WELCOME GUEST SPEAKERS REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER, II AND GENERAL MINISTER AND PRESIDENT REV. TERRI HORD OWENS
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II is president of Repairers of the Breach, national co-chair of the 2018 Poor People’s Campaign, and leads an alliance of more than 200 progressive organizations best known as “Moral Monday.” This coalition has led justice work in North Carolina for a decade and inspired organizing across the nation. The Washington Post called Barber’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention “the most engaging” of many strong ones.
Moral Monday is a multi-racial, multi-faith movement fighting for voting rights, public education, universal healthcare, environmental protection, and the rights of women, labor, immigrants andmembers of the LGBTQ community. In 2013, thousands joined weekly protests at the North Carolina state legislature; more than a thousand were arrested in civil disobedience. The protests sent Gov. Patrick McCrory’s polls from 65 to 35 in four months and made him the only incumbent GOP governor who could not ride Trump’s coattails. On February 2, 2014, USA Today reported 80,000 at the Mass Moral March on Raleigh, and that annual gathering of the Moral Monday coalition continues to draw tens of thousands each year.
For the past two years, Rev. Dr. Barber has led a national organizing tour called “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values,” working alongside Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, and Sister Simone Campbell to redefine public morality and support state coalitions to address poverty, injustice, and inequality. Rev. Dr. Barber headed the state NAACP from 2006 to 2017 and serves on the NAACP National Board of Directors. He is currently organizing a Poor People’s Campaign in 2018 to mark the 50thanniversary of the one Dr. King launched but did not live to lead.
Rev. Dr. Barber graduated from North Carolina Central University, earned a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University, and a doctorate from Drew University. He is Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary and the author of ForwardTogether: A Moral Vision for the Nationand The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics and the Rise of a New Justice Movement. He is a member of the College of Affirming Bishops and lives in Goldsboro, N.C. where he has pastored Greenleaf Christian Church for 25 years.
Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens was elected as the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in July 2017. She is the first person of color and second woman to lead the denomination. A descendant of one of the oldest African-American free settlements in Indiana and a Disciple since young adulthood, Hord Owens was dean of students at the University of Chicago Divinity School and pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL prior to her election.
Hord Owens’ resume includes more than 20 years in corporate America leading diverse teams in data management in health care and other industries before she entered seminary. After ordination, she served 15 years at the University of Chicago Divinity School, shepherding a varied student body in both background and theology.
Hord Owens is widely sought after as a preacher, speaker and workshop facilitator. Her ministry and intellectual interests include a theology of reconciliation, cultural intelligence, developing inclusive and multi-cultural congregations, and the mentoring of young adults. She marked three decades of marriage with Walter Owens, Jr., prior to her election. They are the proud parents of an adult son, W. Mitchell Owens, III.