Rev. Barber has stepped down from the NC NAACP as President to launch a 25 state ‘New Poor People’s Campaign’. The campaign, however, will be anything but poor.
Barber said that he would be engaging in a social justice campaign modeled after the late Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘Poor People’s’ campaign.
Barber and the NC NAACP characterize it a ‘national moral revival’ and Moral Monday will be a ‘template for the new campaign.
The statement from the NC NAACP says the campaign will be focused in “Washington D.C. and twenty-five states across the nation.”
The statement also notes where the money will come from to support the new campaign.
“Rev. Barber will focus attention on The New Poor People’s Campaign co-led by the Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary, where Rev. Barber is a distinguished professor of public theology.”
Barber is a professor of theology at the Kairos Center.
Kairos has already posted a set of ‘study‘ materials for the New Poor People’s campaign, which include Moral Mondays’ 14 Point Agenda and Sermons by Reverend Barber.
The Poor People’s Campaign already has a dedicated website up.
The purpose and timeline, according to the NC NAACP statement, will take place, “Throughout 2017 and early 2018 he will lead training and organize alongside moral leaders, including poor black, brown and white communities.”
According to WRAL, Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh says that the Moral Monday leader will take with him ‘all the support’ of groups in North Carolina aligned with Moral Mondays.
The WRAL article continues, citing Rev. Petty’s remarks that, “Rev. Barber, we’re sending you into the world to be an agitator.”
Follow the Money
Following the money when it comes to the Kairos Center is easier said than done.
Donations made to Kairos actually are made to Union Theological Seminary.
According to their website, checks can be sent to “Poverty Initiative/Kairos Center, 3041 Broadway New York, NY 10027.” That’s the same address as Union Theological Seminary.
Donations can also be made online, which are again funneled through the Union Theological Seminary.
The Kairos Center, according to their website, “works to strengthen and expand transformative movements for social change that can draw on the power of religions and human rights.”
The Union Theological Seminary website says the organization has, “institutional supporters” which include the NoVo, Ford, Stentzel, ASG and New World Foundation Luce Foundations, as well as the and G.A. Ackermann Memorial Fund (Bank of America, N.A. Trustee).
In 2014, the NoVo Foundation gave Union Theological Seminary a combined $300,000 in grants earmarked specifically for the Kairos Center.
Union Theological is a Financial Juggernaut
Union Theological Seminary has been a tax-exempt organization since 1934 and is currently a 501(c)3.
In 2014, the organization’s gross receipts totaled $922,972 according to their 990(T) filing.
In 2013, gross receipts were in another league altogether, coming in at $16,070,848 with net assets exceeding $112 million. 172 grants or scholarships were given out totaling $3,185,602.
The organization’s president, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, was paid in excess of $393,000 through internal and external sources in 2013.
The 2013 filing also notes the organization keeps an investment bank account outside of the United States listed as, “Central America and the Caribbean” that is worth $9,469,893.
Gross receipts totaled $19,526,846 in 2012, $22,240,818 in 2011 and $47,262,134 in 2010.
More 990 filings can be viewed at ProPublica.
While Union Theological’s filings do not detail the amounts given as grants, it seems clear that Rev. Barber’s New Poor People’s Campaign will be anything but poor.