REV. AL SHARPTON & MARTIN LUTHER KING, III, ALONG WITH LABOR LEADERS, CLERGY, ELECTED OFFICIALS AND ACTIVISTS, TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 FOR THE NATIONAL ACTION TO RECLAIM THE DREAM MARCH
July 8, 2013 (Washington, DC)–Reverend Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN) and MSNBC host, and Martin Luther King, III, President of Realize the Dream, and the eldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have announced that fifty-years-after Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963, they will mount the same steps at the Lincoln Memorial to lead the 50th Anniversary March on Washington National Action to Realize the Dream on Saturday, August 24, 2013.
In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling negating a key section of the Voting Rights Act, organizers of the march intend to put pressure on Congress to introduce a new voting rights formula. Several states including Texas have already begun initiating new voting laws such as the voter identification law, and there must be immediate action to protect the vote. Secondly, jobs in the black community are stuck at over 13 percent and there must be pressure applied to Congress to create jobs. Thirdly, with questions in the criminal justice system in the national spotlight, from Stop and Frisk police tactics in New York, to Stand Your Ground laws in Florida, there is a real concern about the state of Blacks in the justice system. There must be a mandate that 50-years after fighting some of the same battles, there must be a continuation march not a commemoration march.
Joined by an alliance of prominent advocates of labor, health, housing, education, civil and human rights, the purpose of the march is not just to celebrate the historic 1963 March on Washington, but to galvanize the American people around the compelling issues of today. Congressman John Lewis, the only one of the six leaders of the March on Washington of 1963 that is still alive, appeared with Reverend Al Sharpton at the Essence Music Festival over July 4th weekend, both on his PoliticsNation MSNBC show and at a public forum, and not only did he endorse the August 24th National Action to Reclaim the Dream March, but he agreed to stand with Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III and thousands of others at the historic event.
Among the groups joining with Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III include: The King Center, A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), NAACP, NAACP LDF, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League (NUL), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Communities Without Boundaries International, Inc., Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 1199 SEIU, United Federation of Teachers (UFT), United Here, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, American Federation of Government Employees, AFGE, Military Families Speak Out, Fair Vote, United for Peace & Justice, Veterans for Peace, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Congress of Black Women (NCBW), , National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. (NCBW), Black Women’s Health Imperative, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), National Black Justice Coalition, Family Equality Council, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), The Hip Hop Caucus, Operation Hope, Impact Black Youth Vote, Our Time.org.
According to Rev. Sharpton and Martin Luther King, III, many Americans including those who have faced a history of exclusion—people of color, poor whites, women, workers, immigrants, LGBT’s—are still disproportionately represented in many negative socioeconomic categories like poverty, poor education, unemployment, underemployment, loss of labor rights, inadequate health care, unfairness in the justice system and voter suppression. “It is the intent of those that come together to make it clear that this is not just a nostalgia visit, that this is not a commemoration but a continuation and a call to action,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “We are in a climate that is threatening too much of what was achieved 50 years ago.”
For more information please visit www.nationalactionnetwork.net