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tv   Highlights--50th Anniversary-- March  CSPAN  August 24, 2013 8:35pm-12:01am EDT

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conferences and offering gavel- to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house all as a public service a public industry. created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded your local cable or satellite provider and you go watch is in hd. x thousands of people gathered on the national mall today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on washington and civil rights advocates joined members of government in a ceremony on the lincoln memorial. the same location where dr. martin luther king jr. delivered his i have a dream speech. you would hear from the reverend holder, then, eric reverend al sharpton, among others as a picture butte to the events of the day -- as they pay tribute to the events of the day.
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>> for those of us from the south, 50 years ago we received our marching orders when dr. martin luther king jr. quote it the prophet isaiah, i have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill should be made low and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the lord should be revealed and all flesh. and this is the faith that we go back to the south with and those are our marching orders and this is the faith that we go back to the south with. yes, the south. where some are still trying to fight the civil war. where we areh witnessing this vicious attack on voters, voting rights, and the blatant voting suppression i .ne particular political party
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yes, the south where young teenage african-american boys cannot walk the streets of his father's neighborhood without being profiled, confronted, stalked, and finally murdered every watched over 45 days were governor because of the relentless protests of people on sanford reluctantly appointed a reluctant prosecutor who reluctantly put together a prosecuting team who did a poor job in presenting their case very watching a murderer go free , watching our community and our country try to go back 50 years ago. face andway with the the words of the prophet, isaiah once again.
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the day that wait upon the lord shall renew as shall model with wings as shall run and not be weary as shall walk and not faint. joe madison. >> 50 years ago, 1963, there was not the congressional black caucus. 2013, we have a congressional black caucus and they are here. let me acknowledge them over to my right. ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the 43 members of the congressional black caucus. [applause] ago, 50 years ago, in this commemoration
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and continuation, the citizens of the city did not have the right to vote in congress. 50 years later, we still do not have a right to vote and we are demanded and dr. king that washington, d.c. should be the 51st state of the united states of america. residents.or 600,000 forth thatt it go this is not only a commemoration of continuation. but what you have here are two generations that have come together and there is a lot said about the joshua generation. the younger people. them, it was the moses generation that pointed the way. we need both generations working
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side-by-side together and so let this be a date in which moses points the way for joshua the walls of segregation of racism and materialism come tumbling down. our that, let me introduce irst speaker for this segment, the director of foreign policy friends committee, a national legislation, dr. michael shank. >> the day after martin luther king died, robert kennedy spoke on violence. here is what he said, what has violence accomplished and created? we tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity. we glorify killing on movie screens and call it entertainment. we make it easy for men to acquire at weapons. we honor the wielders of force. we excuse those willing to build their lives on the shattered
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dreams of other. there is another violence just as deadly. this is the violence of inaction. president kennedy was equally unequivocal. we need the kind of piece that makes life worth living. too many of us think it is impossible, but that is a dangerous belief, said the president. dr. king called america the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. he was right. and still is today. when profit motive and property rights are considered more important than people, he said, the giant triplets of militarism is incapable of being conquered. a true revolution of values will look and easily on the glaring
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contrast to party and well. a true revelation will say this way of settling differences is not just. american can lead the way in the revolution of values. no document can make these humans any less of our brothers. the true meaning of compassion and non-violence is when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view. there is nothing to prevent us from re-ordering our priorities. the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. let us practice what they -- [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the national black sharon hicks.tion.
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>> one of my mentors told me in order to truly be free, you must give to causes greater than yourself. every day, i educate, allocate, and celebrate the contributions of the lot lesbian, gay, transgender community. if any of my brothers and sisters are not free, none of us are free. today i looked up the man,ributions of a black gay he felt for the freedoms. he lived at the intersection of these identities fighting for the freedoms of all people. he was a radical and visionary, a black gay activist for freedom and justice during a time when the existence of both identities
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were perilous. he owned his power. he fiercely challenged the status quo and fought for those marginalized while refusing to be defined by any single aspect of his identity. he was as unapologetically black as he was gay and by his very presence he challenged the evils of homophobia and racism his legacy his life. leaves -- [indiscernible] >> [crowd murmurs] >> our next speaker, the president of habitat for humanity.
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>> what does the lord require of you but to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your god. these words from micah 6:8 stir my heart just as much today as they did when i first heard them she wouldrandmother. challenge me to be useful. my outspoken grandmother was a congresswoman from new jersey who came to politics through the civil rights movement and marched with leon sullivan. she considered the old testament instructions as marching orders to fight against injustice and for equality. at habitat for humanity, our vision is similar to that of dr. king. we break down barriers as we build up the walls.
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we bring people together in an effort to create a world where everyone has a decent place to live. since 1976, habitat has helped more than 3 million people realize their dreams for a better future because no one should live in poverty housing. we will not let our hammers or our voices rest until the world believes safe, decent, affordable housing matters. the reality is if children do not live in decent homes, the odds of their staying healthy plummets, they will not do well in school. without an education, they cannot get jobs. they will not be able to provide
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for their families or break the stranglehold of poverty. we cannot abide that. >> ♪ >> the next speaker is the deputy u.s. program director for sanchezghts watch.maria marino. >> good morning. i did not grow up in the united states. one of the things that impressed me the most about this country was a simple fact that all around me in newspapers, college classrooms, on tv, and radio, there was an active dialogue, sometimes frustrating, but an active one, about our rights. in law school, we spent weeks talking about the 14th amendment to the constitution and the guaranteed equal protection. people talk about race, gender, sexual orientation. even more exciting, people empowered. they knew that if they spoke up, they could change things.
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as a latina woman, i knew the opportunities open to meet where because of those who demanded a more just society. it is wonderful to be with you and honor those who marched 50 years ago in the name of equal rights for all. in my work, i see the u.s. still has a long way to go. the u.s. has the largest reported prison population in the world. people of color are far more likely to be arrested or imprisoned. too many migrants live in fear of being torn away from their families. that makes them easy prey for those that would abuse the rights. poverty has increased in recent decades. far too many of the poorest are women and people of color. the list goes on. we also have reasons for hope. policy makers are starting to -- >> ♪
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>> our next speaker, a young lady who has kept the faith, has dealt with voter suppression throughout this nation, the president and executive director of the national committee for civil rights. >> good morning, everyone. we are here today because there is a great spirit sweeping this land, demanding justice for all americans, a spirit that knows no boundaries based on race, color, or who you love. a spirit that demands every human being be dignified. a spirit that says there is a right to be just in every aspect of our life. a spirit that says we must have the right to vote, that nothing
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is more important than that everyone has the right to vote. a spirit the demands the end to voter suppression in north carolina, texas, alabama, florida, georgia, ohio. we must allow the people to vote. remember, if you remember nothing else -- >> ♪ >> he serves with his father in
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ministry and his biological father, the reverend jasper williams. he is the rev. joseph williams, pastor of the salem bible church of atlanta, georgia. >> why are you here? to commemorate or participate? commemorate means i am celebrating something that has already occurred. to participate means i am and actively involved in right now. are you here because you want to be seen? do you desire to be a part of change? are you here to point fingers and blame or hold hands with your brother or your sister? 50 years ago, the works of our forefathers and mothers allowed us to see the realization of the first black president. our country still has a race issue all of us need to be a part of. why are you here? the change is not a black or white thing. it is not a yellow, gay, or
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straight thing. it is an american thing. for us to eliminate racism, we must obliterate the concept of race to understand there is only one race. that is the human race. god bless.[applause] >> our next speaker is the president of george mason university, dr. angel cabrera. >> thousands of young men and women are denied a college education every year. they are shut out of the american dream, not because they are not smart enough, not because they are not talented enough. not because they are ready to work hard enough. but because their parents may not be rich enough. because they may not be american enough. because they may not be
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documented enough. dr. king said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. he said the time is always right to do what is right, and i say the time to break down the barriers of access to education is now. i say i would not be here if not for education. most of us would not be here if not for education. the american dream is not a destination. it is a struggle. it is a struggle that takes the work of all of us. let us struggle together. let us dream together. [speaking spanish] gracias, god bless. >> ♪ >> our next speaker, the economist and director of columbia university earth institute.
