Bishop William J. Barber II will be honored Saturday along with other national figures for his life’s work in promoting social justice and world peace.

Barber, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Goldsboro, will receive the Civic Leadership Award from the Atlanta-based King Center at its annual Beloved Community Awards presentation.

The Beloved Community Awards honor national and international people and corporations that stand out for their efforts to promote social justice and global peace.

King Center officials said Barber’s ongoing social justice efforts are the reason he was chosen to receive the Civic Leadership Award, saying his “work through the Moral Movement and the Poor People’s Campaign is continuing Dr. King’s unfinished work, and for that, The King Center is grateful.”

The King Center is a nonprofit organization founded by Coretta Scott King, the widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The agency promotes social equality and nonviolence by educating people about King and his legacy, which is that of promoting social justice and racial equality.

Barber, president and senior lecturer of the civil rights nonprofit Repairers of the Breach and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, credited others for the award recognizing his life’s work. Barber was president of the North Carolina conference of the N.C. NAACP from 2005 to 2017.

“Although my name is on this award and it is a lifetime achievement award, it really is a call to keep serving,” Barber said.

“It belongs to all the members of Greenleaf Christian Church who have been so supportive, and it belongs to all the people of every race, creed and color I have ever worked with to challenge systemic racism, system poverty, ecological devastation, the denial of health care, the undermining of public education, attacks on the LGBTQ community, the continuation of the prison industrial complex, the war economy, the anti-workers’ rights and anti-labor groups, and the false moral narrative of religious nationalism.

“It belongs to my parents who, through our belief in God, taught me to stand for justice; to my family who have accepted the call; to those who helped shape my thinking from my earliest teachers to my postdoctoral mentors; and to all the staff, advisers and faith leaders who have formed our support team through the years. We do this work together. Over the years, I have worked with the poor and low-income people who make up our movement and who are our true leaders.”

The Civic Leadership Award is presented to an individual who works at the community level to promote peace, social justice and nonviolent social change, said Martha Waggoner, Repairers of the Breach communications director.

Barber is one of a number of well-known figures who will be recognized Saturday at The King Center’s 2022 Beloved Community Awards.

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will receive the Yolanda King Higher Ground Award, and Daniel Lubetsky, Kind Snacks founder, will receive the Salute to Greatness Humanitarian Award.

Malala Yousafzai, renowned activist and Nobel Peace Prize Award laureate, will receive the Coretta Scott King Soul of the Nation Award.

Trending Videos