a guy by the name of Kevin Phillips they wrote a memo to Richard Nixon and they called it positive polarization And basically they said, all you have to do to win is find out who hates who you play in that division you exploit it and that’s how you hold on to power

If we do this, we can split particularly the Democratic Party in the South, make it so called a party of black folk drive white people away force people apart from each other, who really ought to be allies, particularly in fighting against poverty. This is what was sown in the wind And now we’re reaping the whirlwind. Dr. King told us something in 1965 We often don’t even talk about it because people are so enamored by I Have a Dream speech and they don’t realize that even I Have a Dream speech was named I Have a Dream speech. It was “Normalcy is no Longer Acceptable” or “Normalcy No More” Now I have a dream was an ending, not the entire speech and in the speech he dealt with economic injustice and police brutality And why it was still existing 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation. That’s what King was wrestling with And in 1965 when he got to the end of the Selma to Montgomery march on the steps of the Alabama State House, Dr. King said something to us that we need to hear today because It will help us understand what we’re seeing now this is what he said. He said, it may be said of the Reconstruction era that the southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. He gave him Jim Crow And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide he ate Jim Crow a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was. He was a white man better than a black man, he ate Jim Crow And when his undernourished children, cried out for the necessity that his low wages couldn’t provide he did not organize with black people to get better wages they showed him Jim Crow to keep that organization from happening So he fed on it Thus, Dr. King says, listen to this, the threat of the free exercise of the ballot by the Negro and the white masses alike result in the establishment of a segregated society Every time there was the possibility of the Negro and the white masses of the South to unite and build a great society segregation was deliberately sown by the aristocracy by the Bourbon class by the wealthy to undermine that alliance We must understand the challenge of systemic racism, if we think we misunderstand the challenge of systemic racism, if we think the end of this is just about a dislike of black people No… Systemic racism is a dislike for democracy, a dislike for a more perfect union. It’s a dislike for humanity. It’s why even today, you can be black and embrace and encourage white nationalism and systemic racism. Systemic racism is simply the perpetuation of a system where the ideal of whiteness and white power are the norm in common life It is to accept the heresy that some people are not made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, they should not benefit from the social and political policies of the country This is why, since the United States Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in the summer of 2013 there has been an all out Assault on Voting rights in this country And be and be mindful. I’m a theologian. I’m a public theologian. The Assault on Voting rights is both a political and a theological issue It is a theological issue because we only give the right to vote to people born 18 years old, born and naturalized in these United States We do not give the right to vote to pets, parakeets and puppets. So when the vote is suppressed deliberately that is actually a form of idolatry and self worship, because it suggests that you believe you have the right to suppress somebody else’s vote (i.e. they must not be a full person) and therefore you have the right to suppress their participation in the democracy Since 2013, we’ve had 868 that’s how many fewer voting sites, we had in black and brown and poor communities in 2016. 22 that’s the number of states that passed racist voter suppression since 2013. 26 that’s the number since 2010 So that’s over. That’s 52 United States senators and over 50% of the United States House of Representatives

More than seven years actually today over 2,600 nearly 700 days has Mitch McConnell refused to fix the Voting Rights Act that could have been fixed on June 26th 2013 Now Strom Thurmond only filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1957 for 24 hours McConnell has filibustered fixing it for over seven years. We call Strom Thurmond a racist This is the election hacking that nobody wants to talk about why because it would mean America would have to deal with systemic racism beyond just incidents like Charlottesville, and even beyond some things with police brutality It would mean many people would understand that voter suppression, in and of itself is a strenuous form of systemic racism Racism may not be coming across as overt. It is often promoted as just protecting the ballot. But the truth of the matter. This is the hacking I don’t know how much help Trump got from Russia, but it is manifestly clear that he could not have stolen the election without the help of systemic racism Some talk about the current president winning Wisconsin about 30,000 votes in 2016 But, in Berman’s book, Give Us the Ballot, he