Poor People's Campaign

Congressional briefing to follow sermons delivered on the 168th anniversary of abolitionist’s speech  “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

June 30, 2020

Preachers, rabbis and imams from across the country will speak with a unified voice this weekend when they call for support of a legislative agenda designed to heal a country besieged by the three pandemics of COVID-19, systemic racism and systemic poverty.

The denominations are also announcing a massive voter registration drive aimed at impacting elections at local, state and national levels around a unified policy agenda. 

The initiative is led by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which recently held a digital justice poor people’s assembly that attracted more than 2.5 million viewers on Facebook alone, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, based in Chicago. 

On Saturday and Sunday, clergy from across the country will deliver sermons based on Frederick Douglass’ speech on July 5, 1852, titled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

The clergy will urge their congressional representatives and senators to listen to their sermons and address systemic racism and issue a call to support the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform. It’s the first comprehensive legislative agenda since the outbreak of COVID-19 19 and the unrest sparked by the George Floyd lynchings, designed to heal the country from the three pandemics of systemic racism, poverty and the pandemic. 

The day of sermons will be followed by a briefing for Congress on the specific policy demands. 

The Poor People’s Campaign is led by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of Repairers of the Breach, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice in New York City. 


Contact: Martha Waggoner | mwaggoner@breachrepairers.org  | 919-295-0802


The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral  Revival, is building a broad and deep moral fusion movement rooted in the leadership of poor people to unite our country from the bottom up. We demand that both major political parties address the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Our updated agenda, the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform, addresses these issues.


The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference represents a cross-section of progressive African American faith leaders and their congregations in the U.S. Its mission is to nurture, sustain and mobilize the African American faith community in collaboration with civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human rights and social justice within local, national, and global communities.