STRIKE SCHEDULE: Sunday, October 27

  • 3-5:00 p.m., Sunday, 10/27/19: CTU solidarity rally with famed civil rights leader Rev. William Barber, CTU president Jesse Sharkey, SEIU President Dian Palmer, Lorretta Johnson/American Federation of Teachers, others.
    • New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church, 4301 W. Washington. Rev. Barber is scheduled to speak at 4:00 p.m.

As founder of Moral Mondays movement, co-founder of Poor People’s Campaign, Barber’s interfaith activism has brought together some of most important movements for justice in 21st century.

CHICAGO—One of the nation’s most famed civil rights leaders will stand with striking rank and file school workers on Sunday in their struggle to force CPS to put Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign promises for equity and educational justice in writing in an enforceable contract.

Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Local 73, parents, students and neighborhood residents will stand alongside civil rights leader Rev. Dr. William Barber II at a rally with educators as they prepare for a possible eighth day on strike for education justice and the schools their students deserve. Barber, the leader of the Moral Monday Movement and the Poor Peoples Campaign, will join strikers and allies at historic New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church at 4301 W. Washington Blvd. on Chicago’s West Side.

Sunday’s rally is sponsored by the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU Local 73, the American Federation of Teachers and the Poor Peoples Campaign. Besides Rev. Barber, speakers will include CTU President Jesse Sharkey, AFT Secretary Treasurer Lorretta Johnson, SEIU Local 73 President Dian Palmer and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

Barber is one of the nation’s most respected civil rights leaders, including as founder of the Moral Mondays movement, President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and co-founder of the Poor People’s Campaign. As a leader of interfaith activism, Barber has brought together some of the most important movements for justice in the 21st century. Historian and professor Timothy Tyson named Barber the most important progressive political leader in [North Carolina] in generations, saying that he “built a statewide interracial fusion political coalition that has not been seriously attempted since 1900.”

“When you deal with race from systemic perspectives and examine disparities, you can show how policies that disparately hurt black people end up hurting us all,” says Barber. His work has sought to unite people of all backgrounds to fight systemic injustice and raise a moral mirror to our society.

New Mt. Pilgrim MB Church, led by Pastor Marshall Elijah Hatch, has served Chicago’s west side since 1957, and from its current space since 1993 has been an anchor in a neighborhood long plagued by disenfranchisement, institutional disinvestment and neglect. While preserving the intricate architecture of their church’s previous incarnation as a Catholic cathedral, the congregation has installed some of the most important Black church art of this century, including the Maafa Remembrance Window, the North Star Window and the Sankofa Window.

When: Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. (CST)

Who: CTU and SEIU officers, rank and file strikers, faith leaders, grassroots allies, students, families, neighborhood residents:

  • Rev. William Barber, The Poor Peoples Campaign
  • Lorretta Johnson, American Federation of Teachers
  • Jesse Sharkey, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Dian Palmer, SEIU Local 73
  • Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin

What: Rally for the Schools Our Students Deserve

Where: New Mount Pilgrim MB Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL

The Chicago Teachers Union represents more than 25,000 teachers and educational support personnel working in Chicago Public Schools, and by extension, the nearly 400,000 students and families they serve. The CTU is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the Illinois Federation of Teachers and is the third-largest teachers local in the United States. For more information please visit the CTU website at