footnotes, that there were 250,000 votes suppressed in Wisconsin. In North Carolina we had over 150 fewer sites to vote early voting mostly in black and brown communities And whether the tactics of partisan gerrymandering a discriminatory voter ID requirement or the rollback of early voting a same day registration. The fact of the matter is racist voter suppression is the ultimate hacking of our system. Now you must understand why is this tactic used? Well from Maryland to Texas there are 193 electoral college votes in the south and southeast That means that if any group can lock up the southern South Eastern states that you lock up 193 ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTES. You only need 77 from the other 35 states to get to 270 But what you should also know is that these are the same states where one third of all poor people live. One third of all white poor people live And where a small percentage of poor and low wealth people organized across racial lines could fundamentally change the outcome of elections from state legislators to the Congress to the President What else do we know about these same states. We know that all of these states from Maryland to Texas are racist voter suppression states But here, my friends, is the other side of racism and is the part that you also must know And how racism hurts white people, poor white people, poor brown people, poor indigenous people and low wealth people Racism systemic racism in particular through voter suppression allows ecological devastation and the polluting of our society. It allows the war economy and allows the denial of healthcare. Because it gives access, racist voter suppression, to the government to those who promote a distorted immoral religious nationalism as well In the places where we see a racist surgical attack on voting rights in America are all the same places where we see the highest levels of poverty. If I had time, I would put up maps and show this to you, empirically The same states that are racist voter suppression states are the same states that have the highest level of poverty. Notice, I didn’t say black poverty. Poverty They are also the same states that have the greatest denial of healthcare living wages. The same states to have the greatest attack on public education and union rights. And all of them are not in the South. Ohio has been a voter suppression state Your former Governor who was in the House of Representative was also a voter suppressionist The states that have the worst voter suppression rates are the states with the greatest attacks on the LGBT community, and on the immigrant community The states with the worst voter suppression record are the states where we have the highest density of prison. And the highest density of polluters. Corporate polluters that are allowed to almost roam free and create an ecological devastation

The states that are the worst racist voter suppression states also have the highest level of so-called white evangelicals who push nationalism And that this President and others sitting in the Senate and House benefited from the racist electoral college and voter suppression It allows these major political bodies to be stacked not because people win the majority of the vote, but because so much of the vote is suppressed And what does that do that then allows people in the Senate, for instance, to stack the court, which is why right now the states that have the least amount of the population have the greatest ability to stack the court. And where are we Where are we after all of this southern strategy and after all of this intentional racism that that plays itself out first through racist voter suppression and then so many other areas. where are we now? Well, where are we now in poverty. The war on poverty was in the 60s, where are we now, we ended that war And what do we have now? 140 million poor and low wealth people in this country And 66 million of them are white. 26 million are black. Even though 61% of black people are poor and low wealth about 30% of white people are poor and low wealth So the larger percentage of poor wealth people are white, but in raw numbers there are actually more white who are poor The average poor person is a white woman and disabled. 62 million people in this country right now earn less than a living wage. 700 people dying from poverty each day before COVID. 700 people were dying a day from poverty before COVID. 87 million people uninsured or underinsured before COVID. Before COVID And now some 27 million people have lost healthcare, because it was tied to the employers. Since COVID, 7.75 million cases. 214,000 deaths. 400,000 projected deaths by February Between April in July, an estimated 2 million workers lost access to health insurance. COVID’s highest rates of death are among black people. 97 deaths out of every 100,000 people. But in raw numbers There have been 94,000 white deaths, 40,000 black deaths. So there’s actually 54,000 more whites have died from COVID in raw numbers. Where are we now, With this political system that allows people to get into office through racist voter suppression, who then block healthcare block living wages, so forth and so on. Columbia University says that 36,000 lives could have been saved by May Where are we now? 30 million people are unemployed and growing And for every available job position, there are two applicants. Where are we now? Unemployment for the poor has doubled the national unemployment In August 2020 was about 8.4% unemployment among poor and low wealth people was 15%. 