A Moral Budget for America

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - 4:00pm


Shailly Gupta Barnes

Policy Director at the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and the National Poor People's Campaign

Join us in conversation with Shailly Gupta Barnes as she discusses a moral budget for America and the crucial need for a shifting of priorities on both the state and federal level. She is the Policy Director at the Kairos Center and National Poor People's Campaign. She coordinated and edited the Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America report for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, working closely with the Institute for Policy Studies. This report looked at the evolution of the key themes of the Campaign over the past 50 years and its findings informed the current Campaign’s Moral Agenda and Demands. Read more about the Souls of Poor Folk  and Moral Agenda at the poorpeoplscampaign.org. 

Introductory remarks by Savina Martin, Mass Poor People's Campaign and response by Professor Ceasar McDowell, MIT Urban Studies and Planning. 

Originally from Chicago, Shailly has a background in law, economics and international development and has spent the past 14 years working with and for poor and marginalized communities: as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural farming village in Niger; as part of the legal team that successfully fought for Colombian waste pickers’ rights in the Constitutional Court of Colombia; with the Poverty Initiative and its network of grassroots religious and community leaders; and today with the Kairos Center and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Her understanding of justice, morality and liberation draws on her Hindu and Jain background and her close engagement with communities of struggle.

Shailly has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago (1999), a J.D. from UCLA School of Law (2002), and an M.I.A. from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (2009). She has three children with Adam Barnes and lives in New York City.


To reach room 3-133, enter MIT at 77 Mass Ave main entrance, and proceed down the hall to Building 3. Rm1-133 is immediately to your right. Please note that there is very limited parking (street meters) but #1 bus stops at 77 Mass Ave.

Co-sponsored by MIT Radius, Mass Poor People’s Campaign, Mass Peace Action, and Institute for People’s Engagement.