We March Today For Voting Rights
NOW Honors 58th Anniversary of the March on Washington
Washington, D.C. — Today NOW honors the 58th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a massive protest calling attention to the plague of racism in the United States. It is the day Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech and where 250,000 people of diverse racial backgrounds peacefully protested for equality and justice.
Today, we also honor Daisy Bates, the only woman to speak at the march and a civil rights activist instrumental in the successful integration of the Little Rock Nine at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Although she spoke less than 200 words that day, she delivered a powerful message that still resonates:
“We will join hands with you. We will kneel in; we will sit in until we can eat in any corner in the United States. We will walk until we are free until we can walk to any school and take our children to any school in the United States. And we will sit in and we will kneel in and we will lie in, if necessary, until every Negro in America can vote. This we pledge to the women of America.”
That last line hits harder than ever. State legislatures, emboldened by powerful special interests, are trying to push America back to the Jim Crow era through waves of voter suppression bills targeting marginalized communities. That is why NOW is proud to join Martin Luther King III in demanding federal voting rights protections with the March On Voting Rights held in Washington, DC, and cities around the country. We are also proud to make some “good trouble” with the Transformative Justice Coalition at the Lincoln Memorial for the Good Trouble Rally, marching to create a future that reflects the will of all people.
We must mobilize our efforts to denounce barriers to voting, protect our freedom to vote, and ensure passage of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which just passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and the For the People Act, which creates a standard of federal voting rights. We urge all activists to join us this weekend in celebrating this anniversary by getting into some “good trouble” and keep making your voices heard by calling or writing your Senators to pass voting rights legislation.
We must create the political will and political power to finally advance voting rights for all. We must speak out whenever and wherever we can to finally see the dreams of civil rights activists like MLK Jr., John Lewis, Dorothy Heights, Rosa Parks, Pauli Murray, Daisy Bates, and so many others finally become a glorious reality. We will keep marching until our democracy includes us all.