Wed, 11 March 2015
In this episode Joanna and Jason interview Willie Baptist.
Willie Baptist is a renowned anti-poverty organizer. Coming to political awareness in the 1965 Watts uprisings, through the Black student movement, and as a shop steward with the United Steelworkers, Willie has ultimately dedicated 40 years to organizing the poor. He provided vital leadership to the National Union of the Homeless, as formerly homeless father; the National Welfare Rights Union; the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; and many other networks. Willie now serves as the Scholar-in-Residence of Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary (New York), which is dedicated to raising up generations of religious and community leaders dedicated to building a social movement to end poverty, led by the poor. He is also the coordinator of the associated Poverty Scholars Program, a leadership development, technical assistance, and skills training program for grassroots organizers working around issues of economic justice, with the aim of building a national movement to end poverty united across lines of race, religion, geography and issue-focused organizing. Since 2007, the Poverty Scholars Program has focused on reigniting the Poor People’s Campaign and finishing the unfinished business of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Willie has recently co-authored Pedagogy of the Poor, which draws on lessons from grassroots organizing and social theory for building a movement to end poverty.