The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
“Dismantling American Racism: Past & Present” (with Taylor Branch)
Location: Campion Ballroom
Time: Afternoon Keynote: 4:30 p.m.-5:45 p.m.
Themes: Cross-Cultural and Global Understanding, Social Justice
Description of Presentation
The afternoon keynoters represent a one-of-a-kind conversation between a celebrated academic and a dynamic social activist about the challenge of racism and inclusion in society at this tumultuous time. Taylor Branch, the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for his history of the Civil Rights movement and Martin Luther King, Jr., will co-present and dialogue with The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, founder of the social movement Repairers of the Breach, and one of the most identifiable civil rights activists in the spirit of MLK in the nation.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013. These weekly actions drew tens of thousands of North Carolinians and other moral witnesses to the state legislature. More than 1,050 peaceful protesters were arrested, handcuffed, and jailed.
A highly sought after speaker, Barber has keynoted hundreds of national and state conferences, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He has spoken to a wide variety of audiences, including national unions, fraternities and sororities, motorcycle organizations, drug dealer conferences, women’s groups, economic policy, voting rights, and LGBTQ groups, environmental and criminal justice groups, small organizing committees of domestic workers, fast food workers, Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and others.
Barber has served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, since 2006 and sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors. A former Mel King Fellow at MIT, he is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and is a senior fellow at Auburn Seminary. Barber is regularly featured in media outlets, such as MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Nation, among others. He is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award. Barber’s two most recent books include Forward Together (2014) and The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear (2016).