William J. Barber II
Visiting Professor of Public Theology & Activism
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the President & Sr. Lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival; Bishop with the College of Affirming Bishops and Faith Leaders; Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and 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.
Rev. Dr. Barber is also the 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 1,200 peaceful protesters were arrested, handcuffed and jailed. On September 12, 2016 Rev. Dr. Barber led a “Moral Day of Action,” the largest coordinated action on state capitals in U.S. history, calling for state governments to embrace a moral public policy agenda. On February 11, 2017, he led the largest moral march in North Carolina state history, with over 80,000 people calling on North Carolina’s elected officials to embrace a moral public policy agenda.
A highly sought after speaker, Rev. Dr. Barber has given keynote addresses at 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 groups, voting rights advocates, LGBTQ equality and justice groups, environmental and criminal justice groups, small organizing committees of domestic workers, fast food workers, and national gatherings of Christians, Muslims, Jews, and other people of faith.
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. 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.