Major Plenary Speakers Announced for EAD 2016

February 18, 2016

WASHINGTON — February 17, 2016 — Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that “Moral Monday” founder, The Rev. Dr. William Barber, will join The Children’s Defense Fund founder, Marian Wright Edelman, and IMA Word Health executive, The Rev. Amy Gopp, as keynote speakers for EAD’s national gathering, April 15-18, 2016.  The title of the gathering is “Lift Every Voice: Racism, Class and Power.”

Dr. Barber will serve as the Friday Opening Celebration keynote preacher, Wright Edelman will make a luncheon presentation on Saturday titled “The Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” and Rev. Gopp will serve as the Sunday Interdenominational Worship preacher.  See EAD’s complete slate of worship and plenary speakers.

Each speaker is charged with the interpretation of this year’s guiding scripture, Luke 18:1-8, in relation to the gathering’s theme that reads in part: “In a major U.S. election year when lives, votes and the global economy are at stake, followers of Christ ask, ‘Who has a voice?’ The response is, ‘Everyone!’  But in our neighborhoods, cities, and around the world, the voices of too many people are silenced. For generations in this country, social, economic, corporate and political powers have colluded to reduce and eliminate access to voting. Historically, systemic injustice has been carried out through poll taxes, unreasonable and egregious voter requirements and violent opposition to calls for justice and change. Today, we are experiencing injustice through not only an attempt for voter suppression, but police brutality, detention and mass incarceration. In the U.S. and around the world, communities whose health, water, air and land are threatened by corporate greed, voices for justice are often curbed through extreme violence, intimidation and murder.”

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. Read more about Dr. Barber.

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