The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will present the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with its highest honor during its 43rd annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award Dinner on May 15. A pastor and social justice advocate, Rev. Barber is a consequential and moral voice advocating on many issues that are core to the civil rights movement, including voting rights, redistricting, fair labor, and women’s rights.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the chief architect of the Moral Mondays movement who electrified the Democratic National Convention in 2016 with his plea for Americans to be “the moral defibrillators of our time,” is arguably the nation’s most prominent moral leader. He is the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which is reigniting the 1968 economic justice campaign launched by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others. Rev. Dr. Barber served as president of the North Carolina NAACP, the largest state conference in the South, from 2006 – 2017 and currently 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 and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. In 2018, he was named a MacArthur Genius Fellow. Rev. Dr. Barber is regularly featured in media outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, and The Nation Magazine, among others. He is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award.
He is the author of three books: Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing; The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and The Rise of a New Justice Movement; and Forward Together: A Moral Message for The Nation. He serves as the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in his hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina.
“The Leadership Conference is working to build an America as good as its ideals, and Rev. Barber is the constant clarion voice challenging all of us to live up to our core values and principles,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference. “He helped revive the Poor People’s Campaign that was originally spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many others – reminding us that while we have made much progress, much work remains. His work is integral to the future of our movement.”
The Leadership Conference annually presents the Humphrey Award, the civil and human rights community’s highest honor, to outstanding individuals who exemplify Senator Humphrey’s “selfless and devoted service in the cause of equality.” Previous recipients include: civil rights giant Congressman John Lewis; Speaker Nancy Pelosi, disability rights advocate Senator Bob Dole; civil rights champions Wade Henderson, Karen L. Narasaki, Julian Bond, Wilma Mankiller, and Dr. Dorothy Height; and labor leader Dolores Huerta, among others.
The dinner marks the largest annual gathering of the civil and human rights community, bringing together noted advocates, including leaders in the executive branch, Congress, business, education, and civil and human rights organization. Additional information about the dinner, including ticketing, is available here.