Statement from the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of NC NAACP
I was humbled by the personal and prayerful request that my friends and mentors within the NC NAACP made public this week.
I did not make the decision to consider stepping aside from my elected position this summer lightly. I've been in deep prayer and fasting about my calling to help lead the new Poor Peoples Campaign. I know this is work I must help with and attempt to guide. Of this, I have no doubt.
But I also know that our work here in North Carolina is critical to the work of the new Poor People’s Campaign and a national Moral Revival.
When I made my initial announcement about stepping down in May, the Supreme Court’s critical decisions about voting rights in North Carolina were not in the landscape, nor was the possibility of drawing new lines and holding a special election in 2017. Further, we did not yet face the prospect of a legislative body passing a budget that would cut millions from the justice department and promote rules that would ban protestors. These and other factors have caused me to reconsider the timing of my departure from leadership.
I cannot and will not seek another term as state president, but for the stability of the movement in these transitional moments, I will stay with God’s help until a new president is elected to lead the NC NAACP in October.
My wife and family support this decision, as well as my church, my team at Repairers of the Breach, and the leadership of the Poor People’s Campaign that invited me to join them. The Chair and Vice Chair of the National NAACP also support this decision. (Below see one statement of support from the National Poor Peoples Leadership)
Theologically, I’ve been reminded that the same Holy Spirit that prompted Paul to go in one direction would make and adjustment in timing based on new realities that arose. Some say the NAACP has survived because It was never about any one leader, and it is true. But the NAACP, like all justice organizations and movements, has also survived because servant leaders like you have made adjustments for the cause.
I can do none of this work alone. With everything in me, I believe in "WE." We are living in serious times, and because I have heard a call from people who are committed to these serious times, I'm willing to do my part
Rev Dr. William J. Barber II
Statement from the National Poor Peoples Leadership:
Rev. Dr. William Barber and the North Carolina NAACP are in a battle for voting rights and the very life of our democracy in North Carolina and across this country. This battle is not separate from the need for a Poor People’s Campaign today. Indeed, as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said in 1963, five years before he launched the Poor People’s Campaign, “Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.” As a leader alongside Rev. Barber in a new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival, I believe that it is important to continue to connect the fight for voting rights, democracy and equal protection under the law with the call for the abolition of poverty, racism and war. I endorse Rev. Barber staying on as President of the NC NAACP until October in light of the new court rulings and the possibilities of challenging racial gerrymandering. What the movement does in North Carolina will be vital to a moral revolution of values across the country. I look forward to growing the Poor People’s Campaign alongside Rev. Barber as he continues to help lead the NC NAACP and Forward Together Moral Mondays Fusion Movement.