Sixty years after the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III and Andrea Waters King are bringing together thousands from across racial, cultural and generational lines to finish the work that began at the Lincoln Memorial decades ago.
Six decades ago, a group of civil rights leaders called “the Big 8” organized an event that brought 250,000 people to Washington. On Saturday, a diverse coalition that spans generations and races is planned to reignite the “Dream” that Dr. King articulated on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.
“We’ve partnered with 60 national organizations representing everyone from Latino, Jewish, Asian, and LGBTQ+ communities to labor and civic groups,” the Rev. Sharpton said in a statement Saturday. “[The National Action Network] has carefully curated speakers, planned a safe march route, and ensured that Aug. 26 will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reaffirm our collective commitment to the fight for equality and justice.”
People will start to gather at 7 a.m. and the program will begin at 8 a.m., concluding at 1 p.m. when King III, Sharpton, and stage event organizers leaders will march from the Lincoln Memorial up Independence Avenue.
The program will include performances, an interfaith ecumenical prayer service with national clergy, and speakers from civil rights, voting rights, gun violence, labor, youth, and other organizations. In addition to NAN and the Dream Institute, the other co-chair organizations include the following:
● Asian American Advancing Justice
● Anti-Defamation League
● Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
● The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
● Legal Defense Fund
● National Coalition on Black Civic Participation
● National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
● National Urban League
“This is a time of action and not just remembering history,” said Melanie Canpbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition of Voter Participation, in an interview. “This is an opportunity to use a historic moment to focus on the issues of today. In addition to the march, today a number of groups will be holding strategy meeting while they are in Washington.”
King, III, chairman of the Drum Major Institute, said when the march was announced, “Despite the significant progress we have made over these six decades, we need to rededicate ourselves to the mission my dad gave his life for.”
Weather and Hydration
Participants are asked to bring water, hydration, and other items to stay cool and nourished.
Americans Disability Act Shuttle
Accommodations will be available for people with disabilities on a first-come, first-serve basis. Volunteers will have yellow neon vests and be on golf carts with ADA shuttles near the bus parking areas designated with signs on each cart.
People at the Lincoln Memorial grounds who need more information about accessing an area to rest can contact a volunteer with a yellow, neon vest and volunteer badge for more information.
Organizers ask that people be dropped as close as possible, considering road closures will occur. Securing a carshare ride after the march has been difficult in previous years. Please plan accordingly.
March Lineup and Route
At the program’s close, march lineup instructions will be announced from the stage, and all marching speakers and special guests will join the march lineup. Attendees not marching should remain in place or depart from the Memorial once the program concludes.
The marchers will line up on Lincoln Circle NW and proceed south on 23rd Street, crossing through the median onto the southern portion of Independence Avene and concluding at West Potomac Park.
“Moments like these are crucial to keeping our mission alive across generations and around the country,” Sharpton emphasized.
“When so many of our hard-fought civil rights gains are under renewed threat, our march will demonstrate a unified front against the vitriol, rise in hate crimes, regressive laws, and threats to democracy itself that are permeating society,” the NAN leader added. “As in years past, hundreds of thousands are expected to join us in D.C., make an impact, and influence history for years to come — I hope that you will be one of them.“