Reverend Barber and the AFSC
We recently had the honor of getting to share some of our songs at the American Friends Service Committee 99th annual meeting. The AFSC is a Quaker organization that translates faith into action and has worked tirelessly throughout history to promote social justice and peace. The honor was especially profound because we got to open up the night before a powerful speech by Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II.
Dr. Barber spoke on the arc of race, politics and economics in our country's history and shared his belief that we are in the middle of the 3rd reconstruction. The reverend cautioned that we need to be mindful of the progress and rollback associated with the first two reconstructions (the 2nd being the gains of the Civil Rights movement) lest forces in opposition to the building of a fairer America stop this rebirth of a movement before it can come to fruition.
Dr. Barber spoke of the echoes of the past in the political present and the historic precursors of the populism we see harnessed for divergent ends again today in the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The Reverend shared his conviction that moral unity is a powerful force for equity and justice which is already bringing together countless individuals who in the past have been divided along the lines of race, class, religion and social values. Again. The momentum is building for deep positive change, and with each reconstruction that change becomes more enduring.
Faith in our potential to transform the nation. Struggle grounded in love, equality and a keen awareness of history.