TransAfrica is excited to be part of the planning committee for the incredible events planned to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. With collaborative leadership from Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network, Melanie Campbell of National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Clayola Brown of A. Phillip Randolph Institute and many more, a broad cross-section of organizations has come together to prepare an amazing agenda.
The attendees of the planning meetings are inspiring us to do everything we can to support the 7-day commemoration of the historic "I Have a Dream" speech, being organized to highlight the themes of "Jobs, Justice and Freedom". The program, scheduled for August 21 - 28, 2013, includes a mass march along the historic 1963 route; a "Global Freedom Festival" featuring presentation by social change organizations, and much more.
At our meeting this week, Reverend Jesse Jackson opened the meeting with some powerful words. He reminded us, "In these movement we get caught up on who was here and who wasn't here but on a spiritual level it is irrelevant. The struggle belongs to all of us." He emphasized the importance of the fight for constitutional voting rights and the dangers of redistricting resulting in decreasing numbers of people of color in elected office.
Another participant at the meeting was 91 year old Augusta, who shared her story of being at the 1963 March on Washington with her three sons. "We put our feet in the water," she said, and she remembered the story of the young woman who encouraged Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to go beyond what he had written in his speech and tell the people about his dream. "You've got to have it in your heart," Augusta explained.
We invite you to view the full calendar of events and participate however you can! If you can't make it to Washington, DC, keep your eye out for local events you can attend. TransAfrica's Board Chair Danny Glover will be attending the A. Phillip Randolph Institute's 44th Annual National Conference.