Chalice Press to Publish New Book by “Forward Together-Moral Mondays” Movement Architect Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (St. Louis, April 11, 2014) – Chalice Press has signed Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and architect of North Carolina’s “Forward Together-Moral Mondays” movement, to write a book to be published this fall.
Last summer, after seven years of grassroots organizing, “Moral Mondays” grabbed the nation’s attention as thousands protested North Carolina’s General Assembly in Raleigh in support of the poor, voting rights, health care, immigrant rights, and other issues. Over 13 consecutive weeks, the protests against legislative extremism resulted in the arrests of nearly 1,000 people, making it one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in U.S. history. As thousands more gathered in support each Monday, Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, became widely recognized as the leader of a new civil rights movement in the South. More than 100 “Moral Monday” connected events have since taken place, and the spirit of the movement has spread to Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and New York. This reflection on the movement’s beginnings introduces Barber, the sources of his courage from both a biblical imagination for justice and a deep connection to “fusion” civil rights history, and the inspiring story of the Southern freedom movement’s revival.
Barber invites readers into a big-tent, faith-based movement for justice that has room for black, white, and brown, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young, Republicans and Democrats, people from all walks of life. Offering his unique analysis of what he has called the “Third Reconstruction,” Barber locates North Carolina’s struggle in the spiritual and political landscape of 21st-century America. With civil rights and social justice battles with a deep moral narrative, particularly in southern statehouses that then move to federal courts on appeal, what happens in North Carolina can shift the center of gravity in political discourse, debate, and decision—and thereby change the nation.
“Messages of moral dissent are designed not to just be spoken and heard but to shape the prophetic consciousness of a movement and of society,” says Barber. “The prophetic voice rises when government systems and sometimes even religious systems have abdicated their responsibility to the least of these. When the forces of extremism have become so overwhelming and have depressed the hope of the people, the prophetic voice and mission is to connect words and actions in ways that build restorative hope so that there can be a movement for restorative justice. So this book is an attempt to capture the practice of ‘preaching’ in the public square, which is where prophetic inquiry and critique must function.”
Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, 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. Barber’s full bio is available at www.greenleafchristiandoc.org
View a short video of Barber
“We are so honored to be working with Dr. Barber to bring this important book to everyone,” Chalice Press President and Publisher Brad Lyons says. “His message for how the world could be inspires across all the lines we’ve drawn in our society. This is a crucial time, a historic time, for civil rights of all kinds in America, and we believe Dr. Barber’s book will be a new manifesto for the civil rights movement. We’re humbled by the opportunity to be part of this historic transformation.”
Chalice Press is an imprint of the Christian Board of Publication, an ecumenical ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) based in St. Louis, Missouri. CBP’s mission is to publish resources inviting all people into deeper relationship with God, equipping them as disciples of Jesus Christ, and sending them into ministries as the Holy Spirit calls them. You can visit Chalice Press online at: http://www.chalicepress.com.