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>> if the arc of the moral universe bends toward justice, it is because righteous souls in each generation pull at each end. 50 years ago at this spot, king spoke to righteous men and women who fulfill their role in shaping the moral universe. they did their job bravely and well. we honor them today. the great task of moral construction is never finished. there is no final victory on earth. only an inheritance of justice each generation must renew and pass to the next. 1963 was a year of moral crisis and renewal. it was a year to rescue america's soul and move the world as john f. kennedy did
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with the nuclear test ban treaty. it was the year of martyrdom of that young president who told us that when one man is enslaved, all are not free. 2013 is another year of moral crisis. america is mired in income inequality and poverty. american eslaves multitudes of black and hispanic young men to feed the greed of its privatized penitentiaries. america sends drone missiles that kill innocent wedding-goers in a misguided war on islam. it is our turn to bend the arc of the moral universe. we must banish the money lenders, not from the temple but from congress and the white house. we must beat swords into plowshares joining with israelis and palestinians to honor the prophets of peace.
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we must end our assault on nature and harvest the sun and the wind instead. in our age of greed and glitter, the world of justice seems to be stilled. do not be deceived. the ancient cry still moves us today. justice, justice shall you pursue so you can live in the promised land. >> ♪ >> our next speaker is the president of youth build usa. >> good morning. i am happy we are back calling with one voice for the creation of the beloved community that reverend king named as our goal. many of us have spent 50 years
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marching quietly toward that dream. i want to first of all the millions of unsung heroes of the grassroots who have given their lives and heart to help other people. let me name just one, leroy looper, my mentor, a great man who passed away in 2011 having done great good. but his complete dream was unfulfilled. reverend king's core message was about the power of love. we sang that if we had a hammer of love between our brothers and sisters all over this land. we have been hammering out that love. my colleagues have hammered out hundreds of safe oases for young people who join hands building affordable housing for their neighbors while they complete their own high school education
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and take leadership in their communities. they are now the ones hammering out love between their brothers and sisters. their parents are proud. their younger siblings are awed and their children are thriving. they are the lucky few. millions are being locked out of society or locked up. many expect to be dead or in jail by the time they're 25. this is a national sin and 7 million, 16 to 24-year-olds out of school and out of work. they have talent, heart, soul, intelligence, and dreams. our nation needs them. imagine hundreds of thousands of them -- >> ♪
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>> she must have been a baby when she started with pepsico. please welcome a senior vice president of global diversity pamelaclusion officer. culpepper. >> good morning. it is a privilege to join with you to celebrate his great milestone in american history. thank you, rev. al sharpton for your long commitment to improving opportunities for all disenfranchised people. we're proud to partner with you. our appreciation goes out to everyone who plays a role in fulfilling the mission of the national action network. martin luther king, iii, thank thank you for carrying the torch lit by your parents to help.
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the world of economic and social injustice. i am proud to be among the pepsico associates who are here to reinforce the values of equality and fairness. i cannot introduce all of my olleagues. i cannot introduce all of my colleagues. i would like to take a moment to recognize one. let me tell you about wesley dickerson. he was 7 years old when he watched dr. martin luther king delivered his "i have a dream" speech from on top of his father's shoulders. he remembers his father telling him and his sister that the march mattered because it was about equality for all. 50 years later, he is here with us today and has been instrumental in making sure the logistics work together for today's march. the principles of human dignity, civil equality, and economic empowerment for all our core values of pepsico.
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almost 75 years ago, we were the first major company to integrate management and the first to elevate an african-american to vice-president. one year before the 1963 march on washington. we're dedicated to the ideals of this march and what it represents. i am proud to stand on behalf of all pepsico associates here today and on the shoulders of those who made it possible for me to stand before you. i am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity. thank you. >> ♪ ♪ >> our next speaker is the grandson of mahatma gandhi. biographer, research prof. at the center for south asian and
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middle eastern studies, univ. of illinois, dr. gandhi. >> my grandfather never visited the united states, but his heart was fully involved in the struggle in this country. in february, 1936, after meeting four african-americans in western india, this is what he said. "if it comes true, it may be through the african americans that the adult trade of message of non-violence will be delivered to the world." in 1967, four years after the 1963 march, dr. king said this n new york city.
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"every nation must develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole." dr. king added a warning against what he called the apathy of conformist thought. today as we underline america's enormous needs, dr. king's phrase of overriding loyalty to humankind also demands our attention. conformist thought stops us from time to assess. we must ask if we want democracy here but only dependable friends elsewhere. >> ♪ ♪
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>> our next speaker, a social activist, civil rights leader, chairman emeritus of the naacp. i thought he forgot to give him is name. i met this man when i was just a sophomore in college. ladies and gentlemen, long before there was a barack obama, there was a julian bond nominated for vice president of the united states. he was a citizen of the u.s.a. and a proud citizen of georgia. ladies and gentlemen, julian bond. [applause] >> thank you.
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i am delighted to be here just as i was delighted to be here 50 years ago. then we could not have imagined we would be here 50 years later with a black president and black attorney general. but that is a measure of how far we have come. still we march. we march because trayvon martin in the pantheon of young black murders. we march because the supreme court has eviscerated the voting rights act for which we fought and died. we march because every economic indicator shows the king of white-but disparities. we march for freedom from white supremacy. none of it was easy. we have never wished our way to freedom. we have worked our way. we have much more to work with today. we take heart that so much has changed. the changes have everything to do with the work of the modern movement for civil rights. we must not forget dr. king stood before and with thousands, the people who made the mighty movement what it
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was. these ordinary men and women labored in obscurity. from montgomery forward, they provided the soldiers of the freedom army. they shared with king and abiding faith in america. they walked in dignity rather than ride in shame. they sat down at lunch counters others to stand up. they marched and organized. dr. king did not march from selma to montgomery by himself. there were thousands marching with him and before him. there were thousands more that did the dirty work that preceded the march. the successful strategies of the modern movement where litigation, organization, mobilization, and coalition. all aimed at creating a national constituency for civil rights. sometimes it is the simplest of these, sitting at a lunch counter --
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♪ ♪ >> and other civil rights icon, president and founder of rainbow push coalition, the ev. jesse jackson, senior. >> today we appeal on the president and congress to have mercy on our plea. i was meant to be here 50 years ago. thank god for the journey, 50 years of tragedy and triumph. we marched as dr. king's dream in 1963. he felt the agony of a
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nightmare approaching in memphis. he celebrated the joy of our progress, the freedom from barbarism and the right to vote. we celebrate the joys of our political progress. the freedom of nelson mandela in south africa and the election of president obama, the crown jewel of our ork. unnecessary wars and drones attack the poor. using violence as remedies was unacceptable. he wanted to disturb the comfortable. he wanted justice for all those, education, and help for the infirmities. banks are bailed out. homeowners are locked up. insurance companies are bailed out. detroit is in bankruptcy.
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we're paying an awful price for he intervention in iraq. he said it leads to a moral and piritual bankruptcy. when he was killed, the values and standards went up. keep dreaming of the constitutional right to ote. keep dreaming about the war on poverty. choose schools over jails. keep dreaming of student loan forgiveness. keep dreaming. keep dreaming to restore foreclosed housing. keep dreaming of immigration reform that includes africa, haiti, and the caribbean.
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keep dreaming. we're free but not equal. keep dreaming. choose life over death. more graduations and less funerals. keep the faith. keep hope alive. he lord is our life. ♪ ♪ >> our next speaker is an attorney, president of the national bar association, president of the washington bar association, and the christian product company. >> we must stand our ground for justice. we must stand our ground for justice.
