On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the historic March on Washington. That day he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which ends with the words:
“[W]hen we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
One of the rights people marched for in 1963 was the right to freely vote in elections all over the country. It would take another two years for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson of Texas.
Now, on Aug. 28, 2021, the 58th anniversary of the first March on Washington, another march will take place. This one will be led by Martin Luther King III, Chairman of the Board for the Drum Major Institute, who said
“It disheartens me to say that as a country and society, we are not even close to where my father hoped we would be since delivering his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech 58 years ago. I think my father would be greatly disappointed in where we are at this particular moment, but he would not give up on the nation. He believed in the power of people, the power of young people, and the power of change to come, and I am proud to support March On for Voting Rights to help carry out that change and recommit ourselves to finishing my father’s unfinished work.”
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, since January 49 states have introduced more than 400 bills aimed at restricting voting rights and as of July 22, 18 states have enacted 30 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote. These laws are being created to prevent a repeat of the high voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election and to curb the nonexistent voting fraud that some falsely claim was committed that year.
Over 140 organizations, including DemCast USA, have joined with March On For Voting Rights to demand that state legislatures stop enacting bills that restrict voting rights and that Congress pass the For The People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which will ensure free and fair elections. Flagship marches will take place in the states where voting rights are most under attack. These include Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizona. Virtual events will occur during the week prior to, and on the day of, the March On Washington. Follow this link to find more information about the March On Washington or to make a donation.
You can use this link to find a map that will help you locate in-person and virtual events throughout the country. Take the time to participate in as many of these events as possible, and let your state and federal representatives know that you are a voter passionate about protecting democracy and the right to vote in this country. It’s never been more important.
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