Marni on the Poor People's Campaign

On Monday, I was able to attend the first day of action with the Poor People's Campaign in Lansing.  For me this was an incredibly special moment.  My grandfather was a rabbi in Nashville who studied under Rabbi Heschel.  He was one of the first clergymen to march with MLK.  I know my grandfather dedicated his career to advocating for civil rights, social change, and MLK's mission of nonviolence.  So, it was very moving for me to be a part of that legacy and the movement to continue King's work.  

When I arrived at the church where people gathered to prepare for the day of action, I was immediately struck by the palpable energy in the room.  People of all ages, races, and backgrounds were gathered together to rise up for change.  As we listened to testimonies of people preparing us to march, and we began to sing together, I felt energized by the movement.  At the capital, the speakers were inspirational.  I was especially moved by the variety of clergy, each offering their own blessings from their religions as the 30+ people risking arrest prepared to enter civil disobedience.

While there were no arrests on Monday, there was still such a sense of pride and accomplishment in taking a stance for change.  This campaign brought together many people who had been activists for decades as well as those who were taking action for the first time.  We ended with chanting "I believe that we will win," and I can safely say there was definitely a genuine feeling of hope as we walked away.  I encourage everyone to participate in a day of action in Lansing, or at the very least a Solidarity Saturday.  This is a wonderful opportunity to come together, and really take a stand for the change our country desperately needs.  


Marni is a Spanish teacher and a DJJ education justice liaison.

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