Legacy award honours social justice in US philanthropy


Alliance magazine


The Marguerite Casey Foundation with The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) recently announced the winner of the 2017 Patiño Moore Legacy Award, awarded to The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II for his leadership and collaboration in bringing African-Americans and Latinos together for a shared vision of justice and social change.

The Award is rare, if not unique, in US philanthropy because it specifically recognizes partnership and progress in Black and Brown communities, as well as the idea of movement building that centres on people organizing to find solutions, especially in the face of poverty.

Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina and president and senior lecturer at Repairers of the Breach, Inc. In 2013, Barber started the multi-racial, multi-generational “Moral Monday” movement in North Carolina, which grew in the South and attracted worldwide attention.

During these nonviolent events, people raised their voice about what they considered to be unjust policies. His other accomplishments include taking a public stand as a religious leader to support immigrant families, raising awareness that climate change has a disproportionate effect on the poor and people of colour, and taking a lead to relaunch Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Poor People Campaign.

Luz Vega Marquis, president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, says, “We’re in a unique moment in the US but, just as Rev. Barber is doing, we’re all capable of positive change, breaking barriers and living up to America’s democratic promise.”

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