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on behalf of the national bar association, the nation's oldest and largest bar association of attorneys of color, founded in 1925, i am honored to be here today. for the last 88 years, the national bar association has always stood its ground by using our legal skills to ppose and dismantle unjust aws like stop and frisk. as social engineers, we will continue to stand our ground to protect voting and civil ights, like the recent voter nullification case in alabama. we will stand our ground to protect equal pay and equal access to justice and all of our constitutional rights. the national bar association also supports the trayvon martin foundation to end or amend these vigilante laws.
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much progress has been made in the 50 years since dr. martin luther king stood right ere. but now, the many legal gains we have made are under relentless attack. we cannot stop our progress. we cannot go back. we must not go back. stand with me and the national bar. we will stand to continue, to continue to stand our ground for justice. ♪ >> our next speaker is the president and ceo of the leadership conference on civil and human rights, mr. wade henderson. >> my friends, we gather today
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on hallowed ground, just like those who came before us 50 years ago, we're here to petition our government, our fellow americans, to protect and perfect the dream we commemorate this week. we follow the freedom trail blazed by generations of men and women, some of whom made headlines. all of whom made history. together they changed america forever and for the better. we celebrate their courage. we salute their commitment. we thank them for their tireless efforts to build a better america we have inherited. those who came before us let us closer to the promised land. our mission is to continue their journey. our job is to build the future. we know what we must do to keep the promise of jobs and freedom. most of all, we need to protect our right to vote. voting is the language of democracy.
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if you do not vote, you cannot make yourself heard. with the shelby decision, the nation's highest court has dealt a devastating blow to our representative democracy. make no mistake. the right to vote is the foundation of our freedoms. without it, we cannot make real the promises in every other arena. we need to restore the right to vote with bipartisan legislation that reaffirms the central role of voting in our democracy. once and for all, now and forever. fortunately, there is an effort underway. it needs your encouragement. tweet your senator and representative. tell them that they must restore voting rights. your voice must be heard. use #votingrights. i close with the words of a man that set us on our mission.
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thank you. >> our next speaker is the president of the hip hop aucus. >> when dr. king spoke 50 years the goal of the dream, we were not alive. we will carry on the fight of our lives, for our lives. civil rights, human rights, economic rights -- we are in the trenches still striving for quality. truggling for existence, for trayvon martin, chicago.
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we are here for the oppressed, the stress, the depressed. we are growing. we will not stop. this is our time. cannot stop. will not stop. here we are at this moment, now. i want to say this. climate change is part of our eneration. climate change is a life-and-death issue. it is a civil rights issue. climate change affects us all. julian bond and i stood together. we were arrested on the xl pipeline trying to save our planet. i believe dr. king would be in the streets today taking up the issue of climate change as well. the issue of the 20th century was equality. the issue of the 21st century is existence. positive people! cannot stop. will not stop.
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>> our next speaker is a democratic member of the ohio house of representatives for the 33rd district, national action network board member, rep. reece. >> i stand here today as a product of dr. king's civil rights movement in the trenches of the battle ground states of ohio, city of cincinnati, and the daughter of the civil rights activists who marched for me 50 years ago. there is a song that says, look me in my face, i ain't got no worries. we are worried about stand your ground laws. we're worried about social justice.
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we're worried about jobs and health care. we're worried about women's rights and equality. we're worried about social security. we're worried about fairness for minority businesses. we're worried about student loans, college tuition. we're worried about everyone having a chance at the american dream. no more voter suppression, throwing away in dallas, and voter i.d. laws. today when go for our constitutional limits for a voter bill of rights to be put on the ballots in states across this country, kicking it off in ohio in 2014. no more temporary solutions to permanent problems. we must take it to every city in this country. i am asking you to go to the national action network and sign up to fight for the voter bill of rights in your state. we come today in the spirit of
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betty lou. we are tired of being sick and tired. we cannot wait another 50 years. it is time to make the dream eal. >> the joshua generation is alive and well. ladies and gentlemen, the lady that helped to put all this together, the washington group chief of the national action network. also joining her, the executive director of education for a etter america. >> 50 years ago, hundreds of thousands of people came to this place where we stand today.
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they were demanding jobs, freedom, and desiring to live the american dream. things of humans one, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. today we come here honoring their work in the achievements they have made, but we lift up ur grievances. we're calling for national ction to realize the dream. e still need jobs. we still need freedom. freedom from laws that deprive
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us of our democratic rights and spit in the face of our freedom. we still have work to do. today we stand united to kickoff our national action for obs, voting rights, workers' rights, a living wage, itizenship for immigrants, for women to have the right to make decisions about their own bodies, for women to earn as much as a man, for our gay brothers and sisters to be free from discrimination in the workplace or anywhere else. we stand to protect our communities from racial profiling, stop and frisk, and stand your ground. we stand to say education must be a top priority. college students should not
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have to mortgage their future to go to college. we stand for veterans to gain jobs. we come together for national action to realize the dream. without justice, there will be no peace. no justice, no peace. >> i stand before you representing the first generation in my family not to pick cotton since arriving on this continent hundreds of years ago. my mother grew up in tennessee icking cotton. just as the wall street banks and firms were bailed out, we call on congress to bail out public education in this country. bailout school districts in chicago and philadelphia where they are having to close dozens of schools. bailout the head start program. bailout and invest we have partnered with the national action network and school districts and universities across the country for higher education and awareness and a dropout prevention initiative because we know a high-school dropout is twice as likely to be unemployed. if we can sustain and maintain this broad coalition today, we can accomplish it through pressure for congress to pass a new jobs and immigration
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bill. we can put pressure on states to repeal stand your ground. we will win the future. e will take the world. >> 50 years ago, i am losing my voice. 50 years ago, dr. king wrote his "i have a dream" speech at the u.a.w. headquarters. ladies and gentlemen, the president, bob king. >> sisters and brothers, we're here to honor dr. king by committing to action. we're here to honor dr. king by committing to the principle of love he deeply believe in. we're here today to commit to the great commandments he believed in, loving our god with our whole heart, and our
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whole minds and souls. and loving our neighbors and all people of the world as ourselves. we are here because we know in life you get what you are willing to accept. we want to tell the world and the power is attacking our rights to justice and freedom that we are not willing to except the nile and suppression of our right to vote. we're not willing to accept the denial of clear citizenship for 11 million hard-working children of god in america. we're not willing to accept mass incarceration over mass employment. we are not willing to accept the denial of women's rights and access to health care. we are not willing to accept the destruction of retirement security. we're not willing to accept inadequate funding of public education. we are not willing to accept
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lower wages and income so the rich can get richer. we are not willing to except the denial of the basic human rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain. we are not willing to accept the erosion of our roads, bridges -- >> our next speaker is the founding senior pastor of the episcopal church. dr. jamaal harrison bryant. >> 50 years ago from this place, martin luther king went looking for the treasury of integrity for the united states
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of america saying you have given us a bad check that has been marked insufficient funds. the grandchildren of the movement have come back looking to cash that check, not just to cash it but to cash it with interest. we believe it is time for america to pay. if the native americans were able to get reservations, african-americans and should be able to receive reparations. if you are declaring you do not have the money to pay us after 200 years of free labor, we want to tell you where to get the money from. get the money from the cia after they got a profit from putting crack cocaine in the black community. if they do not have the money, get the money from the education system that would not invest in computers but found the money for metal detectors. if you do not have the money
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there, go to the justice department that has privatized prison systems so our black men will be incarcerated and not go to universities. if you do not have it there, go to stand your ground laws to see why trayvon martin's murderer is walking around free and black people are behind bars. we declare it is time for you to pay. if you are going to get the money, please do not have china do it because they are already buying too much of africa as it is. at this point, ladies and gentlemen, we have come to replace, not to roll over and play dead, but we understand america must cash this check. america, please do not think we will wait another 50 years for you to pay us because we found another stream of resource. we will look to the hills and he will supply all of our needs. walk together, children. o not get weary.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, our next speaker, the chair of the national council of negro women. >> thank you. i first heard the dream speech in detroit, michigan, at a march hosted by reverend franklin, the leadership of labor, the naacp, and the urban league. then i watched him on tv 50 years ago when he spoke the dream words again. i like many others knew it was ransformed into. the national council of negro
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women, in the form of hundreds of members, were present 50 years ago and had been critical participants in the strategic planning and execution of the march. 0 years ago, the impact of that march and those words still lead and influence us today. there was a generational shift that happened that day. they were all in search of a more perfect union. they were all in search of a more perfect union. dr. king spoke about his dreams for his children and all children. on that day 50 years ago, the leadership of the movement and the moral leadership of the country shifted. if dr. king and dr. height were here today, i would say they will charge us with facilitating the next generational shift. it has already been stated that as we look and listen on this day of commemoration and celebration,ll we have to do
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to know about what changes, is to look down pennsylvania avenue to the president of the united states. we know that their aspirations were not in vain. their coming together 50 years ago was a search for equality and peace. let us accept that charge also. thank you.
