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Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

Created Mar 07, 2014

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II

President of the NC NAACP and Architect of the Forward Together Movement more

Pastor Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Goldsboro
*President of N.C. Conference of 100 adult, youth and student NAACP branches in the largest State Conference in the South
*Architect of the Moral Monday-Forward Together Movement.
*Convener of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Coalition
*Chair of the Political Action Committee of the National NAACP Board
*MSNBC's Grio 100 - 100 People Making History - 2013

Dr. Barber was born in Indianapolis two days after the 1963 March on Washington. His parents moved him from Indiana's integrated kindergartens to the segregated kindergartens in his father's black belt home in Washington County, a conscious act to desegregate NC's dual school systems. His father was one of the first black teachers of science/math and his mother was the first black office manager in a Washington County high school. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science and public administration at NC Central University; his master's from Duke; and his doctorate from Drew University in public policy and pastoral care.

In 2005 Rev. Barber was elected President of the NC NAACP. He quickly began the difficult job of transforming it into one of the largest membership-based progressive organizations in the state. In 2006 he gathered leaders of 16 progressive NC organizations to hammer out a 14-Point People's Agenda; in February 2007 he convened the first Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly to approve the Agenda and post it in front of the NC General Assembly on Jones Street. The original sweet 16 has now grown to over 200 partners.

After extremist lawmakers came to power in the North Carolina General Assembly in the 2010 and 2012 elections, Rev. Dr. Barber, the NC NAACP, and the Forward Together Moral Movement that had been building for eight years, was ready to challenge these harsh policies that discriminated against the state's most vulnerable populations, including the poor, people of color, the elderly, the uninsured and women.

In late April 2013 Rev. Barber, with 16 other ministers and activists, peacefully petitioned their representatives on Jones Street to stop the regressive attack. The General Assembly leaders had their police arrest the peaceful moral witnesses. Almost twice as many witnesses came the next Monday, and they too were thrown in jail. For 12 Mondays, the number of arrests grew and the number of supporters who came to sing, pray and cheer them on grew. By the end of the legislative session, 944 people had been arrested and about 25,000 people had participated in the Moral Mondays. Upwards of 80,000 people participated in the 8th HKonJ Moral March on Raleigh in early 2014, the largest civil rights march ever in the south since Selma.