Power to the POOR People

A couple weeks ago, hundreds gathered in Washington, DC at the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival's Congress. This event was hosted and broadcasted by MSNBC. Day one consisted of a forum where a number of democratic presidential candidates were questioned regarding the interlocking injustices of the campaign. Later in the evening, the campaign also introduced a moral budget, which they plan to present to the House. Day two was full of fellowship, information, workshops, and organizing. Day three concluded the event with a prominent focus on the Budget Hearing, in which representatives from the campaign would share their stories of poverty and introduce the moral budget to combat poverty.

"God did not make us poor. Greed, abuse, and power made us poor."

- Rev. Dr. William Barber II testifying before the House Budget Committee

- Photo courtesy of "The Action Network"

Now, three days worth of information in only one post, without boring you, would be quite difficult, so I will simply share some highlights:

  • The Presidential Forum - Although I was not particularly impressed by a number of the candidates, there was a lot that was confronted through questions asked, such as indigenous people's land rights, increasing the minimum wage, the myth of scarcity, and the impacts of militarism. A young girl even asked why there are needles in her school, a blatant reference to the opioid epidemic.
  • The workshops - I attended two workshops: one on youth organizing and another on healthcare and welfare. The youth workshop allowed me to meet youth who were active in their schools and activists who had special interests in helping the youth become leaders in the cause. The second workshop, on healthcare, was more imperative because I knew less about it. I learned about Pennsylvania, the state where I now reside, and the issues they are having with access to healthcare. I definitely took a lot away!
  • The House Budget Hearing - It was amazing to sit in a room with hundreds of people fighting the same fight and watching progress unfold. We reacted together, made side comments together, and chanted together. Although a number of representatives missed the point, I was proud of our commitment and what we accomplished. It was enlightening to be a part of this campaign.
  • The connections - I met a number of people of all ages, areas, and organizations. I had engaging conversations about my work and had the opportunity to see what others were doing. These exchanges motivated me to go back home and put in work for the campaign!

- Photo courtesy of "The Action Network"

As I transition back into my normal work, I still remember the information and skills I learned. I remember the importance of intersecting these injustices, not seeing them as separate issues, as they are all connected.

Thank you OEP for allowing me to represent you at the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival's Congress. I am proud to know that you partner with such an important, necessary, and powerful campaign.

- Alyssa Parker, Racial Justice Organizing Intern


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