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>> our next speaker is the national president, miss margo copeland. >> good morning. we stand here today as the beneficiaries and inheritors of a dream it was bequeathed to us 50 years ago. one summer day in 1963 turned into a milestone in the advancement of the african-american community and the nation in general. dr. king's dream was aspirational and inspirational. it was a dream so big that he dared us. he challenged us to work toward the advancement and creation of better day and quality of life for all. history was for everyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, ability, orientation, where the color of one's skin. the dream of firms the birthright of every american
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has the right to vote, obtain a quality education, and walk safely and securely in their neighborhood and community. an organization of community-minded women will continue to work to create opportunities for all people. it is my honor to be here. i say to you all, god bless you and all you love and god bless america. >> good morning. i am from the planned parenthood federation of america. i am so proud to be representing our rganization. in 1966, we gave the margaret sanger award, our highest honor
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to dr. martin luther king jr.. our beloved coretta scott king accepted on his behalf. each year, planned parenthood across the country sees nearly 3 million patients. these women and men of all ages, races, and backgrounds do not come to planned parenthood to make a political statement. they come to get quality, affordable health care which we provide. this year, we have seen a ecord number of laws, almost 700, that would cut off access to abortion, cancer screenings, even sex education. in the 1960's and 1970's, the motto of the women's movement was the personal is political. in 2013, these politics are starting to seem personal to e. i stand here today -- >> >> i am the president of asian
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mericans advancing justice. on august 28, 1963, 35 members of the japanese-american citizens league march alongside their brothers and sisters of the civil rights struggle asserting their claim to the dream. a teenager was inspired by his other's fight for justice. he told the japanese internment camp to join the march and carried a banner that said "for better americans in a better america." he is here again. now he stands among hundreds of native americans, asian americans, representing 35 ational organizations. together we bring with us the voices of more than 18 million
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asian-americans who believe in a greater america. we as a nation face many barriers in our efforts to achieve greatness. e have been dealt some harsh setbacks. now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. we have the means to make these promises real. what we need is the political ill and the popular commitment to these principles. we need leaders who have the moral compass to make such a commitment to making real the promises of our democracy. today we are 18 million asian americans proud to stand once again with our brothers and sisters in the struggle in the human rights community, still ommitted to, still driving for a better america, in pursuit of the dream.
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>> the next speaker, president, director-counselor, naacp legal defense, and educational fund followed by the president of vote latino. >> i stand before you representing this nation's reatest civil-rights law organization. our lawyers litigated and argued the shelby county voting ights case in the united tates supreme court this year.
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60 years ago, our lawyers litigated and one brown versus board of education. most importantly, i stand before you on behalf of the people we represent from all over this country. people like ernest montgomery and earl cunningham and all of the black voters in shelby county, alabama, who stood up to fight for equality and fairness in voting. i represent those on whose behalf we fight in the courts. those who have been stopped and frisked, foreclosed on, shut out, profiled. men who have been sentenced to death row because they're black. most importantly, i stand before you on behalf of the people we represent from all over this country. people like ernest montgomery and earl cunningham and all of the black voters in shelby county, alabama, who bravely stood up to fight for equality and fairness in voting. i represent those today on
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whose behalf we fight in the court. those who have been stopped, frisked, foreclosed on, children placed in the schools to prison pipeline, men who have been sentenced to death row because they are black. we know that our voices in the courtroom are not enough. we need to raise our voices in the street as well. we need to let congress hear us when we tell them they must amend the voting rights act. let them hear you. and in case they don't hear you today, call them on monday and tell them again. tell our statehouses we don't want stand your ground laws that allow people to stop and kill our children and get away with it. finally, i represent today all of those women who were not allowed to speak at the march 50 years ago. gloria richardson and rosa parks, women who were pillars of the civil rights movement or do they too were beaten, shot out, and marginalized. but they do not give up. today, they speak through all of us. my lord, what a morning, thank you. >> what an honor it is to be here today. on this day. i am an immigrant. it is a once-mighty word brought low in our time by fear and hate. immigrant. once our greatest bond, somewhat now use it to divide us. but i want to remind those who might shutout go back to your country on a radio show or comment online, and those who sometimes like to say more delicately in the house of congress, i want to remind all of you that the use of that immigrant slur has another name for us -- we are americans. ome immigrants came to build the railroads.
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some lead in industrial and technological revolution. some in world war ii. arlington cemetery, so close to where we are right now, we can hear the whisper of those brave names, sullivan, fernandez. today, 50 million american latinos demand our rights, rights given to us not by the man who fell in philadelphia who themselves are immigrants and children of immigrants. no, the rights are given to us by god. what we demand is simple. first, we are americans. treat us as such, invest in our neighborhoods, our house, our education. second, we demand a vote. tear down the barriers to voting, don't bring us more. finally, and the second-class citizenship of 5 million children in 6 million parents.
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>> our next two speakers, professor charles ogletree, harvard law school, and chair of the united we dream, sofia ampos. >> thank you so much. it is a pleasure being here. let me say this first, i want to salute our first african-american governor elected twice in massachusetts, deval patrick. i want to support the great lawyers from florida who represented the families of trayvon martin, darrell parks nd --. i want to say to trayvon martin's family and to the parents of emmett till when he as killed, it is not over yet, we are here to keep this forward.
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i have four granddaughters. they are going to have a better world than we have had because the 21st century is the time for young people to rise up and be heard. that is what this is all about, and i hope we will get there. dr. king, we love you, we would not be here without you, you have made all of us in the world celebrate this great day. dr. king's day, our man, our mission, our success. thank you very much. >> i'm going to keep this short. martin luther king's words were highlighted warning against the giant triplets -- racism, materialism, and militarism. today, we face these great forces just as much as we did 50 years ago. racist policies like secures communities were to break apart families just as much as racist policies like stand your ground in florida were to kill our young people today.
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the decision -- the detention center and presence of some are ones in the figured i grew up in his family is immigrant. 55,000 undocumented every single year. one million people have been deported in the last five years. that is the world's highest court of deportation. it is our black and brown bodies that are being detained, that are being placed in presence to make profit off of us. it is our abuse that is being criminalized day after day after day. a few days ago, two of our brothers, stood in front of an ice busts in arizona to stop them from deporting or family members. if we do not rise together, we will all fall together. my question to you is -- will ou rise with me?
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the mayor of washington, d.c., ayor vincent gray. >> thank you very much. good morning, everybody. on behalf of the 632,000 residents of the district of columbia, let me welcome you here to our great city. the same place where 250,000 people gathered in 1963 fighting for justice for america. of course, this was the site of the greatest speech ever delivered, that is the "i have a dream" speech, and we're here to celebrate that again today. there are still some in groups in america that are disenfranchised and marginalized, and one of those my friends, the people of the istrict of columbia, 632,000
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people. we are home to -- we are no voting representative in congress, and that is unjust. we pay $3.5 billion in taxes every year, yet we cannot even make a decision about how to spend that money. we raised $6 billion in our city to support this city. we send our sons and daughters off to fight wars in faraway places, yet we have no vote in conference to be able to determine whether we fight those wars are not. ladies and gentlemen, that is unjust, that is unfair, and there is no good reason why in the 21st century america the district of columbia still lacks true democracy and true self-determination. we ask you for your support to right this injustice in our nation. we know that so much of dr. king's dream has come to fruition, but it has not come to pass, and have not come to fruition as the district of columbia still languishes.
