Poor People's Campaign

January 19, 2021

Bishop William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, has accepted the invitation from the Presidential Inaugural Committee to deliver the homily during the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service on Thursday. 

Bishop Barber, who is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach and minister of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, said he is grateful for the invitation from the committee for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Bishop Barber, who also is a visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, accepted the invitation as a servant of God and on behalf of the over 140 million poor and low-income people in the country, who have built a movement to call the nation to love, justice and mercy. 

The Scriptures clearly tell us — and even our Constitution makes clear — that repairing, rebuilding, renewing, and reviving a nation are possible if we make certain moral policy choices rooted in our deepest religious and constitutional values to address the pain and mourning people are experiencing,” Bishop Barber said. “This moment is not about liberals, conservatives  or centrists. It is a moment calling for a Third Reconstruction of our nation through love, justice, truth telling, and leadership with a comprehensive moral agenda.”

The virtual event begins at 10 a.m. Thursday and will be livestreamed at  https://bideninaugural.org/watch and https://cathedral.org/event/national-prayer-service/ with closed captioning and ASL provided. 

The interfaith service, which dates to the first inauguration of President George Washington, will be virtual this year because of the pandemic. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who will have been sworn in as president and vice president the day before, will join the event hosted by the Washington National Cathedral. 

The committee said the diverse program will include prayers, readings, blessings and hymns from interfaith leaders, celebrated artists and other inspiring voices. 

BACKGROUND: Nationally, more than 140 million poor and low-income people live in the United States, or 43% of the country’s population, and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, with organizing committees in 45 states, is building a moral fusion movement to address the five interlocking injustices of systemic racism, systemic poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism and a distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our demands are reflected in our Jubilee Platform.  We also have listed 14 Policy Priorities for the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration and the new Congress. 

Martha Waggoner: [email protected] | 919-295-0802