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A Pastor Marches for A Moral, Equitable Economy for All

By Bella DeVaan
June 20, 2022

To Reverend Andrew Wilkes, inequality is a dire and immoral injustice. The pastor and political scientist spends every Sunday considering how to build a more equitable economy with his congregation, called the Double Love Experience, in Brooklyn, New York.

“From unemployment to healthcare outcomes, virtually every issue hit poor folks the hardest,” he explains. By consequence, pastors like him have more prayers to shepherd, more funerals to perform, more concern to ease: “not because it’s God’s will or because fate declared it, but because identifiable policy choices – fiscal and monetary policy – have created burdens on people that should be lifted.”

The lapse of pandemic-era protections on housing and paychecks, the unrealized necessity of universal healthcare, the prohibitive costs of higher education, and the destruction of voting rights and our environment are all inequality-preserving choices, ones that “haunt the lives of folk who are of faith.”

A similar cause for mourning? The pandemic’s unconscionable inflation of billionaires’ net worth – which reports has surged by nearly $2 trillion in the last two years. Our richest are “not only purchasing jets and spaceships,” Reverend Wilkes emphasizes. They’re purchasing and capturing our government, which “shrinks the scope of participatory democracy and our autonomy.” In simpler words: “It’s not okay.”

Enter the visionary Third Reconstruction Agenda and multiracial coalition of the Poor People’s Campaign, dedicated to asserting the reality faced by 140 million poor and low-wealth Americans – and their right to dignified life.

The Poor People’s Campaign calls for a moral, political revival to vanquish the evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy and militarism, and distorted Christian nationalism. Articulating these evils’ intertwined effects, the Campaign promotes an ecosystem of policies – from investment in green jobs to accurate data collection on poverty, fully funded social welfare programs, and divesting from war – that would combat inequality from both the bottom up and the top down.


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