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i hope every one of you will join us to fight to gain full democracy, to gain statehood for the district of columbia. please join me, my friend, and he fight to bring democracy to every one of america's residents and citizens. thank you all very much. >> the next three powerhouse speakers, president of the ational organization of women, terry o'neill -- dr. michael eric dyson, professor of sociology, georgetown -- and the chair of the naacp, dr. oslyn brock.
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>> good morning. coretta scott king once said women, if the soul of the nation is to be saved, i believe that you must become ts soul. 0 years ago, women were not up here speaking, but here we are today, and at the president of the national organization for women, i am so proud to be here with all of you to speak out to organize a change, to shake up the system and yes to add a little soul. on thursday, i met with women leaders from the movement where we committed ourselves to a new policy agenda for the 21st century for women. do not make any mistake, there is a war on women. it is raging on. but we have one the war of ideas for women's equality. and we will not allow a
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tyrannical minority to send this back to the 1950's or worse. as women, we demand access to the full range of reproductive health care and services, including abortion and birth control and prenatal care and conference of sex education for our children. as women, we demand good union jobs and fair pay, living wage, and equal pay for work of equal value. as women, we demand benefit increases, not cuts in social security and medicare, and the social programs that serve an employee women at the social workers and a nurse of teachers and the childcare workers. and because the war on women is so very real, as women, we demand a constitutional amendment, a guarantee of
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voting rights for every citizen because elections matter in his country. a lot has changed since 1963, but what has not changed is the unwavering commitment of women to take on the tough fight, to do the hard work, to push for the change we need, women will never owe back, thank you very uch. >> 50 years ago, our greatest american dream eloquently about justice and democracy. 50 years later, we need a team effort to make his dream come true. he had a dream, we need a team. join the vast army of the poor who continues to languish in the corners of our society and struggle against impossible odds to survive. he had a dream, we need a team to join the see of immigrants
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who love america so much they're willing to risk life and limb to make this nation a better place. he had a dream, we need a team to join our great brothers and lesbian sisters as they come out of the closet and enjoy the living room of social freedom and the bedroom of marriage equality. he had a dream, we need a team to join the multitude of women whose bodies are burdened by antiquated science and out of step policies and spirit he had a dream, we need a team to join the youth whose sweet lives are cut short by the violence on our cities. he had a dream, we need a team wide by the nation's first black attorney general who has spoken out and exit against the profound injustices of our country's legal system and a vicious attack on our rights to vote. he had a dream, we need a team joined by the nation's first black president who must use his bully pulpit to remind america of the commitment to racial justice. since we know since the death of the first martin king is linked to the second death of
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martin, trayvon. when we do this, we will be able to sing together the words of that great anthem from the last century, the sun don't shine forever, but as long as it is here, we might as well shine together. he had a dream, we need a eam. >> good morning, friends. i am pleased to be gathered here with more than 30,000 naacpers from across the ation. we gather here throughout this golden moment in the history of civil rights. there is no greater way for us to do this then for us to have an honest assessment of the challenges we face to get past today, and to be the courageous leaders who meet those challenges. i only got two minutes, but i
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got a hard truth i want to leave with you. first, in the face of an onslaught about racist restrictions on our right to vote, we turned out in unprecedented numbers here to our challenge today, my friends, is to vote in all elections, especially in non-presidential elections, because when we have not, the consequences have been devastating. the house and the senate are headed for progressive majorities in 2014. i want you to raise your right hand and take a pledge with me today and say that i promise to vote every year in every primary and in every election, no matter what is on the agenda. now, i want you to go by, and tell your neighbors and your families to take that same pledge. second, we were honored --
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courage will not skip this generation. peace and power. >> before i introduce the next guest, i wish that you could see the fact that people are as far back as world war ii memorial, give yourself a round of applause. t is a full house. and buses are backed up still trying to get here. the official program starts at 11:00, and we still have buses coming in. our next speaker, dr. maneshka
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eliatamby, senior vice president, cpo, communities without borders international, please, a round of applause, adies and gentlemen. >> and during the last century, individuals and groups were committed to realizing the dream that dr. king declared in the 1963 march on washington. his vision was for a world where freedom, justice, and equality rain, today that challenge remains. or have even more important is its reevaluation in sounds that resonate with the seasons of the century. the youth you see standing with me today, they are youth without boundaries, closely associated with the idea of
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freedom, justice, and equality is a society that makes them possible. such conditions ensure equal treatment and access to the pursuit of happiness that is the promise of america's most cherished ideals. this year's 50th anniversary of the march on washington present an opportunity to launch a new challenge that will raise the consciousness of the world, the urgency of now for affordable quality education, for jobs, for employment opportunities, for safe communities, and a peaceful society. realizing dr. king's dream demands the funding --
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>> he really does not need an ntroduction. at msnbc, we simply refer to him as big red. ladies and him and, welcome ed schultz. >> thank you. thank you, joe. i am a product of forced busing for racial equality. i take you back to the 1970's, where diversity was the word that was foreign to america but it was the future. take you to birmingham, alabama, last night where i did a radio town hall, and i can tell you what is happening in america right now, the dream can only be realized if we pay attention to what is going on in our own backyards. when we start picking and
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choosing neighborhoods, who is going to get the resources and who is not going to get the resources, we will lose this country, we will lose the vision of diversity, we will lose the opportunity of the quality to move all people forward. you need to pay attention to what is happening in your backyard. and make sure that your schools and those young kids get the resources they need to have an opportunity in america that will help them grow. being a product of the middle class, i was the one who was afforded the opportunities. if we start picking and choosing neighborhoods, what kind of message are we sending to the youth of america? that this is the vision that they're going to have? that this is what it is supposed to be for them? no, that is not what dr. king's message was, that is not what america's focus was, and that cannot be the road to the future for america.
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stand tall in your community, fight for diversity, understand its strengths, and make sure that every school is resources to give every american child a chance to live the dream. od bless you, thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, it is time to raise our voices gainst violence. >> i got bodies here. >> as news trickled out, it is because obvious. not all of the regions between parent and child will be appening here. >> this morning, a gunman walked into sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut and opened fire.
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>> there has been a mass shooting outside denver, colorado in aurora, a gunman acting alone. >> standing there, firing a people just a few feet away. >> trayvon was our son, but trayvon is your son. a lot of people can relate to our situation, and it breaks their hearts as it breaks my. >> he entered a popular seattle cafe. four people were fatally shot, another one did. >> it began at 10:25 a.m. gunfire at the sikh temple in wisconsin. >> at least 52 people were shot and killed. >> family and friends are mourning the death of 15-year-old hadiya pendleton, killed less than a mile of president obama's chicago home. >> a national symbol to end iolence.
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>> even our children are blown to pieces. you still see no problem in this ridiculous weapon being freely available on the streets of your country. >> trying to make sense of the violence. >> shot and killed outside a hurch. >> in minneapolis, a grenade -- >> ♪> [indiscernible]
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>> my name is annette holt. i lost my beautiful son, blair, to the streets of chicago, to gun violence. and my voice matters. >> my name is colin goddard. i was shot four times at the shooting in virginia tech, and my voice matters. >> my name is lonnie phillips. i am a proud gun owner, but i do not want any families to experience this pain that these families have heard my voice matters. >> my name is dan gross. i'm a victim of gun violence, and i am a president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. my voice matters. 50 years ago, on the tower ground, americans came together from all races and all backgrounds to raise their voices for justice in our
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nation. the voices that were raised that day mattered. they mattered because they did not in here at the legal and that's at the lincoln memorial. they mattered because they began here, inspired by a great man's dream and then resonated far and wide because the voices that were raised that they inspired a greater course, now an outcry for change in justice. an american people that continue to grow louder until he could no longer be ignored. we are here today to say that when it comes to the gun violence that is destroying our communities and our nations, that we, the american people, will no longer be ignored. we are here today to make our voices matter once again. we are here to say "my voice matters." we're here because a young black male is a 17 times more likely to die from gun homicide than a white one, and we are here to say my voice matters. we are here because of the gun violence.
