Fact-Finding Mission: Day 2Philadelphia 09 Jan 2006 20:38 GMT
We were forbidden from video or audio taping of any kind during the service. Some members of the media team as well as the majority of tour participants from the Union Theological Seminary and the Columbia School of Social Work took part in the service. Afterward the Revered of the church, Raphael Warnock, held a special meeting with members of our delegation where we got to talk more intimately about his role in the church and the community and his thoughts on poverty and how people of faith and conscience should attack it. Talking about the differences between the era of the civil rights movement and what our country faces today, the Reverend remarked that today we are seeing an unprecendented ‘undermining of the social infrastructure that poor people depend on and people are left to fend for themselves.’ Of the Katrina victims he had this to say: “The people you saw left behind were drowned long before Katrina – they were drowning in floods of poverty”.Afterward some members of the group attended the visitor’s center abutting the church, which presents a history of Dr. King’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement through photographs, archival film footage, and commentary provided by the National Parks Service (which runs the center). Dr. King’s tomb and birthplace are across the street.
Members of the media team then continued to work together to follow up on interviews and stories that we will continue to bring you relating to the intersections between Katrina, poverty, and neoliberalism in the South.