13 million poor low income people reported not having enough food to eat. In August, the snap enrollment food stamps expanded by 5 million to more than 42 million people. Where are we now? We passed the CARES Act in March and 84% of the money goes to banks and corporations. 3 to 4 trillion dollars have been transferred to the banks, where essential workers do not get the essentials that they need. Guaranteed sick leave, unemployment, living wages. where are we now? Where are we now in the programs we have passed have left out 11 million undocumented people Where are we now? The direct payments of 1200 dollars are over there was no full rent relief and mortgage relief and utility relief Where are we now? Billionaires have made 840 billion dollars since March While there is still no guaranteed healthcare no guaranteed housing no guaranteed income no guarantee that everybody has a right to live in this country. And how did many other people get the power that they have to deny policies that would help people through systemic racism Racist voter suppression Hmm. Public health officials have actually said that there are three areas for the reason public health officials say that COVID is so terrible for us First inept almost criminal response of the White House and members of the Senate. But then they also say that the fissures of systemic racism and poverty that existed prior to COVID actually give COVID a place to continue to grow

If you don’t address the systemic racism and systemic poverty, you actually end up enabling COVID And so we heard George Floyd say I can’t breathe. Just, just a few years ago, we heard Eric Garner utter the same words. but the choke hole we have witnessed in these instances of police violence has also gripped millions through the interlocking injustices of American inequality through systemic racism and poverty. Brianna Taylor was killed off camera But the policies promoted by many who hold power, in large part because of racist voter suppression, is snuffing out the life of untold thousands who we hold in our hearts, minds and spirit who never will be viewed on camera Over a century ago, Dr. King said “in our society, it is murder to deprive a person of a job or income. and now millions of people are being strangled that way. Millions of people have been crying “I can’t breath” far too long. This nation has refused to hear them Where are we today? We look at the rush to fill a Supreme Court seat before providing a stimulus. And we know that the Federalist Society has worked for the past 40 years. McConnell has worked privately and quietly to stack the Courts The Senate is controlled by people who got 16 million less votes. The Presidency is controlled by a person who lost the popular vote The Supreme Court majority can be shifted now by a new appointee and 90 to 99% of the decisions of those who get appointed by McConnell and others. They rule on the side of corporations and against voting rights and civil rights So where must we go if we going to be a genuine asset to democracy? We need not so much a reckoning. I hear that word a lot, but we need a third reconstruction. A moral revival And a poor people’s campaign guided by a policy platform to address five interlocking injustices. simultaneously. systemic racism in all of its format. voter suppression Mass Incarceration. Resegregation of the public schools. continue to attack on the indigenous community and our Latino brothers and sisters Police brutality. All of it. that’s systemic racism and then systemic poverty And then ecological devastation. Denial of healthcare. and then the war economy. because we’re spending $800 billion in war. If we cut our military budget. If we were to just cut in half. If we did that, we still have more money than China, North Korea, Russia, Iran and Iraq combined One cut military contract could provide health care for every state that denied the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion And then we have to address this distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. and how we’re going to do that? Well, we believe that we’ve got to first protect them expand voting rights. We need a pre-clearance formula for all the jurisdictions covered formerly by the Voting Rights Act and then those who need to be covered We must address police violence and mass incarceration and resegregation of school, we must have a meaningful recognition of indigenous sovereignty, and we must have just immigration policies 2. We must have health care for all. That includes a Medicare for all expansion of Medicaid universal coverage For COVID treatment and vaccines. This includes fully funding and expanding Indian health services to meet the need at hand. And let me just say this is not socialism It’s amazing to me when you talk when Jesus talks about poverty and lifting up the sick, we call it Christianity. When somebody else does they call it socialism. This is not socialism. It is doing right. It is the establishment of justice It’s Constitutional! It’s providing for the common defense, and promoting the general welfare. And number three we need housing for all expand public housing and affordable housing Expand rental assistance. We have 37 to 40 million people now facing eviction Facing evictions. We need jobs and income for all, we must establish a federal job guarantee that can build up healthcare And infrastructure capacity and schools and sanitation water and climate infrastructure, including public transportation. We must get $15 an hour and a union Pay people a living wage if we did that tomorrow 49 million people would rise up out of poverty and low wealth and $368 billion would be pumped into the economy We need guaranteed adequate income for those who cannot work

