Organizers to mark 60th anniversary of the March on Washington with renewed call for action

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It’s been almost 60 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his now iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

This weekend, thousands will gather at the Lincoln Memorial for the anniversary of that moment and the March on Washington.

The nonviolent protest brought more than 250,000 people crowded around the Lincoln Memorial to call for racial equality, civil rights, and jobs.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. and others pushed for and ultimately were successful in getting civil rights and voting rights legislation through – that was really kind of a big, gigantic step for the country,” said Dr. Clarence Lusane, Howard University professor.

Lusane said the 1963 March on Washington was a major turning point for the country.

Martin Luther King III and his wife are organizing the march along with Rev. Al Sharpton who now runs the National Action Network. They’ve teamed up with more than 100 partners from civil rights organizations to groups representing minorities, women, clergy and the LGBTQ+ community.

This year’s theme is, “not a commemoration, a continuation.” Leading up to this weekend, King’s son said despite major progress over the last six decades, there’s still work to do. He said, “We need to rededicate ourselves to the mission my dad gave his life for.”

Lusane says many of the issues that Dr. King addressed in the 1960s continue today as well as new challenges.

“What worries me today is not only the racial disparities and how those have a direct impact, but the attack on democracy,” said Lusane. “One of the really heralding times is that we’re seeing a pushback on the gains that have been made over the decades in voting right, in access to education.”

It’s a call to action that some say they’re ready for.

“We still have a long way to go to keep those rights that we have right now to continue to fight for the generation that has yet to come,” said CeeJay Joseph, Houston resident.

On Monday, August 28, President Biden and Vice President Harris will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. A White House official said they will meet with organizers of the march, community leaders and members of the King family during the afternoon.

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