WASHINGTON - NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous will join the National Action Network (NAN), along with heads of progressive organizations, unions and clergy in a mass rally and march in Washington, DC on Saturday, August 28, 2010 to celebrate the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The date marks the anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which was delivered at the 1963 March on Washington.
Entitled “Reclaiming the Dream”, the march primarily seeks to remind Americans of Dr. King’s vision for a society in which all Americans were treated fairly despite racial, gender or other differences. Much like King and his supporters did on August 28, 1963, attendees of the rally will also march in the name of jobs and freedom.
“I will be proud to stand with my family and all my brothers and sisters on August 28 to reflect and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “We look forward to uniting in hope and advocating for a productive agenda for today’s America – jobs, justice, education.”
The August 28 effort will take place in light of conservative attempts to detract from the legacy and true purpose of the “I Have a Dream” speech. A concurrent rally also scheduled for August 28 is scheduled to take place at the Lincoln Memorial, the site of Dr. King’s famous delivery, and declares that it will “reclaim the civil rights movement”. Despite claims by conservatives that the rally is not political, the event is closely aligned with the Tea Party, which the NAACP has asked to repudiate and expel the racist elements within its organization.
The website promoting the conservative rally tells participants that signs and guns will not be allowed.
“We respect their right to express their opinions, however out of the mainstream they may be,” said Jealous. “But we are here to honor Dr. King’s historic gift to our nation, and we would note that Dr King never had to ask his followers to leave hateful signs and guns at home.”
The “Reclaiming the Dream” march will begin at Washington D.C.’s Dunbar High and continue to the site where a memorial commemorating the legacy of Dr. King is under construction. The memorial is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2011.
“Reclaiming the Dream” will precede a major march for jobs, justice and education by the NAACP and other organizations on 10-2-10. Known as One Nation Working Together, the October 2 rally represents a nationwide movement bringing Americans together and addressing everyday issues such as the economy, education and the criminal justice system.
“In the spirit of Dr. King, we will bring another major event to Washington on 10-2-10, an event that will highlight the real problems that we need to address: jobs, justice and education,” said Jealous. “We know that Dr. King will be with us in spirit when we march to pull America back together and put America back to work on 10-2-10."
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.