How Rev. William J. Barber II Uses His Faith to Fight for the Poor

For 27 years, the Rev. William J. Barber II has been the pastor at a church in the small city of Goldsboro, N.C. But on a recent afternoon, he could be found at a hotel in Raleigh, about an hour away from home. His work as an activist takes him to the state capital often enough that he’s well known there. Not long after, he’d move on to an event in Charleston, S.C., and then to Iowa, where he’d lead a march demanding a presidential debate on poverty.

Barber is ever in motion, and he’s still picking up momentum. He’s hardly stopped since he attracted national attention as the leader of the Moral Mondays protests held at the North Carolina capitol in Raleigh beginning in 2013. His newsmaking actions were founded on the idea that being a person of faith means fighting for justice—whether by working beside a conservative mayor to protest the closing of rural hospitals or by calling for an NAACP boycott of the state in response to the legislature’s actions, like its infamous “bathroom bill.”

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Panthers Sale, NC Teachers Protest, City Budget Gets Review

The Panthers have a new owner. Lawmakers, back in Raleigh for the first day of the short session, confront teachers from across the state as well as another group of demonstrators in Raleigh asking lawmakers to address poverty. And, Charlotte residents weigh in on the proposed city budget and possible tax increase.

A panel of reporters joins Mike Collins to expand on those and other stories.

Opinion: Is It Too Early for North Carolina Democrats to Get Their Hopes Up, Again?

In 2008, Barack Obama’s slim North Carolina victory in his first presidential run had Democrats in the state celebrating in the present and dreaming of a blue future in what had been considered a (relatively) progressive Southern state. Boy, were those dreams premature.

But 10 years later — after new redistricting and voting rules solidified GOP control in both the state and U.S. House delegations and a bill on LGBT rights made the state a poster child for conservative social policies — Democrats are again seeing light at the end of a deep-red tunnel.