Taking to the streets: Poor People’s Campaign marches, holds rally in Memphis to support policies that lift from the bottom

Tennessee action comes four weeks before June 18th Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls

Memphis, TN, May 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival continues its march toward Washington with an in-person march and rally on May 23 in Memphis as the PPC demands that this nation adopt policies that lift from the bottom.

The Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign will lead a march and rally as part of a Mobilization Tour stop on the way to the Mass Poor People's & Low-Wage Workers' Assembly and Moral March on Washington and to the Polls on June 18th.

The program will be live-streamed here. The tour route starts at 4:30pmCT at Church Park (S. Fourth Street at Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive) to gather for the March to the National Civil Rights Museum (450 Mulberry St) for the 6pm CT Mass Meeting and Rally. 

The national co-chairs, Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, will join poor and impacted testifiers from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.

The priorities and demands of poor and low-wealth people from these three states will be front and center as they take on the lie of scarcity and put forward a Third Reconstruction agenda that demands, among other things: updating the poverty measure to reflect the real cost of living; enact a living wage and guarantee the right of all workers to form and join unions and guarantee quality health care for all.  

All the states joining the Monday program suffer from high poverty and the lack of living minimum wage:


State PLI- Raw numbers PLI - % Black Latinx White
Tennessee 2.5 million 38% 58% or 631,000 66% or 263,000 37% or 1.8 million
Arkansas    1.2 million 43% 62% or 275,000 63% or 138,000 38% or 814,000
Mississippi 1.3 million 48% 65% or 708,000 66% or 54,000 39% or 649,000

Our study tells us that poor and low-income people hold power at the ballot box when they vote. In the 2020 presidential election, poor and low-income people made up 39 % of voters in Tennessee. In Arkansas, the figure was 47%. Figures were not available for Mississippi at the time of the report.

Previous tour stops were: Cleveland, Madison, Wisconsin, Raleigh, North Carolina, New York City, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Memphis is our last tour stop before our June 18th march and assembly.

“It is NOT just a day of action. It is a declaration of an ongoing, committed moral movement to 1) shift the moral narrative; 2) build power; and 3) make real policies to fully address poverty and low wealth from the bottom up.” — Bishop William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis. co-chairs of the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

The June 18th assembly in DC will be a generationally transformative declaration of the power of poor and low-wealth people and our moral allies to say that this system is killing ALL of us and we can’t…we won’t…we refuse to be silent anymore


Contact Data