In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others called for a “revolution of values” in America. They sought to build a broad, fusion movement that could unite poor and impacted communities across the country. Their name was a direct cry from the underside of history: The Poor People’s Campaign.
Today, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival has picked up this unfinished work. From Alaska to Arkansas, the Bronx to the border, people are coming together to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. We understand that as a nation we are at a critical juncture — that we need a movement that will shift the moral narrative, impact policies and elections at every level of government, and build lasting power for poor and impacted people.
During the summer of 2018, from Mother’s Day to the Summer Solstice, poor people and moral witnesses in 40 states committed themselves to a season of direct action to launch the Campaign. What ensued was the most expansive wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in the 21st century United States. More than a series of rallies and actions, a new organism of state-based movements was born. Now, in over 40 states, the groundwork for a mass poor people’s movement is emerging.
In June 2019, we convened over 1,000 community leaders in Washington, D.C. for the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress, which included the largest presidential candidates’ forum of the pre-debate season, the release of our Poor People’s Moral Budget, and a hearing before the House Budget Committee on the issues facing the 140 million poor and low-income people in the nation. Over the next nine months, we embarked on a 25+ state We Must Do M.O.R.E. Tour (Mobilize, Organize, Register, and Educate), which led toward an unprecedented Digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington on June 20, 2020.
In the summer and fall of 2020, we will demonstrate the power of poor people to be agents of change in not just one election, but at the very heart of this democracy. In this time of significant danger and real possibility, a moral fusion movement is necessary to revive and advance our most precious Constitutional and moral values. But this can only happen if those who are impacted link up with other moral leaders and people of conscience to break through the silos of our work and the divisions that have been wrought in our communities.
In the coming year, our ranks will increase as we broaden our efforts and stretch the banner of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival even wider. We rise together because:
If you believe it’s time to rise, join us!