Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation

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Chalice Press, Oct 30, 2014 - Religion - 192 pages
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In the spring of 2013, seventeen people gathered at the North Carolina state legislature to protest extreme legislation passed by the General Assembly attacking health insurance, unemployment insurance, labor, and voting rights. The ministers, labor, and human rights activists began praying, singing, and chanting, and were ultimately arrested. That group grew into crowds of thousands at successive "Moral Mondays" rallies, and by summer's end nearly 1,000 people had been arrested, making this sustained moral protest one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in U.S. history. The effort grew out of seven years of organizing with more than 160 groups. Rallies continued in 2014, with a "Moral March" of 80,000 people in February. Rev. Dr. William Barber II, a pastor and president of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP, now the largest in the South, became one of the architects of the Forward Together Moral Movement. In a new book, Forward Together, Rev. Barber tells the story of a new fusion civil rights movement, a "big tent," in which black and white, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young, Republicans and Democrats are all welcome. Rev. Barber's sermons/speeches at the protests, many of them collected in Forward Together, became the inspiration and rallying cry for a new civil rights movement. North Carolina today is at the epicenter of the political and spiritual crisis affecting 21st-century America. What happens here, says Barber, can shift the center of gravity in the American political discourse. Similar movements are now growing in states around the country. Forward Together captures the essence of what it means to preach in the public square.
 

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Contents

Introduction to the Forward Together Moral Movement and Moral Monday Rallies
1
The Need to Know Who We Are in Times Like These
7
Witness Against Extremism
20
Healthcare
26
Equal Protection under the Law
32
Education Economic Justice and Voting Rights
41
Labor Women and Economic Justice
61
United for Women
68
A Look Back
120
Coming Together to Go Beyond
133
Chapter 13 Beyond Protest to Voter Mobilization
150
Chapter 14 Lessons from the Movement
158
Epilogue
162
Acknowledgments
165
Notes
169
Index
171

This Is the Day
79
Taking the Dream Home
91
The Call to Higher Ground
103
Rev Dr William J Barber II
177
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, NC, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and a member of the National NAACP Board. As a full-time pastor, he has given countless volunteer hours to civil rights and movement building, because of his conviction that there is no real worship without a commitment to justice and social change. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, and numerous other publications, and has spoken, preached and lectured around the country. His father, William J. Barber I, published The Disciples Assemblies of Eastern North Carolina in 1966 with the Christian Board of Publication, Chalice Press' parent corporation. Barbara Zelter has decades of experience as a community organizer and policy activist in North Carolina. A professional editor and member of the North Carolina NAACP, she currently teaches in the Social Work Department of North Carolina State University.