With a meaningful engagement prioritize poor and low income communities that have suffered from deindustrialization Rural communities that are dependent on fossil fuel and native indigenous communities. We need special investments We need to establish a strong welfare programs for those who cannot earn an adequate income through work because of caregiving and disability and other reasons We need immigration reform. We need to institute meaningful immigration reform that prioritizes family reunification And valid documentation and timely citizenship, while also ending mandatory deportations and detention. we need to move resources away From the border wall into border communities and insure that immigrants are eligible for all public assistance and welfare programs including healthcare and unemployment housing And food security and childcare programs and education and worker protections and we need to stop lying on immigrants. Immigrants actually pay taxes. Many of them have paid into social security that they will never receive We must demand And it must be made clear That all of this can be funded through cuts in our military spending. We spend 54 cents of every discretionary dollar on the war economy. Not even going to the troops, but on the war economy on the corporate war economy. What Eisenhower called the Congressional Military Industrial Complex. We need to change that and redirect those resources Redirect them to building up a community. 54 cents of every dollar going to the war economy. Less than 16 cents of every dollar going to education, infrastructure and healthcare. That is a form of spiritual and economic death And then we must challenge this false moral narrative or religious nationalism. And know that limited nativism has never worked. And it will not work today And this reconstruction, must, must include not merely policies, but a change in the faces and the people who make the policy. That’s what reconstruction is really about poor and low wealth communities must have representation in the places of power And that can happen when we change voter suppression of poor and low wealth people Now finally, what is the power that poor and low wealth people and the allies moral and advocates have? Well, even the Pope said in the past, a few Sundays ago, it is cyclical. The Poor People’s Campaign was a necessity. He said, The world is going backward. This is the Pope, Pope Francis And we need a mobilization of poor and low wealth people The only group who performed a massive restructure of American society would be blacks poor whites working class folks and even recipients of welfare. This is what King said, and it’s even true today. The only coalition that can shift where we are is for blacks and whites and native And Latino And gay and straight and young And old PEOPLE OF FAITH people not of faith and people from every geography poor and low wealth that come together. The only way Neoliberalism is not gonna work. Just lifting from the middle and believing that it’s gonna be all right. trickle down is not gonna work because things never trickled down Hate meeting hate. Us just hating people that have wealth or just hating our adversaries. That’s not going to work either Just addressing police brutality alone is not going to be the solution either Black people getting in organizations by themselves is not going to work either. White people trying to just do it on behalf of us not gonna work either That’s why we are building a moral fusion coalition rooted in 14 points. Number one, We have to have a movement that engages in indigenously lead grassroots organizing from the States up because change. Never happened from DC down alone. It came from, from the Selma and Montgomery and Birmingham up Number two, we must use moral language to frame and critique public policy, regardless of who’s in power. This language of left and right and conservative and liberal is too puny for what we are having to address today. Number three, we have to demonstrate a commitment to civil disobedience. But it must follow the steps of nonviolent action and a desire to change public conversation, change the narrative and change the consciousness. Number four, we must build a stage from which to lift the voices of everyday people impacted by immoral policies, not just people speaking on behalf of them Number five, we must recognize the centrality of race, America’s first and second second reconstruction sought to heal the wound of race based slavery But race is America’s original sin and any issue we’re going to deal with. We have to deal with the centrality of race Number six, we must build a broad, diverse coalition, including moral and religious leaders of all faiths. Number seven, we must intentionally diversify the movement with the goals and winning unlikely allies Number eight, we must build transformative long-term fusion Coalitions rooted in deep relationships with a clear agenda that doesn’t measure success, only about electoral outcomes

