Moral Mondays, One Voice, Dream Defenders to speak Sept 24 in New Orleans

Conference brings together grassroots leaders to discuss innovative solutions for wealth gap

NEW ORLEANS–“‘We’ is the most important word in the social justice vocabulary. The issue is not what we can’t do, but what we can do when we stand together,” said the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

Barber, who started the national Moral Mondays movement, is the keynote speaker for the Southern Regional Asset Building Coalition’s conference in New Orleans, from Sept. 24-26.

“With an upsurge in racism/hate crimes, criminalization of young Black males, insensitivity to the poor, educational genocide, and the moral/economic cost of a war,” he said, “we must stand together now like never before.”

The Rev. Dr. Barber has helped to lead the fight for voter rights, just redistricting, health care reform, labor and worker rights, protection of immigration rights, reparation for women survivors of eugenics, release of the Wilmington Ten and educational equality. He also serves as a national board member and the national NAACP chair of the Legislative Political Action Committee.

Barber will be joined by other leaders in equity and advocacy including One Voice and Dream Defenders,as part of the speaker line up for the two-day conference, Closing the Racial Wealth Gap: Innovative Solutions for Change, takes place September 24-26, 2014 at the Astor Crowne Plaza New Orleans French Quarter. Register online at 

Other featured speakers and panelists

  • Michael Sherraden, named one of TIME Magazine’s TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World, is
    Michael Sherraden

    Michael Sherraden

    known for his pioneering work on asset building for low-income people. He is founder and director of the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. In his book, Assets and the Poor: A New American Welfare Policy, Sherraden proposes establishing individual savings accounts for the poor — also known as Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). His program calls for the government and private sector to match individual contributions to IDAs as a means of encouraging savings and breaking the cycle of poverty. IDAs have been adopted in federal legislation and in more than 40 states.



thomas shapiro

Thomas Shapiro

  • Thomas Shapiro, professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Brandeis University and is the author The Hidden Cost of Being African Americanand the co-author of Black Wealth/White Wealth.





Derrick Johnson

Derrick Johnson

  • Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, of One Voice, works with local elected officials, the philanthropic community, and local stakeholders to make sure voices often neglected in Mississippi get heard. Mr. Johnson has served as state president for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP since 2004. He earned his juris doctorate from South Texas College of Law in Houston and a bachelor of arts degree from Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.



Steven Pargett

Steven Pargett

  • Steven Pargett,communications director of Dream Defenders since 2012, is a former community advocate with the Southern Poverty Law Center and has a background creative consulting work for start-up businesses, college programming and political campaigns targeted at millennial and people of color demographics.

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