The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stacie B. Royster
202-662-8317, office

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


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

"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
    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."
    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
    for more information.

The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today.

(202) 662-8600