2016 Friday Opening Celebration
EAD 2016 began with a welcome and remarks from key leaders of EAD and the broader worldwide ecumenical movement followed by a rousing sermon by Rev. Dr. William Barber.
- Rev. John McCullough, President & CEO, Church World Service
- Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF, Director of Advocacy & Member Relations, Franciscan Action Network
- Douglas G. Grace, M.Div., S.T.M., Director, Ecumenical Advocacy Days
Rev. Dr. William Barber, President, North Carolina NAACP & Convener, Forward Together Moral Movement
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II serves as President of the North Carolina NAACP and convener of the Forward Together Moral Movement, an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations in North Carolina. Rev. Dr. Barber and this coalition have been at the forefront of justice work in the state and have inspired organizing on a national level.
The Forward Together Moral Movement, better known as “Moral Monday,” is a multi-racial, multi-generational movement to battle immoral, extreme policies adopted by the governor and state legislature. These wrongs include draconian cuts to public education, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits. They also encompass attacks on labor rights, voting rights, women’s rights, the environment, and immigrants. Moral Monday rallies have engaged thousands of North Carolinians throughout the state. Since the first Moral Monday rally on April 29, 2013, over 1000 people have been arrested in non-violent civil disobedience.
On February 8, 2014, a crowd estimated by USA Today at 80,000 participated in the Mass Moral March on Raleigh, the largest march of its kind in the South since Selma 1965. The North Carolina NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement are now engaged in litigation to reverse the worst voter suppression laws in the country.
Rev. Dr. Barber is the 2015 recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Chair’s Phoenix Award presented at the 45th Annual Legislative Conference. Rev. Barber also is the 2015 recipient of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR Freedom of Worship Award presented by Roosevelt Institute.
Barber graduated from North Carolina Central University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University. He earned his doctoral degree from Drew University. Barber is a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and serves as the National NAACP Chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee. Dr. Barber served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Human Relations Commission and has taught at Duke Divinity School, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina Wesleyan College. He is a Mel King Community Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has lectured at the Harvard School of Government, and recently completed a sabbatical fellowship at Union Theological Seminary.
Barber is the author of three books: Forward Together: A Moral Vision for the Nation, Preaching Through Unexpected Pain, and The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement, forthcoming in January 2016 with Beacon Press.
Rev. Dr. Barber lives in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he has pastored Greenleaf Christian Church for 24 years. In 1995, his modest congregation invested $1.5 million into community development, which has since resulted in more than $12 million of development, with sixty homes for low to moderate income families, a 41-unit senior citizens’ home, and a 90-student pre-school academy.
ELCA Glocal Musicians
Music and worship leadership during this year’s EAD National Gathering is provided by the Glocal Musicians of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The musicians were formed by the Global Formation Team in ELCA Global Mission to provide musical leadership for the Glocal Gatherings hosted by congregations and other Christian communities throughout North America and the Caribbean. Through its intentional diversity—including representation from many countries, denominations, and several cultures—the group embodies ways to stand in mutual solidarity while amplifying marginalized voices.
In addition to offering musical worship that includes global voices, the musicians are committed to forming local leaders seeking to introduce global themes in their communities. The songs they teach are grounded in the community stories that raise awareness and inspire advocacy. The musicians embody what it means to be “Glocal”—simultaneously global and local—so we can accompany one another across cultures, even in our own neighborhoods.