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the 90 gun deaths that happen everyday, the eight children and teens killed everyday, enough to fill more than 100 classrooms, and we are here to save my voice matters. we're here because of trayvon martin, because of this great nation of ours, george zimmerman, a man with an arrest record and a known history of violence can get a permit to walk out in the streets with a loaded gun and can shakedown and murder an innocent boy in the name of standing his ground and get away with it. and we're here to say my voice matters. we're here because there are children in our great nation like these that cannot even feel safe walking to go to school in the morning and to go to sleep at night hearing gunshots out their window. we are here to say my voice matters. we are here from cities and suburbs and farmland, not as republicans and democrats, not as a white, black, latino, or asian, but as proud americans, all of us who know that as a nation we are better than this,
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and we are here to say my voice matters. we are here to hold congress accountable to make this a safer nation. to make the cowardly congress people who do the bidding of the corporate gun lobby to hear us, the american people more, to remind them that they work for us, the american people, and if they do not do right by us, they will not work for us much longer. too many of our leaders have been selling us out for two long. we're here to say enough is enough and we're here to say my voice matters. in a crowd, you will see hundreds of volunteers with red voices against violence t-shirts like these. just sign up with them, and next week we will put you in touch with your congressperson so you can tell them that your voice matters. also go to www.voicesagainstviolence.com today.
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be part of the first petition you sign with your voice. 50 years ago, dr. king inspired a nation with his dream. he inspired the american public to come together as never before to stand up to great injustice, and he showed us what we are capable of as a nation when we have truth and justice on our side. today, we desperately need to come together in exactly that same spirit to address one of the issues of this day, the issue of gun violence. now at the time to come together as a nation. from the suburbs of newtown, connecticut, to the urban streets of newark, new jersey, to the homes and communities of every american who want to live free from the tyranny of a violence. it is time we come together as individuals and as want to tell congress that we will not be ignored and our communities are being destroyed. to make our voices heard of the solutions that clearly exist and most importantly to say -- my voice matters! [cheers and applause] ♪
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>> ladies and gentle man, mr. tony bennett. ♪ >> thank you. lift your voice against violence. ♪ let someone start believing in you, let him hold out his hand, let him find you and watch what happens once someone can look in your eyes and see into your heart, let him touch you and watch what happens cold, no i will not believe your heart is cold
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maybe slow to warm on an evening such as this yes, let someone with a deep love to give give his deep love to you what magic you will see let someone give his heart, someone who cares like me ♪ ♪ let someone give his heart what magic you will see. let someone give his heart someone who cares like me
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someone who cares like me ♪ ♪ >> thank you. they all laughed at christopher columbus when he said the world was round. they all laughed when edison recorded sound. they all laughed at wilbur and his brother when they said man could fly. they told marconi he was a phony they laughed at me and you they said i was reaching for the moon boy, you came through now they have to change their tune they all said we would never get together, they laughed at us and how
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ho, ho, ho, who has got the last laugh now? ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ they laughed at me and you said it would be hello, goodbye. wow, you came through, now they are eating humble pie they all said we'd never get together darling, take a bow ho, ho, ho who's got the last laugh?
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hee, hee, hee who has got the last laugh now? ♪ ♪ when i come home to you, san francisco, your golden sun will shine for me ♪ thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, our
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next two speakers, ceo executive director federation of protestant welfare agencies, jennifer jones austin and the codirector advancement project, judith brown dianis. >> i am a daughter of the late william jones, jr., a civil rights activist and former president of the christian leadership conference. i'm a daughter of the civil rights movement. and as a daughter of the movement, i am the beneficiary of all the good that -- [no audio] [inaudible] [crowd noise]
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♪ ♪
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[inaudible] >> i am the daughter of the late william augustus jones, jr., a civil rights activist. i'm a daughter of the civil rights movement. as a daughter of the movement, i am the beneficiary of all the good that has resulted from the hard work of the sweat and
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the blood that was shed by the leaders and doers of that movement. as a daughter in beneficiary, i'm now the burden bearer of this generation's civil rights movement. you, too, are the burden bearers. for dr. king and other leaders told us our work will not be done until all of god's children are free. 50 years ago, they did not march for just some do have jobs -- they march for all to have jobs. they did not march for just some to have a quality education -- they marched for all to have a quality education. they did not march for just some to be free of the burdens of poverty, they marched for all to be free. so today, we come together to pick up the burden laid down by our leaders who have gone onto their rewards, and to stand with our leaders today, reverend sharpton and others, to commit and recommit ourselves to the war against poverty. the war against gun violence him of the war against continuing discrimination on the basis of race, sexual orientation,
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immigration and gender. the war against disenfranchisement. the war against injustice that right in the present and the future of our children. as a nation, we have demonstrated that we can do just about anything that would put our minds to. ending poverty, gun violence, discrimination, and injustice should be no different. it is our burden, it is our responsibility. together we can. god bless you all. >> on august 28, 1963, my parents came to the march. my father wore his scarf of of indignity inflicted by the segregated army. they, like thousands, were all full of hope for a just america, and america can still make good on its promise of equality. today, we commemorate and celebrate our progress. we are still asking -- when will america make good on its promise? the dream is slipping away, attacks on equality are metastasizing. our voting rights are under
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attack. whether to the supreme court or state legislatures like north carolina, there is an aggressive effort to silence the rising progressive majority. congress must restore the voting rights act, and we must build a movement for a constitutional right to vote. today, we also feel the pain that so many felt in 1963. i, like you, remember where i was when the verdict was read and the killer of one of our babies walked without consequences. never again. a song by bernice johnson reagon goes "we who believe in freedom cannot rest until the tyranny -- ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, it is
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my great privilege not to you threeintroduce to very distinguished speakers that need no introduction. their role in the civil rights movement in the last 50 years is indelible and irretrievable. first, we will hear representing the american federation and congress of industrial organizations, the afl-cio, the executive vice president arlene holt baker. following her, the president of seiu 1199, george gresham 1199 is here as well. finally, we will give a great deal of respect this final
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speaker in the group. he is the president emeritus of dr. king's organization, the southern christian leadership conference, the reverend dr. charles steele. please welcome them. and one more -- i'm sorry. i'm sorry, mary kay, i did not see you. the president of seiu international, mary kay henry. [cheers and applause] >> 50 years ago, a 23-year-old man by the name of john lewis asked a question. he asked -- where the equality for the maid who earns five dollars a week in the home of a family whose income was $100,000 a year? where is the equality for those of us who work in the southern fields from sunup to sundown for $12 a week? we are asking that same question today when the minimum wage is
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actually lower than it was half a century ago. 50 years ago, a. philip randolph stood with brother lewis and reverend dr. martin luther king and demanded jobs and freedom. unemployment among african americans then was 10%. it is about 13% today. our demands today are the same as they were 50 years ago. we need a job for all americans, and we need our freedoms. we need the freedom to have a voice that works, and we need the freedom to have our voices heard and our ballot boxes. too many of our children who dream of a quality education but who are in terribly over crowded classrooms where urban school districts close school after school after school. our call for a higher minimum
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wage has become a desperate scream and a cry for our community. we cannot feed and clothe our families on $7.25 an hour. we cannot simply stand on this mall at the lincoln memorial. we must organize. we must take action for job creation and shared prosperity for all. it cannot wait. our call is now, our demand is now. shame on us if we return here 50 years from now with the same demands -- job, freedom, and shared prosperity for all. [cheers and applause] >> good afternoon, america. on behalf of the 400,000 1199
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members, some of whom were here 50 years ago, and as a matter fact, i want to offer this opportunity to the band, i've got to beat them before the gogo music come up because when gogo, you must go go. we are here today, sisters and brothers, not because we want a day in the park -- we are here to say yes 50 years later, we have come a long way. but we still have a long way to go and i don't know which is the greatest distance, but for us today, we must be prepared to go into action. if we are going to respect the work that was done 50 years ago, then we have to go back with a
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plan, and our plan must be that we will stand up and make this a country for working people once again. that we are going to demand that the wealthy in this country return this country to the working people. and the issues that you hear us talk about today, we need you to go back to your representatives and ask them what are they going to do about this. and hold them accountable. while it is good to continue the march, if we go home and we don't practice what we are preaching today, we will miss this moment. and so i say to america -- are we going to go back? are we going to go forward? >> yes! >> are we going to make sure that those who represent us
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actually represent us? >> yes! >> because we need jobs, we need housing, we need healthcare, we need to make sure that our children have a future. thank you. ♪ >> sisters and brothers, healthcare workers, public service workers, janitors, and security guards are honored to be on this mall today and join hands with the rest of our nation as we rededicate ourselves to the goals that the 1963 marchers imagined 50 years ago today. we stand for freedom.