Number nine, we must make serious commitment to academic and empirical analysis of policy. We can’t just shout and be loud. We got to be right, we got to know the facts. We got to have a footnote Number ten, we must coordinate and use all forms of social media video text Twitter, Facebook. Everything. Number eleven, we must engage in massive voter registration and education Number twelve, we must pursue a strong legal strategy. Number 13, we must engage the cultural art to teach and to envision a new way And number 14, we must resist the one moment mentality and we must build a movement. We are charged in this moment to go forward and go forward, knowing that we have the power To unleash the power of poor and low wealth. Do you realize? As I close, we talked a lot about what happened in 2016 but nationwide 100 million people didn’t vote. 100 million Poor and low wealth people, however, make up 30% of the electorate. Now that’s 64 million people, poor and low wealth We already know that prior to COVID 43% of the country was poor and low wealth. Since COVID it is over 50%. But 34 million of the poor 64 million poor low wealth people did not vote The very essential workers That Trump and McConnell are hurting in the legislation. Now poor and low wealth people didn’t vote because they’re empathetic We did a study called “Unleashing the Power of Poor and Low Wealth Voters”. And we found a didn’t vote, Number one, because politicians don’t talk about poor and low wealth people. Number two, they can’t get off work and they have transportation needs and number three voter suppression We also found in that study done in 15 states, even in the South if just one to 19% of poor low wealth people voted that didn’t vote last time they could exceed the margin of victory in any race From the governor’s races Senate races, all the way to the President’s. In other words, they could change the outcome of the Presidency and the Senate. Let me name them for you Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Ohio Ohio. Just one to 19% of poor and low wealth people regardless of race, creed, color organized around an agenda can fundamentally shift American politics and can call for a full addressing of these five interlocking and justice So we are the change we are the change and we have charged to be changed, black people, latino, native poor Asian coming together We have the moral and political power to change the moral and political direction of the country. And that’s why in the Poor People’s Campaign, we are building In June this year, June 20 we gather online. We didn’t march in the street because of COVID. But we gathered online and 3 million people joined For a mass Poor People’s Assembly Moral March on Washington. We wanted to challenge the narrative, the mythology that we don’t have the money. We wanted to put a face on the numbers of poverty And we called upon poor and low wealth people, moral allies and their advocates to honor to honor the power they have and to use it And we decided in June, we’re not going to wait anymore Yes, since 2016, we’ve had all these presidential debates, not one of them had dealt with poverty, not one of them and racism. for one hour. 30 minutes. For poor and low wealth people all over this country are saying We no longer are going to wait for you to say our name. We’re going to make you hear us So we’re organizing in Appalachian Mountains of Appalachian Kentucky and West Virginia. We are also organizing in the south lands of Mississippi and Alabama bringing people together from Carolina to the California We’re bringing people together from the Kansas farm lands over to North Carolina. Fast food workers are hooking up with farmers and finding that they are dealing with the same issues that together we must address these five interlocking injustices This is a moment. This is our moment And I know sometimes people get depressed by what they’re seeing now, but let me share with you something as I close right here. Something that would be worse than what we face Justice Taney was forced on to the Supreme Court in the 1850s And Justice Taney became Supreme Court Judge Chief Justice. And he presided over the Dred Scott decision. and the Dred Scott decision was decided in March of 1857 and it said a black man had no rights That a white man had the honor Many people said, that’s it The abolition movement is over, we might as well go somewhere and quit. There’s no need to try anymore

