Bishop Barber to deliver message to America at National Cathedral: ‘We must refuse to accept death anymore’
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Social justice leader Bishop William J. Barber II will preach Sunday at the Washington National Cathedral on the nation’s history of ignoring the deaths of certain people, especially those who are poor or low-income and people of color.
Bishop Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will preach “America! Accepting Death Is Not an Option Anymore” on Sunday, June 14. Worshippers are not allowed into the cathedral at this time, but the sermon will be live-streamed.
“As we deal with the on-camera murder of George Floyd by racist policing, we must also recognize many public policies have an ugly ‘DM’— death measurement,” Bishop Barber said. “When we look at their impact, these policies disproportionately kill black people and poor people. We must demand that inequalities be addressed by new policies. We must refuse to accept death anymore.”
This marks Bishop Barber’s first trip outside North Carolina since the state first issued stay-at-home orders to protect people from the pandemic. He previously delivered a sermon at the National Cathedral on June 3, 2018, which was published by Workman Publishing on June 9th as “We Are Called To Be A Movement.”
Bishop Barber is delivering the sermon as protests have engulfed the nation over the murder of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day after a Minneapolis police officer held his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The video of the life draining from Mr. Floyd’s body as he cried “I can’t breathe” has enraged a country already straining from the deaths of other African Americans at the hands of white people and from the over 110,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19, which has disproportionately infected and killed black people.
As co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, Barber will preach a vision for building a coalition for transformative change in American public life through a digital Mass Poor People’s Assembly on Saturday, June 20, sponsored by the broadest coalition of national and grassroots justice organizations to come together since a historic wave of protests erupted two weeks ago.
The sermon will be live-streamed at http://www.breachrepairers.org/livestream
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On the ground
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Repairers of the Breach is a nonpartisan not-for-profit organization that seeks to build a moral agenda rooted in a framework that uplifts our deepest moral and constitutional values to redeem the heart and soul of our country. It was founded in 2015 by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II as a way to organize, train, and work with a diverse school of prophets from every U.S. state and the District of Columbia.
The Poor People’s Campaign: A national call for moral revival, is building a generationally transformative digital gathering called the Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington, on June 20, 2020. At that assembly, we will 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 by implementing our Moral Agenda