The Rev. William Barber II speaking at a Jan. 15, 2013 Moral Mondays event in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of -ted.

Moral Mondays is coming to Memphis in October as part of the National Civil Rights Museum’s 50th anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.

“The intent of Moral Mondays is coming together to explore the deep connections between shared religious faith traditions and the moral values of justice, fairness and the elimination of poverty, racism and extreme militarism,” said Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson, chairman of the Museum’s National MLK50 Clergy Executive Committee, which will provide details of the initiative Thursday at an 11 a.m. press briefing at the museum located at 450 Mulberry St.

The Rev. James Forbes, senior minister emeritus of The Riverside Church

Moral Mondays is a clergy-led civil disobedience initiative that began in North Carolina to protest discriminatory policies of the state government, such as voter suppression, anti-labor efforts and denying federal money for Medicaid. The progressive grassroots movement has moved to Georgia, South Carolina and other states, and is now making its way to Memphis where Dr. King’s work on behalf of poor people is being revisited in earnest, including a New Poor People’s Campaign organized by Repairers of the Breach, a national social change organization headed by the Rev. William Barber II, to radically reframe public policies outside the tenents of neoconservatism.

Traci Blackmon, executive minister of United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries

In making the case for relentlessly calling out the North Carolina Legislature, Barber, the architect of Moral Mondays wrote in 2013: “The book of Micah asks us, ‘What does the Lord require of you? But to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.’ It is in a spirit of openness to the prophet’s question that we gather here as people of faith and citizens of North Carolina.”

In Memphis, Moral Mondays will kick off from 6–9 p.m. Oct. 16 at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Blvd., where Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, will speak.

Other Moral Mondays events include:

Jan. 22, 2018: The Rev. James Forbes Jr., of Riverside Church, New York, New York, will speak at Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road in Cordova.

March 12, 2018: The Rev. Traci Blackmon, of Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ, will speak at Temple Israel, 1376 E Massey Rd.

This report is brought to you by MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, a nonprofit reporting project on economic justice in Memphis. Support independent journalism by making a tax-deductible donation today.