top of page

Poor People's Campaign

Updated: Mar 20, 2021


Begun in 1968 through the efforts of Martin Luther King and others, the PPC was re-inaugurated in 2018 “to confront the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.”

PPC Highlights

The PPC’s goals (short- & long-term) are:

· To get folks registered to vote in this election

· To educate as many people as possible on the real issues (see above)

· To mobilize & empower people – especially those directly impacted - to make the systemic changes needed at the national, state and local levels...

“Transforming the narrative by changing the narrator"

The first demand is right in tune with HeadCount’s efforts to get folks registered to vote:

Systemic Racism

Did you know that there are fewer voting rights in 2018 than there were 50 years ago when the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act were passed?

Since 2010, 23 states have passed racist voter suppression laws, including racist gerrymandering and redistricting, laws that make it harder to register, reduced early voting days and hours, purging voter rolls, and more restrictive voter ID laws. Following the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court case, which gutted key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, 14 states had new voting restrictions in place before the 2016 Presidential election and there were 868 fewer polling places across the country.”

Continuing right up to the election...and hopefully let our elected officials hear our collective voices for change.

PPC Theme Song History – “Everybody’s got a right to live!”

This song – currently being used by the PPC - was written and sung in 1968 at the first Poor People’s March by two associates of Dr. Martin Luther King (see song link below) and adapted and sung by Pete Seeger during the 1969 Poor People’s March on/in Washington.

Another version by Austin’s David Pulkingham was featured in the “Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence section, under “Day 1 Songs of Peace - Nonviolent Austin & Campaign Nonviolence.” See separate blog post (link coming)

--“Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick and James Collier wrote and sing 'Everybody's Got A Right To Live' from the 1968 Columbia album 'Pete Seeger Now'. This album was a live recording of Pete Seeger, Bernice Johnson Reagon and these two men who were associates of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and at the time were participating in the Poor People's March and Resurrection City at Washington, D.C.”

“Everybody’s Got a Right to Live has been a central message of the Poor People’s Campaign since 1968 when the Rev. Frederick Doughlass Kirkpatrick and Jimmy Collier sang it in Resurrection City. When we launched the Campaign in 2018, we revived this song and used its power to connect our movement across the country during 40 days of moral fusion direct action. Jimmy Collier once said,

‘Music is the easiest way to tell the story of what we’re trying to do; [our] songs are one of the best tools for getting people together.’

We invite you to join us as we raise our voices and demand that, ‘Everybody’s Got a Right to Live.’”

PPC Musical Samples

Pauline Pisano: Her music page………video page……Pauline’s a powerful 1-woman movement, getting’ by with some help from her friends (studio team).

Jamel Coy Hudson: Cover of Bob’s “Redemption Song” and his passionate version of Matisyahu’s anthem to equality and nonviolence - “One Day.”

--2-hour Facebook replay features Pauline, Jamel Coy Hudson and otherperformers using their voices and instruments as weapons for changing the system.

...and lots more on YouTube


bottom of page