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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2010
5:08 PM

As March on Washington Anniversary Approaches, Lawyers’ Committee Celebrates Dr. King’s Legacy and Urges Continued Fight for Justice and Equality

WASHINGTON - August 26 - As the 37th anniversary of the historic March on Washington approaches, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law celebrates the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and encourages renewed commitment to the fight for racial and economic parity and peace.

"The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was indeed a transformative moment," said Lawyers' Committee Executive Director Barbara Arnwine.  "While landmark legislation such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 can, in part, be attributed to this massive civil rights effort, Dr. King's dream of equal opportunity for all has not yet been realized.  The quest for equality and justice remains."

"Undoubtedly Dr. King would be pleased by some of our nation's progress and achievements," said Ms. Arnwine.   "We applaud President Obama and his Administration's ongoing efforts to provide real solutions to our economic problems, including the passage of universal health care, stimulus funding and financial regulatory reforms.  However, we know that Dr. King would still be disappointed by this country's current state of race relations, continued systemic discrimination and ongoing wars.  We must work to correct the wealth gap between white and black households which more than quadrupled from 1984 to 2007.  Specifically, we must address the dire unemployment rate which now stands at 15.6 percent for Blacks and 12.1 percent for Latinos, compared to 8.6 percent for Whites.   This means targeted programs to address the underlying racial dynamics that, despite our progress, continue to exist.  Institutional racism is still racism.  It is incumbent upon "the village" to make the dream a reality for all Americans ... Now!"

Participation is encouraged at community rallies to commemorate the 1963 March on Washington:

  • Detroit, MI - On Saturday, August 28th, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and UAW, along with friends and allies, will march to mark the beginning of a new campaign that will call on our leaders to Rebuild America by enacting policy that will unleash the skills and talent of the American workforce. They will march for Jobs, Justice and Peace on the anniversary of that day in 1963 when Walter Reuther, president of UAW, Martin Luther King Jr., president of SCLC, and other civil rights leaders joined with hundreds of thousands of Americans for the March on Washington.  Visit http://www.rainbowpush.org/pages/march_in_detroit_call_to_march for more information.
  • Washington, D.C. - Numerous civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, National Urban League and National Action Network, will lead a mass rally and march on Saturday, August 28th to "Reclaim the Dream."  Visit http://nationalactionnetwork.net/media-info/press-releases/376-47th-anniversary-of-the-historic-march-on-washington.html for more information.
  • Washington, D.C. - On Saturday, August 28th the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights will host "One Nation Working Together: An Interfaith Call to Action for Civil and Human Rights" from 8-9:30 a.m. at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 Ninth St. NW, Washington D.C.  You must RSVP your attendance.  Visit http://civilrightscoalition.org/civilrights/events/interfaithservice/details.tcl for more information.
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The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law.


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