Leading Civil Rights Advocate Awarded $625,000 Genius Grant, No Strings Attached

Posted On : 10/12/2018

GOLDSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA — Only a select few receive this prestigious honor. And this year, one of its recipients is Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II.


If you don’t remember William J. Barber, II — especially after his stirring speech during the 2016 Democratic National Convention — you’ve been missing out. Currently, Barber is pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro. He’s been its pastor since 1993.

Likewise, he was president of the North Carolina conference of the NAACP between 2005 to 2017.

NOTE: In case you’d like to see the aforementioned footage of Barber’s speech, check this link.

Nonetheless, according to the program’s official website, Barber has been awarded the 2018 MacArthur Genius Grant. The site states:

“The MacArthur Fellows Program is intended to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations. In keeping with this purpose, the Foundation awards fellowships directly to individuals rather than through institutions. Recipients may be writers, scientists, artists, social scientists, humanists, teachers, entrepreneurs, or those in other fields, with or without institutional affiliations. They may use their fellowship to advance their expertise, engage in bold new work, or, if they wish, to change fields or alter the direction of their careers.”

And the sweet part about Barber’s award is there’s no requirement to produce any projects or developments. It’s simply a “no strings attached” investment in the recipient.

“The purpose of the MacArthur Fellows Program is to enable recipients to exercise their own creative instincts for the benefit of human society,” the source notes.

$625,000…AT ONCE?

Actually, the source states the sum is paid out in quarterly installments over a span of five years. So, roughly, that’s $10,400 a month — or 31,200 every three months — for the next five years.

If that’s the case, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, should have minimal problems living his best life over the next 60 months.

“It is a deep and profound honor and overwhelming surprise to receive this award,” Barber mentions, as reports Ebony. “It inspires me to keep working, keep standing, keep loving and to continue working for the cause of justice.”

“The moral crises of our time are the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, the war economy, and the false, distorted moral narrative of so-called ‘religious nationalism. I, along with others believe that only a moral fusion movement can work to change these realities.”

Along with Barber, 14 others were also named recipients of the prestigious award.

If you will, let us know your thoughts about Barber’s recognition. It’s awesome, right? Feel free to share any comments about this story via our Facebook page.

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[Featured Photo via Vital Sermons / Twitter]

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