Rebekah Barber is a native of Goldsboro, NC. She earned bachelor's degrees in English and history from North Carolina Central University in 2016. While at NCCU, she became actively involved in organizing around issues like voting rights, Medicaid expansion, and the Fight For $15. She also served as a fellow for the Common Cause HBCU Student Action Alliance and was on the executive committee of the Youth and College Division of the NC NAACP, which among other things, helped lead a successful campaign to free Dontae Sharpe, a Black man who was wrongfully incarcerated for murder in the state for over 25 years.
Currently, Rebekah is a research associate at the Durham-based Institute for Southern Studies, which was founded in the 1970s by civil rights veterans who understood the important role of media in pushing forth social change. She views her research as an extension of her activism work and has covered a broad range of topics, including the unjust criminalization of Black and Brown youth, campaigns to end money bail across the nation, and the battle to protect voting rights.
Rebekah has also been engaged with the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for a Moral Revival and serves on the communication committee for the state Poor People's Campaign. In 2018, she collaborated with a group of other millennials inspired by the campaign to help lead a series of town halls that were streamed on social media. The town halls—which generated thousands of views— discuss the "Souls of Poor Folk" audit, as well as ways that young people can get engaged with the campaign.