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NC Civil Rights Leader Receives 'Genius Grant'

Rev. William Barber, who is now a co-chair of the national Poor People's Campaign.
Matthew Lenard

The North Carolina minister who's been arrested at least 14 times as he fights for poor people and civil rights issues says he's overwhelmed to have received the recognition popularly known as a genius grant.

The Rev. William Barber of Goldsboro was one of 25 people named as MacArthur fellow Thursday. Each will receive $625,000 over five years to use as they please.

Barber says the MacArthur Foundation "doesn't share these grants so that you sit down." On Thursday, he participated in a Fight for $15 protest in Chicago.

The foundation noted that Barber "is effective at building unusually inclusive fusion coalitions."

Barber is co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, a revival of the movement started by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He also founded the "Moral Monday" movement.


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