Frederick Douglass was asked to speak in May of 1857 in Rochester, New York about the situation and this is what he said. Listen carefully He says on one view the slaveholders have a decided advantage over all the opposition. It is well to notice that advantage. The advantages of complete organization. They are organized and yet they were not at the pains of creating their organization. The state governments are with them The federal government is with them in slavery. The churches have with them in slavery All of the force of the courts. The Supreme Court is with them in slavery. To the police force is with them. And they’re all pledged to defend and propagate the curse of racism and human bondage. The pen, the purse and the sword are all united. He said that, but that’s one view And then Frederick Douglass said, I thank God this is only one view. There’s another view. It’s a brighter view. He said, David, you remember, looked insignificant and small when he went up against Goliath But looked larger when he stood over Goliath and he laid slain. He went on to say, Let us see the other side. Let us see if they’re not some things, even in this moment, we can cheer And can move our hearts. He said, the Supreme Court of the United States is not the only power in this world. It’s a great power, but the Supreme Court of the Almighty is greater He said Justice Taney can do many things, but he cannot perform impossibilities He cannot build out the oceans. He cannot annihilate the infernal earth. He cannot pluck the silvery star of liberty from our northern sky He may decide and decide, again, but he cannot reverse the decision of the Most High. He cannot change the essential nature of things, making evil good and good evil. Such decisions cannot stand God will be true though every man be a liar We can appeal from this hell black judgment of the Supreme Court to the Court of Common Sense and common humanity And then we can appeal from man to God. If there is no justice on earth yea there is yet justice in Heaven. You may close your Supreme Court against our cry for justice, but you cannot thank God close against Him the ear of a sympathizing world, nor shut up the Court of Heaven. And then he says, as monstrous as it appears We can meet these decisions with a cheerful spirit this very attempt to blot out forever the hopes of an enslaved people May be one necessary link in the chain of events, preparatory to the downfall and complete overthrow of the whole slave system The whole history of the anti slavery movement is studied with proof that all measures devised and executed with the view of ally and to diminish The anti slavery agitation has only served to increase intensify and embolden that agitation, my friends, those of us who know The pain of systemic racism and poverty and ecological devastation of a war economy and racist White Nationalism In a sense, those theories have tried to reject us but like Frederick Douglass says it must instead embolden and intensify our agitation And the rejected all over this world. We’ve come together in a mighty force politically and morally. We have the power To push this nation toward a more perfect union and toward a more genuine democracy. If they didn’t stop being Frederick Douglass didn’t quit in 1857 Mother Jones didn’t stop fighting for Women’s Suffrage in the late 1800s. And Rosa Parks and Ida B. Wells and James Reeb, a white Unitarian And Rabbi Heschel Martin King they face times much worse than us But instead of it, causing them to be depressed it emboldened intensified Their agitation Let it be so with us. Because America to be who she claims to be needs a Third Reconstruction. A Poor People’s Campaign. And a Moral Revival to address the issues of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism The soul of the nation is in the balance But we can change things. We must change And we will Thank you user avatar James Moore Thank you, Reverend Barber for those wonderful remarks Because of the time, we are going to kind of reserve the questions and we will send them. Hopefully you can respond through social media through the 300. but you hit many of the questions through your remarks

For those of you who have to leave. And we do understand Time is sensitive Reverend Barber has a video for those who can who can stay that will last about four minutes And for those of you who have to leave. We thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to be with us for our 22nd year of doing this lecture series And thank you for bringing much wisdom insight and inspiration to all of us today. And now we’re going to take this time to show the video user avatar Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Thank you so much. I hope the president can have my name and number. So I think she’ll give me a call. I’d like to speak to her Somebody give my number user avatar President Kristina Johnson What happens in wall street often doesn’t say a thing about what’s happening on the real streets of America. Everybody has a right to live! user avatar Unknown Speaker The poor people’s campaign a National Call for moral revival has come up with a series of demands. I know that you are here for the same reason we all are here user avatar Unknown Speaker To put our elected officials notice. The pain and the discontent is real. And the demands of our movement, our moral user avatar Unknown Speaker We know what we want to focus on our agenda is clear. We demand an immediate implementation of federal and state living wage laws. We demand user avatar Unknown Speaker The right for all workers user avatar Unknown Speaker To form and join unions user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand user avatar Unknown Speaker Equal Pay user avatar Unknown Speaker for equal work user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand user avatar Unknown Speaker A guaranteed annual income user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand