Biden to address Moral Monday event tonight

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In this Feb. 29, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden smiles at supporters during a campaign event at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

AP

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden will be among the speakers at an online event Monday night led by the Rev. William Barber II and the national Poor People’s Campaign.

According to the Poor People’s Campaign website, both Biden and Pres. Donald Trump were invited to address the priorities of poor and low-income Americans and the national organization’s agenda. Trump did not respond to the invitation, the group said Monday.

The online gathering, titled “Voting is Power Unleashed: National Moral Monday Mass Assembly and Teach-In,” will be live-streamed from 7 to 9 p.m. and will include coordinating committee members in the organization from across the country.

Other noted speakers expected to join include Jane Fonda, Mark Ruffalo, D.L. Hughley, Erika Alexander and radio personality Charlamagne tha God. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Forward Justice also will participate.

Barber, who pastors Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, launched Moral Monday events in North Carolina in April 2013 in opposition the Republican-led state legislature’s move to limit abortion, cut corporate taxes, raise taxes on the poor and pass laws that were later found to intentionally suppress minority voting. More than 1,000 people were arrested in Raleigh for acts of civil disobedience through the course of Moral Monday protests that year.

Barber, who is co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign along with the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, said in an email that Monday night’s program will teach participants “how to overcome the racist voter suppression that hurts both people of color and poor whites, because the politicians who get elected then also vote to block health care, living wages, environmental protections, and other issues that lift up poor and low-income people of all colors.”

Martha Quillin is a general assignment reporter at The News & Observer who writes about North Carolina culture, religion and social issues. She has held jobs throughout the newsroom since 1987.

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