March 29, 2021
WHAT: On this Maundy Thursday commemorating the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival calls on Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Capito to join Bishop William J. Barber II in washing the feet of poor and low-income people in West Virginia. These are the same people who need $15/hour and a federal voting rights law, both of which benefit if the Senate ends the filibuster. We challenge Sens. Manchin and Capito to hear directly from these poor and low-income constituents in a socially distanced environment.
WHO: Bishop William J. Barber II, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival who was invited by the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign to join this program in Charleston. Also participating are local clergy and poor and low-income people, including janitorial worker Kris Kincaid from Beckley and Pam Garrison of Fayette County, a tri-chair of the West Virginia PPC.
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT Thursday, April 1
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of West Virginia, 520 Kanawha Blvd, Charleston, WVa. Parking is available on the street or at Grace Bible Church, 600 Kanawha Blvd W. Also online at https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/livestream/
WHY: Healing the nation must start with washing off the injustices of voter suppression, racism, poverty and the Senate filibuster. America needs a new heart and a new kind of caring. The people of West Virginia say: We won’t be silent. We must stand for voting rights and living wages and against voter suppression and the racist and classist filibuster, which protects corporations and the rich. Filibuster means “to talk to death,” and that’s what happens to legislation that lifts from the bottom up: It is talked to death on the Senate floor. Fifty-five percent of poor and low-income people voted for the Biden/Harris ticket in 2020, and they won’t be silent as the powerful minority robs the majority of justice.
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, and 250,000 die each year from poverty. Among those 140 million people are: 52.2% or 39 million children (below 18); 41.9% or 21 million elders (above 65); 42.6% or 65.8 million men; 45% or 74.2 million women; 60.4% or 26 million Black people; 64.1% or 38 million Latinx people; 40.8% or 8 million Asian people; 58.9% or 2.14 million Native/Indigenous people; 33.5% or 66 million white people. 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.