America Will Be

A Film Project Documenting the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

AMERICA WILL BE is a film project documenting how organizers across the country are building the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival to help us become the nation we’ve not yet been. The project emerged out of 15 years of media advocacy and organizing together with media makers across the United States. It is led by filmmaker Dara Kell, with the support of Adam Barnes and Charon Hribar of the Kairos Center. We see this as an open-ended project that we hope will continue to evolve as the conditions of poverty and climate change demand new, innovative forms of organizing.

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Oceti Sakowin Camp Standing Rock
An image from the first episode of AMERICA WILL BE at Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota.

Why Now?

We think that right now is the time to get this story out into the world. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how big the problem of poverty is. But instead of feeling powerless, the struggles we’re documenting in AMERICA WILL BE show that when people unite across lines that too often divide us, real change is possible.

There are people across the country — whether Republican or Democrat — who feel that poverty is not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. We are documenting this moment in history, in real time, as it unfolds. We plan to use the AMERICA WILL BE series in community forums across the country, to encourage open discussion about the real obstacles to, and possibilities for, ending the suffering that comes from growing poverty in this land of such plenty.

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Oceti Sakowin Camp Standing Rock
An image from the first episode of AMERICA WILL BE at Oceti Sakowin Camp in North Dakota.

Episode 1: Uniting a Movement

The struggles of people across the country are interlocked in their fundamental opposition to the violence that degrades and kills life. The forces that unleash and benefit from this violence and who divide the struggles against it are mighty, but they are few. A movement to unite the many is gaining strength and momentum. This episode takes us to the front lines of those struggles and introduces us to some of the leaders who are helping to bring a movement together and to realize a world free from the evils of poverty, racism, militarism, and environmental degradation.


Episode 2: Poverty is Violence

What is poverty? Who are the poor? Why is there poverty? This episode presents both the scale and scope of poverty and underscores how the poor are not only victims of injustice but leaders in the effort to end it — and to envision alternatives. From rural Aberdeen, Washington, where the community confronts crises of opioid addiction, youth incarceration, and job loss, to Flint, Michigan where poor mothers fight the forces that poisoned their water, to the workers of Fight for $15, who have built a national struggle for a living wage, we meet some of the leaders of this movement and see how poverty crosses the divides of race, gender, age, and geography.


COMING SOON — Episode 3: Spirit of Struggle

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Poor People's Campaign at the Border in El Paso, TX
The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, including co-chairs Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, marches with the Border Network for Human Rights near the border in El Paso, TX.

As different communities across the US and the world confront the forces that inflict great misery on human life and dignity, a clear moral and religious truth is also emerging. The people and struggles that make up the Poor People’s Campaign and the broader movement to end poverty are providing profound religious and moral insight into who we are and who we can be as people and as a society. This struggle also allows us to better understand the immoral and heretical forms of religion utilized by the forces we are up against. Finally, the struggle is helping us to envision an alternative to this world of violence and degradation, a world where life is treated as sacred and helped to thrive. This episode shares some of the deep religious and spiritual insights emerging out of this movement that help to guide the struggle.