Voices from the Edge on 07/18/13

Air date: 
Thu, 07/18/2013 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Join Sharon Gary Smith, Executive Director, of McKenzie River Gathering Foundation (MRG) and Gahlena Avidan, Retired Community Activist and former member of the African American Advisory Committee to Portland Police Bureau as we discuss the marathon mind-set required in seeking justice for African Americans and others over the last 50 years and into the future. The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963. Attended by some 250,000 people, it was the largest demonstration ever seen in the nation's capital, and one of the first to have extensive television coverage. 1963 was noted for racial unrest and civil rights demonstrations. Nationwide outrage was sparked by media coverage of police actions in Birmingham, Alabama, where attack dogs and fire hoses were turned against protestors, many of whom were in their early teens or younger. Martin Luther King, Jr., was arrested and jailed during these protests, writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham City Jail," which advocates civil disobedience against unjust laws. Dozens of additional demonstrations took place across the country, from California to New York, culminating in the March on Washington. President Kennedy backed a Civil Rights Act, which was stalled in Congress by the summer. 50 years later the issues addressed at the March; jobs, justice, police brutality and equality for African Americans have not been realized. With the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling gutting Section 4 of the voting rights act and the acquittal of neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman in the death of an unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin, we know there is a lot of work still to be done. We will discuss local & national efforts to address this erosion of civil rights protections for many of our most vulnerable members of our community and a local effort being plan in honor of the 50th Anniversary, which will happen in Portland on August 24, 2013 at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Call us at 503-281-7878 and join the conversation! For more information on MRG Foundation go to mrgfoundation.org


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