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Push Will Continue to Shift KY's Poverty Narrative

Dozens of advocates from Kentucky are expected to join a global social justice rally in Washington  on Saturday. (Kentucky Poor People's Campaign)
Dozens of advocates from Kentucky are expected to join a global social justice rally in Washington on Saturday. (Kentucky Poor People's Campaign)
June 18, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A 40-day social justice blitz in Kentucky wraps up today, but advocates say their work is far from over.

The Kentucky Poor People's Campaign has held days of action in Frankfort the past six Mondays, joining groups in 30 other states in a National Call for Moral Revival. Spokeswoman for the campaign Pam McMichael said her group is trying to shift the distorted moral narrative away from blaming the poor for being poor.

"These 40 days are seen as a launch of a new movement, not as just a 'start here and stop here' campaign,” McMichael said. “There's a quote by Martin Luther King where he says if poor people can really get together across race, we become a new and unsettling force. That is the theme of this last week."

Next up, she said, is the Global Day of Solidarity and Sending Forth Call to Action Mass Rally in Washington. Dozens of Kentuckians are expected to attend the event this Saturday.

McMichael explained the Kentucky Poor People's Campaign is working to elevate the issues that keep the playing field uneven, including the wealth gap and educational inequality.

"We were once a model state for people's access to health care, and that's been derailed,” she said. “Workers’ rights are under attack; a tax on democracy, the voter suppression is a key one - the different kind of people being expelled from the rolls."

McMichael noted those involved in the campaign are committed to non-violent activism focused on making society more fair and inclusive.

"We're operating out of a moral conscience. We're stepping forward as clergy. It's people directly impacted, it's advocates,” she said. “And we're doing this out of our commitment to making a better world, a better Kentucky and country for our friends, our families, our neighbors and for people we don't even know."

There's been some recent controversy regarding new limits on protestors' access to the state Capitol. The Poor People's Campaign is asking the attorney general to weigh in on the legality of the policy.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - KY