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 more than 250,000 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 again mobilize citizens across the nation to gather in Washington, D.C. to continue to press for economic empowerment and justice. The National Urban League is working in partnership with Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP, and Melanie Campbell 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 August 23, followed by an Urban League Pre-March Rally on August 24.
Click here to view the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration flyer.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 23rd
“Redeem the Dream Summit”
Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW – Independence Ballroom
Doors Open at 8:30AM – Open to the Public
“We Shall Not Be Moved: A Watershed Moment for a Movement”
- 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, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Participants include, among others:
- Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA)
- Dr. Charles Steele, Jr., former National President & CEO, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
- Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., Founder, Rainbow/PUSH
- Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia
- Sybrina Fulton, Founder, Trayvon Martin Foundation
- Benjamin L. Crump, Parks & Crump, LLC
- Harry E. Johnson, The Memorial Foundation, Inc.
- Barbara R. Arnwine, Exec. Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
10:30AM -11:00AM –
“21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom” Announcement
Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
Rev. Al Sharpton, founder and President, National Action Network
Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
In December 2012 and January 2013, nearly 60 of America's leading civil rights, social justice, business and community leaders – African American Leaders Convening (AALC) – met in Washington, D.C. for a historic and unprecedented gathering aimed at developing a public policy agenda targeting the primary challenges facing African Americans, urban communities and all low-income and working-class Americans. These meetings resulted in the identification of five urgent domestic goals for the nation.
The co-convening leaders will unveil the AALC’s 21st Century Agenda for Jobs and Freedom – goals and corresponding guiding principles, legislative policy priorities and other recommendations aimed at advancing the New Civil Rights Movement for Economic Empowerment and Justice and moving our communities toward equality and prosperity.
“The Next 50 Years: Freedom Forward” Panel Discussion
- 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.
Participants include, among others:
- Angela Rye, Co-Founder, IMPACT
- Brandi Richard, President, National Urban League Young Professionals
- Tamika Mallory, Executive Director, National Action Network
- Rev. Lennox Yearwood, President, Hip Hop Caucus
- Kevin Powell, Activist, writer, public speaker & entrepreneur
- Jeff Johnson, Founder, Jeff’s Nation, Activist
- Congressman Steven Horsford (NV)
The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a proud supporter of the Redeem the Dream Summit.
2:00-4:00PM (Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
“Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration”
- 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 mantel and step into their roles as Drum Majors for Justice. It will also feature marching bands from local colleges and universities.
Participants include Congressman John Lewis, Marc H. Morial, Harry Belafonte and the Howard University Marching Band Drumline.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24th
6:00-7:00AM (Independence Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW)
“Urban League Pre-March Rally”
- Urban League leaders, partners, friends, and supporters will gather for a brief program, rally and sign-making before parading together to the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Realize the Dream March & Rally.
8:00AM (Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall)
“Realize the Dream March” Rally, followed by a March to the King Memorial
Organized by Martin Luther King, III and Rev. Al Sharpton/National Action Network and supported by the National Urban League
- Fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, leaders from civil rights, organized labor, housing, media, education and politics will once again convene in the nation’s capital to urge Congress to act. More than 100,000 marchers are expected to rally in D.C., with hundreds of thousands more rallying through social media to take a stand against the many issues that are plaguing our communities. Issues including racial profiling, Stand Your Ground laws, unemployment, poverty, gun violence, and broader concerns over civil rights, healthcare, housing and the environment will be the focus of the march. Akin to the 250,000 people who converged on Washington, D.C 50 years ago, this gathering will be multi-racial and intergenerational.
Speakers include, among others:
- Martin Luther King, III
- Rev. Al Sharpton
- Marc H. Morial
- Congressman John Lewis
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
- Janet Murguia, President of The National Council of La Raza
- Families of Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till
** MEDIA REGISTRATION: Media should register by using the following link and selecting “media” from the drop-down menu: www.iplanevents.com/50thAnniversary. **
About the National Urban League
The National Urban League (www.nul.org) is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League has improved the lives of tens of millions of people nationwide through direct service programs that are implemented locally by its 95 Urban League affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The organization also conducts public policy research and advocacy activities from its Washington, D.C. bureau. The National Urban League, a BBB-accredited organization, has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top 10 percent of all U.S. charities for adhering to good governance, fiscal responsibility and other best practices.