WASHINGTON — Inspired by Jeremiah 22, verses 1 through 5, Rev. William J. Barber II led a group of faith leaders in a march towards the White House gates to deliver what he called “a moral report” to the president.

The idea for the march came from a gathering of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith leaders. Barber called the event “solemn,” adding that there is no great joy in pointing out the ugliness of the nation.

“It’s time,” said Barber, “for a third moral reconstruction of America.”  


The New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, a church attended by President Abraham Lincoln and the downtown headquarters of the original Poor People’s Campaign in 1968, was the starting point of the Moral Witness Wednesday march. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Rev. William J. Barber II and other faith leaders lead the congregants in song before the march. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Marchers file out of the church to line up for the march. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Faith leaders hold the banner while others line up for the march alongside the church.(Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Marchers walk up 14th Street NW toward I Street NW. The marchers walked calmly and quietly from the church to Lafayette Square. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Rev. William J. Barber II, who along with Rev. Liz Theoharis, far left, co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign, gathers with faith leaders on stage in Lafayette Square in front of the White House. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

“We are not here to talk about left versus right,” said Rev. William J. Barber II, “We are here to talk about right versus wrong.” (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

Copies of the group’s “moral report” taped on a fence across the street from the White House. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)

“We’ve met the call of Jeremiah 22,” said Rev. William J. Barber II before leaving the barrier. Noting a June 6, 2020 event of the Poor People’s Campaign, Barber said we’ll be back. (Dwight A. Weingarten/MEDILL)