50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Drum Majors for Justice Celebration in Washington, D.C. By Latraviette D. Smith
Fifty years ago, Whitney M. Young, Jr., president of the National Urban League from 1961-71, worked alongside his fellow civil rights, social justice and labor movement leaders to organize the March on Washington, where 300,000 people gathered to demand jobs and freedom. As America prepares to mark the anniversary of this historic gathering, the National Urban League, under the leadership of Marc H. Morial, will once again mobilize citizens across the nation to gather in Washington, D.C. and continue the push for economic empowerment and justice. The National Urban League is working in partnership with Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, and Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the National Urban League and the Memorial Foundation, led by Harry E. Johnson, are hosting the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Aug. 23. The Urban League will also host a Pre-March Rally on Saturday, Aug. 24.
FRIDAY, AUG. 23
“Redeem the Dream Summit” — Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW – Independence Ballroom. Doors Open at 8:30 a.m. – Open to the public.
“We Shall Not Be Moved: A Watershed Moment for a Movement” – 9 to 11 a.m. — A stellar line-up of civil rights legends and national leaders will look back on a day that brought more than 300,000 people together to hear leaders from the “Big 6” address a nation at a crossroads. Speakers will reflect on the 1963 March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
“The Next 50 Years: Freedom Forward” Panel Discussion – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Contemporary movement leaders will discuss the legacy of the March on Washington in the new era of civil rights – with its unprecedented challenges to hard fought victories in affirmative action and voting rights. Hear why this is “not a commemoration, but a continuation” and why “Jobs and Freedom” – joined by “Economic Empowerment and Justice” – remains the clarion call for civil rights in the 21st century. This panel will be a historic gathering that will chart the next 50 years of the movement.
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a proud supporter of the Redeem the Dream Summit. The National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America, is a 69-year-old federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers from across the United States.
“Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration” – 2 to 4 p.m., Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW — Celebrating young people as leaders in their own communities, this symbolic event will captivate the hearts and minds of young adults and encourage them to take up the mantle and step into their roles as Drum Majors for Justice. The event will also feature marching bands from local colleges and universities.
SATURDAY, AUG. 24
“Urban League Pre-March Rally” – 5:30-7:30 a.m., Independence Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW. — Urban League leaders, partners, friends and supporters will gather for a brief program, rally and sign-making session, before heading down to the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Realize the Dream March & Rally.
For more information, visit http://drummajorsforjustice.com/ or www.nul.org.