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Centennial Speaker Series launches in September with Rev. Dr. Barber

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II will be the inaugural speaker for the new Centennial Speaker Series at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work, officials at the School announced this week.

The School will host “An Evening with Rev. Dr. William Barber” on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, at 6 p.m. The online event will be livestreamed via Zoom, and a facilitated question-and-answer session will follow his presentation.

“We are honored to host Rev. Barber for this crucial discussion about confronting racism in our communities,” said Gary Bowen, dean of the UNC School of Social Work. “Systemic racism must end, and as social workers we have to take action to ensure a more just, equitable society.”

Barber’s presentation is the first of four in the Centennial Speaker Series, which will focus on issues of social justice and is among several programs planned to commemorate the School’s 100th anniversary year.

Barber has earned state and national recognition for his work in calling for state governments to embrace a moral public policy agenda, organizing activities and events around these efforts. As the architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement, he has led numerous Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly and organized the 2016 “Moral Day of Action.” In 2017, he led the largest moral march in the state’s history. A former president of the North Carolina NAACP, he currently sits on the National NAACP Board of Directors.

He is a visiting professor of public theology and activism at Union Theological Seminary, an author of four books, a keynote speaker, a pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, N.C., a bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, and president of Repairers of the Breach. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (also known as the MacArthur “genius grant”), the North Carolina Award, the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award.

Advance registration is required to participate in this online event. To receive access credentials, register here before Sept. 24: