November 20, 2020
Visuals include 2,500 lights & wall of remembrance for COVID victims
WHAT: The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival holds a national memorial service — In Their Remembrance: From Mourning to a Moral Mandate — to remember and honor the more than 250,000 Americans who have died of COVID-19. The service will include 2,500 candles for every 100 people lost to the virus and a wall of remembrance where people will be encouraged to leave names, photos and stories of people lost to the virus.
WHO: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign, will lead the service remotely. Rev. Abhi Janamanchi and Rabbi Esther Lederman will record messages for the service, which will be held on the steps of National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.
WHEN: 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on Monday, Nov. 23.
WHERE: National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, D.C. You can also join online at https://vote.poorpeoplescampaign.org
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.
More than 250,000 Americans have died of COVID 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.
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.
Martha Waggoner: firstname.lastname@example.org | 919-295-0802
Zillah Wesley (for DC service details): email@example.com | 202-320-7361