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we stand for jobs. we stand for equality. and the visionaries of this march proclaimed that we were going to fight the twin evils of racism and economic poverty. we want to make sure that in 50 years we are celebrating the shared prosperity in this nation. dr. king knew that inequality could not be solved without lifting wages, which is why the two dollar minimum wage was a central demand of the marchers in 1963. so perhaps it is fitting that this coming thursday, august 29, thousands of fast food and
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retail workers are going to take the courageous action of a strike to demand $15 an hour, and that $15 an hour is the equivalent of the two dollar demand in 1963. this strike on august 29 will stand up with the courage of our convictions in the way we stand on the shoulders of civil rights marchers from 1963. something is wrong with a system when the corporations are making record profits, and the workers have to rely on food stamps and medicare and medicaid in order to make ends meet. the fast food workers and retail workers are fighting for all of us, brothers and sisters. if they and other low-wage workers in this economy are able to win their struggle for higher
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pay, our economy and all of us will benefit. that is why the members of seiu and many members of unions in this crowd are proud to -- [inaudible] -- let's march for jobs, let's march for equality. freedom, jobs! [inaudible] >> as president emeritus, ceo of the southern christian
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leadership conference, the organization that dr. martin luther king cofounded, we are here today to say 50 years later, when i was a 17-year-old boy in tuscaloosa, alabama, watching the march on television, and my mother and father told me, boy, you cannot play ball today, you have to watch the history of america and the world being made. 50 years ago today, everything changed but nothing has changed. we still have to say -- freedom ain't free. you have to march. are you ready? >> yes! >> we have to represent. are you ready?
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dr. king advocated for poor people, we must advocate the same. are you ready to go with me? ♪ >> to all of my friends from the southern states, i now proudly present to you the executive director of the arab-american institute, maya berry, jonathan mason, the international president of phi beta sigma incorporated, and phillip agnew, executive director of dream defenders. >> good afternoon.
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you look great. on behalf of arab american institute, and 3.6 million arab americans, i am honored to stand here with you today. my conscience bothered me, and it broke my heart to see this in dignity on a human being. i decided to do something about this. i decided to do something about this. those are the words of civil rights activist ralph john as he spoke about what moved him as he conceived the idea of the sit-in in greensboro, north carolina. john was an arab american, vice president of his local naacp chapter. he pitched the sit in idea for 11 years until joe mcneil agreed and came up with back with three other university students. let's hear it.
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with john's help, a movement was launched that would spread to 54 cities in nine states to make history. john and many other americans like him were part of the civil rights movement. they moved to action for simple reasons. they decided to do something about something that was wrong. we stood then as we do today because we must. 50 years later, we see real threats to what was achieved and great sacrifice, but new challenges that dr. king could not have even anticipated, whether it is a supreme court decision to a key provision of the voting rights act or sections of the patriot act that still fail to strike the right balance between safeguarding our national security and protecting our civil liberties, we must do
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something about what is wrong. whether it is the total economic injustice taken on our families living in poverty or the degradation of racial, ethnic, or religious profiling, we must do something about what is wrong. whether it is our nation's police department targeting young men of color with stop and frisk, or arab americans and american muslims with surveillance, we must do something about nypd's laws. activists in new york started doing that this week when they successfully overrode a mayor's veto and told the nypd, you will have oversight and you will be held accountable. and that is the point. when we work together and invite others to join us, there is much that we can do together to -- [inaudible]
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♪ >> i stand before you today representing phi beta sigma, the fraternal home of a. philip randolph, one of the original organizers of the march on washington, and one of the freedom riders and a civil rights icon. i stand before you to let you know that any 50 years since the original what march on washington, america has made a small down payment on the debt that is owed to his african- american people. but i want you to know that when trayvon martin can be shot down and the perpetrator go free, i need to you and let you know that there is some interest owed, and so we march. when the supreme court can dismantle the voting rights act right in front of our very eyes, i need to let you know that
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there is some interest owed, and so we march. when our young people take each other out in cities all across his land, i need to let you know that there isn't some interest owed. and so we march. my time is short, but i will share with you this -- as we march, we're going to get tired, we are going to get weak, and the road might get a little long, but be encouraged by that old negro spiritual -- be not dismayed whate'er betide, god will take care of you. god will take care of you. god bless you, and so we march. [cheers and applause] >> everybody put three fingers in the air. the sky is falling, the wind is calling, stand for something or die in the morning. if you are a young person in the struggle, i want you to say get ready, get ready, get ready, get ready. we have only two minutes to talk today, so i want to take two
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minutes to tell you about who we are. we are the forgotten generation. we are the illegals. we are the apathetic. we are the thugs. we are the generation that you locked in the basement while movement conversations were going on upstairs. we are the generation that you told to be afraid. so we came to love. but we are here today to join in a conversation that will shake the very foundations of this capital. so i'm going to ask for the final minute of my conversation with you to be dedicated to the young people, and i wages did -- i want you to stand with your fist in the air. and i wait to join me in a call and response that will continue and begin this movement that will shake the vestiges of democracy. it ends with i believe that we can win, i believe that we can
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win, so i want you to repeat after me. i -- i believe -- i believe that we -- i believe that we will -- i believe that we will win! >> i believe that we will win! >> brother marcus garvey told us that we have a beautiful history and the one we bear in the future will -- ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, in 1963, the latino community was not represented, but they sure are represented here today.
