Bernie Sanders, William Barber Conversation Postponed

Looming budget vote to prevent Sanders from traveling

Rev. Luke Powery will join in discussion with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rev. William Barber.
Efforts are underway to reschedule the conversation between Sen. Sanders, Rev Barber and Rev. Powery

Duke University Chapel will host a public conversation with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and the Rev. William J. Barber II at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19. [See updated information above]

The discussion, “The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy: 50 Years After Dr. King Challenged Racism, Poverty, and Militarism,” will be moderated by Duke Chapel Dean Luke A. Powery.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entry. The Duke University Box Office will make tickets available to students and anyone with a Duke ID card beginning Jan. 11 and to the general public Jan. 12. There is a limit of one ticket per person. To reserve a ticket, visit the box office in person at Duke’s Bryan Center, go to its website, or call (919) 684-4444.

Free parking will be available in the Bryan Center Parking Garage at 125 Science Drive, with overflow parking in the Chemistry Lot at the intersection of Towerview Road and Circuit Drive. ADA parking will be available in the Bryan Center Surface Lot. Public parking will not be available in front of the chapel and access to Chapel Drive will be limited around the time of the event.

A live video stream of the event will be available on the chapel’s website.

The public conversation is part of Duke’s 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration and Duke Chapel’s Bridge Panel series, which seeks to connect people from disparate walks of life in order to discover shared pathways toward the beloved community of God.

“In joining with others to begin organizing the Poor People’s Campaign 50 years ago, Dr. King was working out of a Christian conviction that racial equity, economic justice and peace among nations were interrelated issues -- and all matters of faith,” Powery said. “Through this public conversation, we have an opportunity to bring together the insights of a preacher and a politician on the present-day work toward a just, moral economy.”

Barber is a national co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, an initiative that aims to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s morality. He is also the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, a nonprofit organization that seeks to build a moral agenda. An alumnus of Duke Divinity School, Barber is the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Sanders is an Independent senator from Vermont. His 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination for president focused on policy issues that included universal health care, free tuition at public universities and a $15-per-hour minimum wage. He was first elected to public office in 1981 as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and has since served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and 11 years in the U.S. Senate.

In addition to his role as dean of Duke Chapel, Powery is an associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. His most recent book is “Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals.” Ordained to the ministry by the Progressive National Baptist Convention, he was inducted in 2014 into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College for his ethical and spiritual leadership in the academy, church and broader society.

Co-sponsors of the event include Duke’s Divinity School, Sanford School of Public Policy and Office for Institutional Equity.