Hearts are joyous and spirits are high in the civil rights community as the renowned Southern Christian Leadership Conference announces with The King Center, their eager anticipation and celebratory plans for this year’s lead up to the 50th anniversary of the famous March on Washington, D.C. and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
“We still have to march,” opined SCLC President Dr. C.T. Vivian, who served on Martin Luther King, Jr’s Executive Staff. “We must tell the President and Congress that 50 years later, the struggle continues and poverty continues unabated.”
A news conference held at SCLC national headquarters kicked off the official planning/events phase for the next 11 months, culminating in what will be global commemorations during August 24-28th at both the Lincoln Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the Mall in Washington, D.C. The King Center simultaneously released their official announcement of plans and events for the 50th anniversary commemorations as well.
Distinguished leaders of the civil rights community in Atlanta joined in the announcement moment, including Ms. Helen Butler (People’s Agenda), Rev. Alfred Love(Concerned Black Clergy), Ms. Rita Samuels (SCLC Women), GA State Rep. and GABEO President Tyrone Brooks, and Mr. Joe Beasley (RainbowPUSH).
SCLC’s Chairman Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., President Dr. C.T. Vivian, CEO Charles Steele, Jr., Executive Director Damien Connors, Georgia State SCLC President Rev. Samuel Mosteller and GABEO President Rep. Tyrone Brooks spoke in glowing anticipation of the events planned.
President Vivian announced with pleasure that SCLC would be “in collaboration with Dr. King’s family,” that it would “not be real to be without them – and them without us!” CEO Steele followed up the President’s remarks, making clear that with The King Center’s communication, “protocol has been established.”
The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history and called for civil and economic rights for African Americans.