Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign fight for nationwide equality

MEMPHIS,Tenn. — As protests continue in Memphis one group used the day to unite the entire city in hopes of encouraging open dialogue between residents and city leaders.

FOX13′s Jonathan Marshall found out how the local Tennessee Poor People’s Campaign group is helping push the movement for justice forward.

The event was promoted as a community block party and organizer Regina Clarke said the goal was to have community leaders come out and talk with the people they’ve been fighting for.

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Clarke told FOX13 she wants the leaders and elected officials to listen to those who have been silenced.

“I am so excited for all the passion. What my desire is to see that passion move into action,” said Clarke.

She said she’s encouraged by the protests in Memphis but it can’t stop there.

“Those that have been protesting, those that have been out there on the streets, they need to meet and talk to the people that they are fighting for,” said Clarke.

Clarke hosted a block party at Lincoln Park in South Memphis to help create an atmosphere of open dialogue between leaders and everyday residents.

“We just wanted to have an open space where people can come and do that and the goal is simply for them to leave and have their own conversations without us,” she said.

The death of George Floyd has sparked protests for equality and justice all over.

The Poor People’s Campaign was set to join in on the movement in Washington, D.C. today, much like the group did in 1968 following the death of organizer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

COVID-19 forced The Mass Poor People’s Assembly & Moral March to be held virtually.

The mission includes speaking out against systematic racism as well as shedding light on the injustices for those living in poverty.

“There are so many stories being told about what happened before when Mr. Luther King marched and what’s happening now,” Clarke said. “We want to bring the community together so that they know what’s going on with people and so that people can hear their voices too.”

According to the Poor People’s Campaign website, there are around 140 million people living in poverty in the US.

Clarke said these people can’t be forgotten in the nationwide fight for justice and equality.

“It’s time for us to rise up,” she said. “It’s time for us to give a voice to those that the system has silenced.”

She said she hopes to have a similar event next week to honor those who have been killed by police here in Memphis.