City of Hope: Resurrection City and the Poor People’s Campaign

Courtroom Poster Exhibit

This timely poster exhibit honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final and most ambitious vision that each U.S. citizen have equal access to economic opportunities and the American dream. City of Hope: Resurrection City and the Poor People’s Campaign examines the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign—a grassroots, multiracial movement that drew thousands of people to Washington, D.C. for 43 days. Demonstrators demanded social reforms while living on the National Mall in a 16-acre tent city known as Resurrection City.

Organized by the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, City of Hope highlights protest signs, political buttons, and newly discovered photographs from the campaign. The exhibit will help visitors engage and contextualize the Poor People’s Campaign’s historical significance and present-day relevance. Although then President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in 1964, tens of millions of Americans were denied livable wages, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality education, and healthcare. Led by Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) organized the Poor People’s Campaign in response to poverty as a national human rights issue.


The Poor People’s Campaign set the stage for future social justice movements. Within months after Resurrection City’s evacuation, major strides were made toward economic equality in many areas.

This free exhibit is possible only with the support of our community. Our display of City of Hope is sponsored by the Loreen Beisswenger Farish Charitable Foundation,  Pat Moran Family Foundation, PNC Bank, Sciame Homes, the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, and the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority.

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