Press Releases

NAN Headquarters at Modernized Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library for Planning Ahead of Historic Commitment March on Washington

Aug 27, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) – Nearly 60 years after more than a quarter-million people gathered with Martin Luther King Jr. for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the National Action Network is convening at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to organize the final details of the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” Commitment March, taking place at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2020. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is the central library for the District of Columbia. Closed since 2020 for a three-year modernization, the library has given the National Action Network limited access to the building’s Digital Commons room before its public reopening on September 24, 2020.

“National Action Network operates in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and we are honored that the newly modernized Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library will serve as our headquarters during this historic time,” Rev. Al Sharpton. “This partnership honors and reflects the legacy of Dr. King as our March on Washington works to bring an end to the pandemic of police brutality.”

Reverend Al Sharpton, the National Action Network (NAN), Martin Luther King III, Attorney Benjamin Crump and families of police brutality victims, along with labor leaders, clergy, activists and civil rights advocates, are leading the Commitment March to fight for criminal justice reform in solidarity with those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police. The march, under the rallying call, ‘Get Your Knee Off Our Necks’ will coincide with the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington where he delivered his historic “I Have A Dream” speech in 1963.

“The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library has been a location where people who have petitioned the government have frequently gathered,” said Richard Reyes-Gavilan, executive director of the DC Public Library. “One of our goals with our renovation was to reintroduce the building to groups and people who embody Dr. King’s activism. National Action Network and the call to end police brutality.”

Speakers at the Commitment March will include the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and others to address the senseless loss of Black lives at the hands of police and advocate for issues including police accountability and criminal justice reform, voter protection and more. Protesters and activists will gather at Lincoln Circle to hear the day’s programming before marching to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.