Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Carey McDonald, UUA Executive Vice President, speaks at the Massachusetts Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival Truth

Mass Poor People’s and Low Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington

Join the Mass Poor People’s and Low Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington & to the Polls on June 18th in Washington, DC and Online. Sign up on UU Registration.

Get connected! SIGN UP for UUA Poor People's Campaign News. Join the UUs & the Poor People's Campaign Facebook Group.

The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.

The Unitarian Universalist Association is an official endorser and faith partner of the Campaign because we align with the goals, strategies, and tactics that strengthen multi-faith and partner relationships and coalitions, deepen our own faith, and help build a transformative movement for justice.

UUA Appoints Poor People's Campaign Leadership Council

In March 2020 the UUA brought together the newly established UUA Poor People’s Campaign Leadership Council co-chaired by UU ministers Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson of Palomar UU Fellowship in Vista, CA and Rev. Abhi Janamanchi of Cedar Lane UU in Bethesda, MD. UUA President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, in consultation with the UUA Organizing Strategy Team, invited eight UU clergy and leaders to serve as liaisons to the campaign by representing the UUA at key events, speaking to the media on behalf of the UUA, advising the UUA about participation in the campaign and organizing UU participation.

In addition to the co-chairs, the other members are: Rev. Amy Williams Clark at Cedarhurst Unitarian Universalists Finksburg, MD, Pablo DeJesús, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ), Washington, DC, Rev. Jodi Cohen Hayashida at First Universalist Church of Auburn, ME, Rev. Edith Love of the Church of Resistance, Memphis TN, Rev. Rose Schwab of Shawnee Mission UU Church of Kansas City, KS, and Rev. Robin Tanner, Minister of Worship and Outreach at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, NJ (and former National Faith Organizer of the Poor People's Campaign).

Susan Leslie, Side with Love UUA Organizing Strategy Team Coalitions & Partnerships Organizer serves as staff liaison to the Council and to the Poor People's Campaign.

UUs and the Poor People's Campaign

The UUA Poor People’s Campaign Leadership Council is organizing for the Moral Monday March on Washington on Dec. 13th.  Our message: Tell the Senate that Recess Can Wait, Our Democracy and Our Communities Can't! We need them to pass Build Back Better and voting rights legislation now! Sign up at the UUA Side with Love Action Center to join the UU Contingent at the Moral March. UUA President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray will be speaking at the Moral March Rally!

2022 Upcoming Events:

Mark your calendar! June 18 Mass Poor Peoples Assembly and Moral March on Washington.

Other national events and state campaigns are listed on the Poor People's Campaign website and PPC Facebook page.

The UUA PPC Leadership Council kicked off 2021 with a UU the Vote phone bank to Georgia on Sunday, January 3rd from 4-6 pm ET/1-3 PT. Co-Chairs Rev. Beth Johnson and Rev. Abhi Janamanchi and the other Members of the Council, along with UUs for Social Justice (UUSJ), hosted this event attended by hundreds of UUs who made calls to Georgia voters.

In 2020 throughout the pandemic the Council has worked with the Campaign on the national and state levels to deliver relief to the most impacted communities.

  • The June 20, 2020 Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington was held virtually and attended by UUs from around the country. See Overview of the June 20, 2020 events and why we act.
  • On June 14, 2020 The UUA Poor People's Campaign Leadership Council and the Church of the Larger Fellowship held a virtual worship service called Everybody's Got a Right to Live: Poor People's Campaign Worship Service. Watch the Everybody's Got a Right to Live video (YouTube).
  • The M.O.R.E. (Mobilize, Organize, Register & Educate) Bus Tours leading up to the Poor People's June Assembly were converted to Digital Mass Meetings held on April 30th and May 28th. UUs invited family, friends and colleagues to watch parties.The April 30th events focused on Poverty Amidst Pandemic: Everybody’s Got A Right to Live Digital Mass Meeting, featuring testifiers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. During the mass meeting, attendees were asked to commit to shine a light on poverty by lighting a candle in remembrance of those who have died from COVID-19 and poverty.
  • The Poor People’s Campaign and Move On joined together to organize a Moral Response to COVID 19 collecting signatures on petitions to Congress and the President demanding a comprehensive relief package.
  • The Campaign also created multi-faith resources for congregational worship services and gatherings including the Poverty Amidst Plenty Pandemic Litany. This litany is the Campaign's moral statement and response to this pandemic. It can be read in religious services, organizing events, and shared widely. Watch a video version of Co-Chairs Rev. Dr. William Barber, Rev. Liz Theoharis and other campaign leaders from across the country reading the Litany.

In 2019 UUs joined the UUs joined The Poor People's Moral Action Congress and the PPC's National Emergency Truth & Poverty Bus Tour! UUA Executive Vice President Carey McDonald and Susan Leslie- UUA Congregational Advocacy & Witness Director, joined the Boston tour on April 28th. See photos on our UUA Google album.

The UUA and UUs around the country were part of the Poor People's Campaign launch in 2018. See the UU World Media Round-Up.

UUA join Poor Peoples Campaign to address violence through policies that abandon LGBTQ youth.

In 2017, UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray announced the UUA's support of the Poor People's Campaign.

About the Poor People's Campaign

  • The goal of the Poor People’s Campaign is to build powerful state-based coalitions that can generate a moral movement across the country, shift the distorted national narrative of who and what matters with prophetic truth-telling and direct action, and ultimately transform the political, economic, and moral structures of our society. The campaign has an intersectional lens, addressing the plight of over 45 million people in the US who live in poverty, (and 100 million more who struggle economically) and confronting white supremacy, environmental destruction, voter suppression, mass incarceration and deportation, and militarism.
  • An escalated response to the extreme times we are living is needed—coordinated non-violent moral fusion direct action for 40 days of over 38,000 people of faith and conscience in 38 state capitals and in Washington, DC—with a set of demands that cannot be ignored.
  •  Following the season of action, massive voter registration and Get-Out-the Vote drives were organized through the mid-term elections. Specific national and state organizing campaigns will came together in 2019 through 2020 for electoral and justice organizing. Get ready for 2022!

The Third Reconstruction How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear

By William J. Barber II, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

From Beacon Press

The 2016-17 UUA Common Read A modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America's racial divide.

Buy This Book

The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March on Washington is going digital! On June 20th, we will hold the largest digital and social media gathering of poor and low-wealth people, moral and religious leaders, advocates, and people of conscience in this nation’s history. A global pandemic is exposing even more the already existing crisis of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. On June 20, the 140 million poor and low-wealth people across this nation will be heard!

Learn more and RSVP

Ohio #PoorPeoplesCampaign coordinating committee is getting ready to start Unity Press Conference.

Ohio #PoorPeoplesCampaign coordinating committee before the start of the Unity Press Conference, February 5, 2018.

UUA Co-Moderator Elandria Williams (second from left) representing the UUA at the Poor People’s Campaign national press conference for the release of The Souls of Poor Folks audit along with representatives from Fight for Fifteen, Repairers of the Breach, and the Institute for Policy Studies.

See Facebook post

April 2020:

Trump and other extremists are again calling to “reopen the country.” Over the past week, many states have begun to ease restrictions on stay in place orders. These plans to reopen the economy show no regard for human life and are prioritizing the greed and profit of the few over the health of the majority. We cannot be silent as poor and marginalized people are disproportionately hurt by these policies.

This moment calls for all people of conscience to come together to call for moral noncooperation, to stay in place, stay alive and organize, organize, organize!

Poor People’s Campaign: Stay in Place, Stay Alive, ORGANIZE: A Call for Moral Non-Cooperation (PDF)