50th Anniversary:  March on Washington

MLK’s dream inspires a new march, and a president
LAST UPDATED: 03:12 p.m. HST, Aug 28, 2013

Clinton speaks at 50th anniversary of March on Washington
Bill Clinton commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Governor calls on bells to ring in Hawaii for ‘I Have a Dream’ commemoration

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:57 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2013

Hawaii residents are asked to ring a bell at 3 p.m. on Wednesday (August 28, 2013) as part of the 50th annivesary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“Half an ocean and a continent separate Hawaii from the National Mall, but we are no less impacted by Dr. King’s remarkable words that day,” Gov. Abercrombie said in a press release.

“Here in the Aloha State, our diversity defines us and remains a source of great strength and beauty rivaling the natural wonder of these islands. However, we are reminded, even today, that prejudice and injustice persist. The fulfillment of Dr. King’s legacy of hope, unity and freedom depends on our choices and actions beyond this single dayof remembrance, extending to every day of our lives,”  Abercrombie said.

The governor’s office said the King Center and the 50th Anniversary Coalition have asked governors of each state to help mark the anniversary and March on Washington with “Let Freedom Ring” bell-ringing events.

Abercrombie is also requesting that places of worship, government buildings and other facilities join in if possible.

For more information about the 50th Anniversary commemoration, visit: http://www.mlkdream50.com

Watch for details from the Youth Human and Civil Rights Committee on HSTA’s participation in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade on Oahu.

MLK 50th Anniversary
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Resources for your classroom

Teaching About the 1963 March on Washington

Classroom Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

NEA Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Labor Legacy

More information on the 50th Anniversary March on Washington

NEA 50th Anniv March on Washington


The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place 50 years ago on August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. It was during this march that Dr. King gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech that has reverberated for decades.

While we celebrate all that was achieved in the 50 years since that march, we recognize that the “Dream” has not been fulfilled and the battle for justice is ongoing.

On August 24th NEA will be part of the “National Action to Realize the Dream March”. This march is not just a commemoration, but a continuation of the efforts 50 years ago.

NEA has partnered with Black Youth Vote! (BYV!) a program of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Inc., to host the ONLY youth oriented program activity during the March. Together, we will host a civil leadership and organizing training conference entitled: Our Voices, Our Issues, Our Politics on Thursday August 22nd- Saturday August 24th, 2013.

The conference will encompass over 200 students from across the nation coming to our nation’s capital to unify for this momentous occasion and to contribute in organized workshops/seminars in collaborative efforts to enhance the civic leadership and organized training of youth around social justice activism.

This training conference is being sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) and Open Society Foundation, as well as co-hosted by the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Generational Alliance, The Praxis Project, National Urban League (NUL), National Action Network (NAN), 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Black Nation, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI).

Although (registration is now closed) for the conference, we encourage our members and the public to participate in the many festivities that are taking place around the March. We hope that you stay up to date on this page for further updates around the March and follow our social media sites to take part in this moment of history.

READ MORE AT: http://www.nea.org/MarchOnWashington

Were you there 50 years ago?  (Click on link and scroll down to see form.)

Take action on the civil rights issues of the day

Marching for King’s dream: ‘The task is not done’

By Suzanne Gamboa

Associated Press

POSTED: 03:00 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 11:25 a.m. HST, Aug 24, 2013

Participants today gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

WASHINGTON » Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall today, commemorating the 50th anniversary of King’s famous speech and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled.

The event was an homage to a generation of activists that endured fire hoses, police abuse and indignities to demand equality for African Americans. But there was a strong theme of unfinished business.

“This is not the time for nostalgic commemoration,” said Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the slain civil rights leader. “Nor is this the time for self-congratulatory celebration. The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more.”

Eric Holder, the nation’s first black attorney general, said he would not be in office, nor would Barack Obama be president, without those who marched.

“They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” Holder said.

Holder mentioned gays and Latinos, women and the disabled as those who had yet to fully realize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream. Others in the crowd advocated organized labor, voting rights, revamping immigration policies and access to local post offices.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., the only surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington, railed against a recent Supreme Court decision that effectively erased a key anti-discrimination provision of the Voting Rights Act. Lewis was a leader of a 1965 march, where police beat and gassed marchers who demanded access to voting booths.

“I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Ala., for the right to vote,” he said. “I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us. You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You’ve got to stand up. Speak up, speak out and get in the way.”

Organizers expected about 100,000 people to participate in the event, the precursor to the actual anniversary of the Aug. 28, 1963, march that drew some 250,000 to the National Mall and ushered in the idea of massive, nonviolent demonstrations.

Marchers began arriving early today, many staking out their spots as the sun rose in a clear sky over the Capitol. By midday, tens of thousands had gathered on the National Mall.

Lynda Chambers, 58, gave up a day’s pay to attend because her retail job does not provide paid vacation. Even as a 7-year-old at the time of the original march, she felt alienated and deprived of her rights. Remembering those feelings, she said, she was compelled to make the trip today.

“I wanted to have some sort of connection to what I have always known, as far as being a black person,” she said.

Longtime activist Al Sharpton, now a MSNBC host, implored young black men to respect women and reminded them that two of the leading figures in the civil rights movement of the 1960s were women.

“Rosa Parks wasn’t no ho,” he said. “And Fannie Lou Hamer wasn’t no bitch.”

Speakers frequently mentioned persistent high unemployment among blacks, which is about twice that of white Americans, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. Along the Mall, Martin’s picture was nearly as ubiquitous as King’s.

Nancy Norman, of Seattle, said she was disappointed more people who look like her had not attended. She is white. But the 58-year-old she said she was glad to hear climate change discussed alongside voting rights.

“I’m the kind of person who thinks all of those things are interconnected. Climate change is at the top of my list,” Norman said. “I don’t think it’s one we can set aside for any other discussion.”

Those in attendance arrived in a post-9/11 Washington that was very different from the one civil rights leaders visited in 1963.

Then, people crowded the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and could get close to King to hear his “I Have a Dream” speech. Today’s speakers were also on the memorial’s steps, but metal barriers kept people away from the reflecting pool and only a small group of attendees was allowed near the memorial today.

There was a media area and VIP seating. Everyone else had been pushed back and watched and listened to the speeches on big-screen televisions. Police were stationed atop the Lincoln Memorial. After the speeches, marchers walked from there, past the King Memorial, then down the National Mall to the Washington Monument, a distance of just over a mile.

On the day of the anniversary, President Barack Obama will speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. He will be joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Churches and groups have been asked to ring bells at 3 p.m. Wednesday, marking the exact time King spoke.

Joseph Lowery, who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference along with King, urged the crowd to continue working for King’s ideals.

“We’ve come to Washington to commemorate,” the 92-year-old civil rights leader said, “and we’re going home to agitate.”