“Part of the inspiration of the tour is drawing from MLK’s ‘mountaintop’ speech, in which he says that it’s time to break the silence,” Johnson said. “That speech was delivered at Riverside Church 47 years ago this weekend.”
It was also the anniversary of King’s assassination. Johnson said the dates for the tour was intentional.
He’s been a longtime partner and companion of ours in the work of advocating for justice in our society and in our public discourse around politics,” Johnson said. “We have a long tradition of bringing influential civil rights leaders to our pulpit, going back to Rev. King and before that, and we’re excited to continue that.”
Kierra Campbell, co-director of outreach for the Campus Y, worked with Barber earlier this year to promote HKonJ, an annual rally in Raleigh to promote many of the issues addressed on the tour.
“The Moral Mondays and the HKonJ rallies bring a lot of people who are fighting for a lot of different issues together,” Campbell said. “It’s a great sense of support and encouragement to know that there are lots of people fighting for your cause or who might be fighting for different causes.”
Campbell said though Barber might not be actively seeking to represent the state, his actions could reflect on the state due to his prominence
“He is a different face of North Carolina than what people in the nation have recently seen,” she said. “This tour might bring a different perspective to people and how they look at North Carolina.”
Luke Beyer, 2016-17 co-chairperson for criminal justice awareness and action for the Campus Y, said religious leaders speaking out for social and political reform is important.
“North Carolina has had a lot of issues where we have infringed on people’s rights and maintained flawed systems,” he said. “Going on tour to raise awareness for all of these issues is very valuable.”
The tour will continue with its first revival at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh Monday.