YAV Blogs her Experience at Poor People’s Campaign

This post is by guest-blogger, Kasey Kelly, who is the 2018-2019 Young Adult Volunteer at NYAPC. 

The banners on New York Avenue Presbyterian Church building say, “Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly, with your God.” These banners reflect the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church (NYAPC) congregation.  In 1968, during the Poor People’s Campaign, NYAPC fed the protesters from the Resurrecting City, the area near the mall, and became an information center.

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“Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly, With your God” banners

On June 12, I attended the moral witness service before we marched for the Poor People’s Campaign. Rev. Dr. William Barber stated that Trump Administration did not follow the Lord’s way. I believe that Jesus would be there for the marginalized people who are living on the streets and financially assist with housing and food payments. I hope to see many people like Radcliffe Room guests have financial support from the government.

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Rev. William Barber (Credit: Tracy Blackmon)

I marched at the Poor People’s Campaign for Radcliffe Room guests. I care because I witnessed some of our guests of Radcliffe Room ministry struggling to pay for meals and housing, even with welfare programs such as vouchers to help with rent and SNAP (food stamps). A regular Radcliffe Room guest has a disability and is usually exhausted. She struggled to get a job, and the disability checks do not cover the person’s rent, utilities, and food including public transportations. She spent the checks for her medicine. She came to the Radcliffe Room so that she can take her medicine with the food. A mother works at the restaurant, and she used her checks into the rent and utilities. She used the clothes from our closet for her daughter to wear. I watched her enjoy with her friends. A guest, who is an immigrant, came here for the American Dream. He gained a community and comfort. By living here in the United States, he like other immigrants pays more money than citizens pay. I wish the government would create more programs that allow people like them to be supported.

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Nathan Martin in the middle (other two is unknown and credit to Alanna Sklover)

After the moral witness service, we marched from NYAPC to Lafayette Square Park. However, the park was closed to the march. We stayed and did not leave. Almost an hour later, the park opened us. We marched in.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

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Poor People’s Campaign entered Lafayette Square Park