U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., joined Rev. William Barber II for a public forum Thursday night at Duke University Chapel.
The conversation, which was originally scheduled for Jan. 19 but was postponed due to a U.S. Congress budget vote, was called “The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy: 50 Years After Dr. King Challenged Racism, Poverty and Militarism.” Sanders and Barber discussed and answered audience questions concerning a variety of pressing political issues, such as inequality, military spending, racism and Russia, as well as the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sanders, a former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, advocates for policy changes like universal health care and free public university tuition. Barber is an alumnus of Duke Divinity School, national co-chairperson of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and president of Repairers of the Breach.
Ajay Dheeraj, a first-year student at Duke, said he was excited to see Sanders speak because he’s both important and well-liked — a rare characteristic in modern political figures.
“I saw a lot of him during the election season, and he seemed well-meaning and nice, so I’m curious to see how that translates in real life,” he said prior to the event. “I hear he’s really inspiring.”