November 18, 2020
Visuals include putting signs and memorials on cars and caravans around state Capitols
WHAT: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival will organize Moral Monday caravans to mourn the nearly quarter-million Americans who have died from COVID-19, demand a smooth and open transition of power and lift up the moral policies we need immediately and in the first days of the new administration. After the caravan, a national service of eulogy and remembrance for those who have died from COVID will be held on the steps of National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle, Washington, D.C. Jewish, Hindu and Christian clergy will lead a call to action for a just agenda with 2,500 candles to represent those who have died.
WHO: The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, will lead the service remotely along with two other faith leaders on site in Washington, D.C. and protesters in their cars in 24 state capitals.
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. PT Monday, Nov. 23. The national service of eulogy will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern with Rev. Barber.
WHERE: Participating states include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
You can also join online at https://vote.poorpeoplescampaign.org to hear reports from each participating state capital. An online mourning wall for COVID-19 victims and a petition demanding short- and long-term action from the White House and Congress will be shared on the website in the days before the caravans.
WHY: This Thanksgiving, a day already marked by many Indigenous people as a day of mourning, families across the country will remember and mourn the loss of loved ones who have died from COVID-19 and poverty. Millions of poor and low-income households also face mounting bills, evictions and hunger after months of unemployment, cuts in wages and the government’s failure to pass a comprehensive COVID-relief package.
The COVID-19 crisis feeds on the fissures of inequality already felt by the 140 million people who were living in poverty before the pandemic, or who were one emergency away from poverty.
We are now approaching 250,000 deaths while millions remain without health care. Thirty million workers have lost their jobs or significant hours of work, and nearly every state is facing sharp drops in revenue that will threaten even more cuts to essential social programs and jobs. The U.S. economy remains deeply depressed and, as Federal Reserve Chair Powell warns, may never return to “normal” — the greatest impact of further economic shifts will be on low-wage workers and others deemed “essential,” but who are still unable to afford all the essentials of life.
Ending the suffering of our families and communities is a moral mandate to all who are tasked with governance now and in the new year. Calls for cooperation cannot compromise with injustice.
Our political leaders must reject a politics of austerity and meet their commitment to visionary policies that address human needs and cultivate human capacities. They must overcome the divisions caused by hunger, poverty and racism in the richest country in the world. America must direct its resources and creativity towards the poor and most marginalized rather than lobbyists, insurance companies, financial institutions, pharmaceutical companies, and wealthy corporations.
**The event will be ASL interpreted, Spanish-language interpreted and captioned.
BACKGROUND: 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 43 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.
CONTACT: Martha Waggoner: [email protected]