The National Urban League Marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

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Join the National Urban League and Urban League Movement in Washington, DC for the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration on Aug. 23 and the pre-March rally on Aug. 24 in commemoration of the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Fifty years ago, Whitney M. Young Jr., president of the National Urban League from 1961-71, worked alongside his fellow civil rights, social justice and labor movement leaders to organize the March on Washington, where more than 250,000 people gathered to demand jobs and freedom. As America prepares to mark the anniversary of this historic gathering, the National Urban League, under the leadership of president and CEO Marc H. Morial, will again mobilize citizens across the nation to gather in Washington, D.C. to continue to press for economic empowerment and justice. The National Urban League is working in partnership with Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, Benjamin Jealous of the NAACP, and Melanie Campbell of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the National Urban League and the Memorial Foundation, led by Harry E. Johnson, are hosting the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration in Washington, D.C. on August 23, followed by an Urban League Pre-March Rally on August 24.

Schedule of Events:

“Redeem the Dream Summit”
Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW – Independence Ballroom
Doors Open at 8:30AM – Open to the Public

“We Shall Not Be Moved: A Watershed Moment for a Movement”
▪ A stellar line-up of civil rights legends and national leaders will look back on a day that brought more than 300,000 people together to hear leaders from the “Big 6” address a nation at a crossroads. Speakers will reflect on the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic speech, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

“The Next 50 Years: Freedom Forward” Panel Discussion
▪ Contemporary movement leaders will discuss the legacy of the March on Washington in the new era of civil rights – with its unprecedented challenges to hard fought victories in affirmative action and voting rights. Hear why this is “not a commemoration but a continuation” and why “Jobs and Freedom” – joined by “Economic Empowerment and Justice” – remains the clarion call for civil rights in the 21st century. This panel will be a historic gathering that will chart the next 50 years of the movement.

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) is a proud supporter of the Redeem the Dream Summit.

2:00-4:00PM (Freedom Plaza, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
“Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration”
▪ Celebrating young people as leaders in their own communities, this symbolic event will captivate the hearts and minds of young adults and encourage them to take up the mantel and step into their roles as Drum Majors for Justice. It will also feature marching bands from local colleges and universities.

5:30-7:30AM (Independence Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1000 H St. NW)
“Urban League Pre-March Rally”
▪ Urban League leaders, partners, friends, and supporters will gather for a brief program, rally and sign-making before parading together to the Lincoln Memorial for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington Realize the Dream March & Rally.

For more information, visit or

About the National Urban League
The National Urban League ( is a historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization dedicated to economic empowerment in historically underserved urban communities. Founded in 1910 and headquartered in New York City, the National Urban League has improved the lives of tens of millions of people nationwide through direct service programs that are implemented locally by its 95 Urban League affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The organization also conducts public policy research and advocacy activities from its Washington, D.C. bureau. The National Urban League, a BBB-accredited organization, has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, placing it in the top 10 percent of all U.S. charities for adhering to good governance, fiscal responsibility and other best practices.

Contact: Latraviette D. Smith
lsmithadv(at)nul(dot)org or 1-212-558-5433

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Latraviette Smith