March On for Washington and Voting Rights announced Thursday, the initial lineup of speakers who will join Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton and Arndrea Waters Kings on the National Mall on Saturday, August 28, the anniversary of the 1963 March On Washington.
Following the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act in the House, elected officials including the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Rep. Joyce Beatty, Rep. Terri Sewell, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Rep. Mondaire Jones will take the stage to make urgent pleas to their colleagues on the Hill to pass federal voting rights legislation. They will be joined by civil rights, racial justice and labor leaders, including Philonise Floyd, Attorney Ben Crump, Randi Weingarten and Lee Saunders, among others.
“We will make history on Saturday as our honorable speakers and marchers carry the torch for justice my father and so many others carried across the National Mall in 1963,” said Martin Luther King III, Chairman of the Drum Major Institute.
“With the Capitol behind us, you will hear these speakers make emotional pleas for Congress to secure our democracy. You will also hear impassioned chants for D.C. statehood, because our generational fight for voting and civil rights is not complete until the mostly Black and Brown residents of D.C. have voting representation in Congress.”
“I’m proud of the leaders we’ve gathered together to call for voting rights on Saturday — they are continuing the struggle to realize Dr. King’s dream of equality,” said Arndrea Waters King, President of the Drum Major Institute. “We won’t stop organizing, mobilizing and marching until Congress stops choosing the Jim Crow filibuster over our right to vote”
“I am honored that members of the Congressional Black Caucus, major national civil rights leaders and labor leaders will join Martin and me to not only keep the dream alive but to deal with the current and immediate threat to our voting rights by focusing on the Senate’s need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We are not commemorating what did happen as much as we are pinpointing what must happen now. And these arrays of prominent people joining us strengthens our ability to do that.” said Reverend Al Sharpton, President and Founder of National Action Network (NAN).
Starting at 8am EDT, marchers will gather in McPherson Square to march along Black Lives Matter Plaza toward the National Mall, where the speaker program will begin at noon EDT and be livestreamed on National Action Network’s website.
With the backdrop of the United States Capitol behind them, leaders, performers and marchers will make their voices heard, center the fight for D.C. statehood, and demand Congressional action to protect our right to vote.