user avatar Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Fully Funded anti poverty programs user avatar Unknown Speaker That protects the welfare of us all user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand. The expansion of Medicaid n every state user avatar Unknown Speaker WE want Single Payer Universal Health Care. Not for some. But for everybody. We demand an immediate restoration of the Voting Rights Act user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand an end to racist, gerrymandering. We want early registration of 17 and 18 year olds. We want registration to vote at age 18 and we can be drafted for war at 18 we ought to be able to vote automatically at 18 user avatar Unknown Speaker Early voting in every state. Same day registration and the enactment of election day as a holiday. We demand a reversal of state laws that prevent municipalities from raising minimum wage user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand an end to mass incarceration and the continuing inequalities of black, brown and poor white people with the criminal justice system. We demand the right to vote for the formerly incarcerated user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand. A clear and just immigration system. This includes providing a timely citizenship process that guarantees the right to vote user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand. The first nation Native American and Alaskan Native people retain their tribal recognition as a nation, not a race user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand. Decent housing user avatar Unknown Speaker We demand user avatar Unknown Speaker Relief from crushing household, student, and consumer debt user avatar Unknown Speaker WE DEMAND. Equity in education. WE DEMAND. An end to the resegregation of schools. We demand free tuition at public colleges and universities and an end to profiteering on student debt user avatar Unknown Speaker WE DEMAND. Equitable funding for historically black colleges and universities. WE DEMAND user avatar Unknown Speaker The repeal user avatar Unknown Speaker Of the 2017 federal tax law user avatar Unknown Speaker And we demand user avatar Unknown Speaker That the wealthy user avatar Unknown Speaker And corporations user avatar Unknown Speaker Pay their fair share user avatar Unknown Speaker WE DEMAND. An end to military aggression and warmongering. We demand a stop to privatization of military budget and any increase in military spending. WE DEMAND a ban on assault rifles and a ban on the easy access of firearms user avatar Unknown Speaker

WE DEMAND an end to federal programs that send military equipment into local and state communities. WE DEMAND that the call to build a wall and the US Mexico border be ceased user avatar Unknown Speaker WE DEMAND a ban on fracking, mountaintop removal, coal mining, coal ash ponds, user avatar Unknown Speaker and offshore drilling. WE DEMAND a ban on all new pipelines, refineries and coal, oil and gas export terminals. We are demanding that we stop the war on our poor user avatar Unknown Speaker Somebody’s hurting my brother, somebody is hurting our sisters user avatar Unknown Speaker And it’s gone on far too long and we won’t be silent anymore. We believe user avatar Unknown Speaker We believe that we can win user avatar Unknown Speaker We believe that we can win user avatar Unknown Speaker We believe that everybody user avatar Unknown Speaker Everybody. Everybody has a right. Has a RIGHT! HAS A RIGHT TO LIVE! TO LIVE! TO LIVE! user avatar Unknown Speaker I want you to know that when hands that once picked cotton join hands of Latinos, join hands of progressive whites, join faith hands, and labor hands and Asian hands, Native American hands and poor hands and wealthy hands user avatar Unknown Speaker with a conscience, gay and straight hands and trans hands and Christian hands and Jewish hands and Muslim hands, and Hindu hands and Buddhist hands! When we get together, we are an instrument of redemption! user avatar Unknown Speaker When join hands user avatar Unknown Speaker We can revive and user avatar Unknown Speaker make sure that the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and equal protection under the law is NEVER taken away from anybody user avatar Unknown Speaker So I gotta a question! Are the rejected ready to revive? And declare that this land is your land! This land is my land! This land is our land! user avatar Unknown Speaker And together from the state house to the White House, the rejected are going to demand that this nation never gives up on being one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all! user avatar James Moore Thank you, Reverend Barber for giving us an absolutely wonderful lecture. Hopefully, this won’t be the last time that you come through. Come back to the Buckeye state We can easily convert you from a Hoosier to a Buckeye user avatar Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II Thank you. Thank you so much it has been such a humbling experience and I pray that what we’ve done. I want to try to send you all the full lecture With footnotes, so that you’ll have it in your archives. And so people can refer to them as we seek to build towards a more genuine democracy. Thank you user avatar James Moore All right. Good night, everyone