Listen Up 2016 Candidates: This Multifaith Movement Has Something To Say

And it has nothing to do with Left vs. Right

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  1. As one half of America's political elite gathered in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, a congregation of everyday folks sat in pews at the Friend's Center down the street.
  2. It was a hot summer night, but that didn't keep the room from filling with people across the spectrum of racial and religious identities, welcomed by the voices of a multifaith choir led by the Forward Together Movement's Theo-Musicologist, Yara Allen.
  3. What could motivate such a diverse local crowd to gather away from the national political spectacle down the street?
  4. Only a growing, intersectional movement that started in North Carolina as Moral Mondays led by the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, spreading across the country through the #MoralRevival tour. The movement's demands have resonated with thousands of people of faith, and those without a faith practice, who believe that it is our country's moral obligation to repair the breaches caused by centuries-old systems of racial and gender inequality.
  5. In each state, clergy, including the Reverends William Barber II, James Forbes, Traci Blackmon, and Sr. Simone Campbell, lead revival services and hear testimony from people who have been impacted and hurt by regressive policies. Prior to the revivals, the leadership team trains hundreds of faith and moral leaders in each state to strengthen local and state activism from the bottom up. Then, local faith leaders, citizens, and persons impacted and hurt by regressive policies are invited to participate in direct actions in their state capitals during three Mondays in September, and sign on to the Higher Ground Moral Declarationcalling on our political system to rise above hatred, fear, and left and right politics, in order to reach our highest values of love and justice.
  6. The truth tellers that night in Philly spoke of the corruption of our justice system that leads to the incarceration of poor and minority communities; of pollution, climate change, and fiscal irresponsibility that threatens our children's future; the struggle of families and individuals supporting themselves on poverty wages; and our nation's shameful negligence of veterans in need.
  7. The attentive crowd was moved by each personal story – especially Donald Myers', who has organized locally against Stop and Frisk programs and spoke with powerful emotion about the need to tell his 10-year-old son what to do if he's ever stopped by the police. Check out photos from the event here.
  8. "Son, Listen to Their Commands and Don't Move Too Fast" | Donald Myers
  9. The next day, clergy and activists spoke to the media before marching together to the DNC offices to deliver their moral agenda, which has now been signed by over 10,000 multifaith lay people and clergy. Just a week earlier, clergy had been turned away and nearly arrested for attempting to deliver the same document in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention.
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  11. A few days later, on the last day of the DNC, Rev. Barber was invited to speak at the convention – filled with the spirit, his nonpartisan message of love and justice reached the heart of millions of viewers across the country.
  12. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II Speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention
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