FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2013
For More Information: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137
Atty. Jamie Phillips Cole, Public Policy Coordinator, 919-682-4700
For Media Assistance: Laurel Ashton, Field Secretary, 828-713-3864
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber of North Carolina’s NAACP Forward Together Moral Monday Movement Joins "Fast for Families" Immigration Reform Action at National Mall
Rev. Barber Says Both the Constitution and Faith Should Compel Congress to Swiftly Act to Create Fair Pathway to Citizenship for Millions of Aspiring Americans
DURHAM- Renowned scholar and leader, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, will join hundreds of faith, labor and civil rights leaders on the National Mall today for a time of prayer and fasting for immigration reform. Inspired by scripture and the examples of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Cesar Chavez, participants are fasting to raise awareness about the moral crisis caused by our nation’s broken immigration system. A diverse coalition of members of Congress, immigrant families, labor leaders, civil rights organizations and others are expected to participate.
"The book of Isaiah, Chapter 58, commands us to cry aloud against injustice, and it is in this spirit that I and hundreds of others from across the nation are engaging in prayer and fasting," said Barber. "We aim to bring a prophetic witness to the halls of power, to awaken the consciences of politicians who refuse to act and to send a clear message that Congress must act swiftly to pass an immigration reform bill."
Rev. Dr. Barber, who serves as president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and its more than 100 branches and chapters, is the leader of North Carolina’s Forward Together Movement. The Forward Together Movement carried out more than 20 "Moral Mondays" protests and civil disobedience actions throughout North Carolina this year in response to a wave of regressive and extreme public policy. Rev. Dr. Barber will join the "Fast for Families" event at 3:00 pm and lead a prayer vigil with fasters at 6:00 pm tonight.
"With 1,100 mothers, fathers and children deported from our country every day, immigration reform is the moral issue of our times," said Barber. "It’s a moral issue when families are torn apart by deportations, forced to live in the shadows and marginalized to second-class status. Every major religious faith demands that we treat the stranger and the immigrant with the same love, respect and decency that we do our own flesh and blood. A nation of immigrants certainly can do no less than this."
Organizers are urging lawmakers to take up immigration reform before the end of the year. They are prepared to fast as long as possible.
"Both our Constitution and our religious faith compels us to action. We will not rest until Congress passes a reform bill that builds a path to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans."
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes the more the 150 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.