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am i right? we will hear from the national president of the league of united latin american citizens, lulac, margaret moran. then we will hear because we also know that there is a war against teachers and public education in this country -- how many teachers are here? [cheers and applause] the president of the national education association, dennis van roekel, and then last but certainly not least, the man whose booming voice stood in this space for 50 years ago, a. philip randolph, the president of the a. philip randolph
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institute, dr. clayola brown will also speak. hear ye them. >> good morning. today we paid tribute to the many sacrifices made by men and women so that this country can live up to the ideals of equality and justice for all. and yet within a stone's throw of this monument and elsewhere, minority communities and people of color still face challenges to dr. king's dream. the latino community cannot be defined in simple terms for we are diverse ethnically, social economically, and politically. but we can be defined as immensely patriotic, as witnessed by our willingness to serve and protect our nation during times of conflict. underscoring our national anthem's conclusion when we say
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"o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave." today, comprehensive immigration reform is being fought by racism and ignorance thinly veiled by budget concerns and insecurity. congress has run out of excuses, and the latino community has run out of patience. i also want to say a few words about the recent supreme court decision shelby versus holder. this past june, the supreme court shut down the key provision of the voting rights act with an ill decision, the supreme court lifted the strongest protection against voter discrimination laws. two hours after it issued its decision, texas announced that it would enforce its voter id law, which had been blocked by the department of justice. the recent actions taken by the department of justice is a clear
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indication that the federal government will not allow states to enforce measures that suppress minority voting rights. north carolina has followed texas's lead by hassing and measure that includes kryptonian voter id requirements that prevent minorities, poor, young, and the elderly from voting. we know that these are designed to place unnecessary roadblocks to the voting process and deny the most basic democratic right to the most vulnerable populations. today, we stand with our civil rights partners to fight for an amendment to the voting rights act prohibits such conduct. we are optimistic these changes are within reach, we also know they can only be realized if we stand as a people united. dr. king famously expressed that he could not sit idly by because injustice anywhere is a threat
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to justice everywhere. we know that one person alone the may not be able to fight against injustice that can divide and nation. however, what dr. king proved, and what we know to be true, is that one person and a dream can inspire a people to move mountains and define a generation. the immigrant community fully appreciates that in this country change is possible. it is part of the american experience. today, dr. king's words still ring true and we stand as a people united with the knowledge that together we can realize dr. king's ream. -- dream. this is what defines us. god bless you. >> good morning. i represent 3 million members who believed in dr. king's dream
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as 50 million americans go back to school, they will have computers and i've had us and white boards to help them learn. most will come from homes with a have plenty to eat, a safe place to sleep, and will see a doctor if they are sick. millions of the nation's children will find a very different world in their school. students won't have access to computers or even up-to-date textbooks. many of these children will not get enough to eat. or enough sleep. our nation does not have one educational system, we have two. children from poor families are shortchanged. that theft perpetuates the cycle of poverty. 50 years ago dr. king noted hundreds of thousands of americans came to this place, here to cash a check to redeem
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the nation's promise of equal opportunity. now is the time, he said, to open the doors of opportunity for all of god's children. education, education is the key that opens those doors. without education they cannot be any good jobs. no freedom and no justice. today, i ask you to join us in our fight or equal opportunity and education. let's start by demanding high- quality early childhood education for every child. let's start by demanding equitable funding for all schools in all neighborhoods. let us demand for qualified teachers in every classroom. we are here today to honor history. we are focused on what dr. king called "the fierce urgency o
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now.' now is the time to protect voting rights. now is the time to open the doors of opportunity for all children in america. thank you. [applause] >> good afternoon. my name is clayola brown and i am the first female president of the abe philip randolph institute. as such i stand on the shoulders of a very strong man, not one but two. and i am leaning on the shoulders of norman who helps lead this organization. as i walked to the podium, i
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came across an inscription that said "i have a dream" with the name martin luther king . all night long i wondered what to say in two minutes. the answer came very quickly. i thought of randolph in 41, when he was going against the governments to look for equal treatment in jobs that have to do with munitions and the military. eleanor roosevelt convinced her husband, franklin, that it is always us women who have good sense. -- son an executive order i wondered, with jobs, justice and freedom being the same topic as then, if we did the same thing now, could we pull up 2 million low-wage workers by having an executive order that says they are not gaining a
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sustainable wage? there has got to be a way. we can do this by doing what we have always done, today is a wonderful day to start the put an end to low wages and unsustainable jobs. in the name of a philip randolph, for the work he did, let's see if we can change the -- ♪ >> excuse me ladies and gentlemen. there is an emergency. the park department has informed -- please come off the press
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pfizer. it is beginning to sag. speakers, the president of enough products -- project at the center for american projects, and the national president of the american federation of government employees, g -- j david cox. >> thank you. in 1957, martin luther king went to ghana. he frequently spoke of the links between the u.s. civil rights movement and the anti-colonial movement in africa. since then, africa has progressed frenetically. for many africans, freedom is still a dream. peace is still a promise. for example, the two deadliest wars in the world since the march on washington have been fought in sudan and congo. 8 million people have perished.
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in sudan and congo and other key other african countries, changes citizensbrave african stand up for justice and peace. martin luther king pressed repeatedly for a boycott of the apartheid regime in africa. martin luther king helped inspire a global anti-apartheid movement that helped free nelson mandela. this later inspired the blood diamond movement that ended three wars and west africa. this, in turn, inspired the dark for anti-genocide movement that forced the sudan regime to allow life-saving aid for hundreds of thousands of people. the other focused on ending the deadly trade in the congo, which power our cell phones.
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during the course of all of our lives, we will constantly face the choice of whether to be a bystander or an up standard -- upstander. if enough of us choose to be an up standard, we can change the course of history. thank you. [applause] >> good morning, sisters and brothers. we are here today to not just commemorate an anniversary. we are here to make history ourselves. dr. king's dream is slipping away from us. we have got to take it back. all working families are under attack. the forces against us are the same we fought 50 years ago. they want to roll back the clock 100 years to when workers had no rights or protections.
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the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed have no safety net. yesterday it was plain racism. today, the forces of hatred and greed pose their agenda in different rhetoric but their goals are the same. many states, like my own home state, north carolina, are trying to suppress the vote so voices of workers are not heard. they want to crush our movement for democratic and full employment, fair wages, and economic security. we are not going to let that happen. all of us here today, let us act and protect what was 150 years -- what was won 50 years ago. we cherish the ideas of justice. thaler -- failure is not an option. our government -- ♪
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>> from the american federation of government employees. sisters and brothers, it is my privilege to introduce our next speakers. first of all, an organization that works hard every single day to register rest of vote and protect our voting rights. and also representing women all this week, organizing women for this great march, the president of the national coalition on participation, dr. melanie campbell. and then following her, once again we will hear from another great teachers union, united federation of teachers. hear ye them. >> good morning, america. i said, good morning, america.
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i just dropped by to tell you that it is movement time. repeat after me. it's movement time. each generation is faced with a movement moment that requires them to stand up and fight back against injustice, with great strength and fortitude. from the montgomery bus boycott to occupying the vote. it has taken the collective power of the people demanding justice to protect our civil rights their civil rights. our women's rights. our immigrant rights. our latino american right. our asian-american rights. our poor america rights. our american children's rights. and the world families, the beloved community. this morning, it is movement time.
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i say it is movement time -- 50 years later they have stopped down -- section four of the voting rights act. it is movement time. last year in 2012 we voted like never before. it is movement time again. this sister from florida just stopped by to tell you it is movement time. 50 years later, there is such an assault on those rights. it is our time for us to get busy to move, in other words, it is time to get up off of our butts, stop mismanaging, mistreating, and is respecting the rights of ourselves and our predecessors. repeat after me. it's movement time. it's movement time. it's movement time.
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peace and power. thank you. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. good morning, everyone. 237 years ago there was a document written and it said, "we the people of the united states, in order to form a more perfect union, to establish justice --" now does it say it is the president's job to establish justice? or is it the people's job? is it the people's job to establish justice? and who are the people? it does not say. it does not say the rich folks. it does not say the poor folks,
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it does not say that black folks, the white folks, it says "the people." i will ask you again who are the the people? who are the people? and are we going to establish justice? and are we going to have to fight to establish justice? we know that it is up to us. who are the people? who are the people? god bless us all and make sure that we all stand side-by-side. i am going to ask you again, who are the people? >> we are. >> god bless you all, thank you. >> our next speaker is the national youth director of a
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national action network. she is 15 years old, standing with her leaders of the effort, mary pat hector. >> the fact that i am here means that young people are tired of what the headlines read. we, as a nation come having experienced a series of highly publicized crime, voter suppression, and unlawful -- stop and frisk. our children are graduating with actually being educated. my question for you is what are you waiting for? are we waiting for another dr. king? what if there isn't anyone else? what if it is up to us.
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i encourage you all is the part of that movement.it is up to us to work across tender and economic lines. stop believing the media stereotypes. i am here to say we are not who they say we are. we are more than what they ever could have imagined and more than what they ever could have expected. every time you see change in our communities, it is because the youth like arkansas nine, the saint augustine six, and the hundreds of kids that died in apartheid in south africa were standing behind the movement. and now we have the youth move, the dream defenders and the black youth project. i encourage you to return to your homes with a sense of pride and a sense of purpose. on the 100th anniversary of the march on washington, our grandchildren will not be fighting the same fight. thank you, and have a great day. [applause]
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♪ >> how about another round of applause for our youth people. 50 years ago, the lgbt community was not outwardly represented. but we know the man who organized the great march on washington in 1963 was none other than rustin. here to speak about his legacy through the human rights campaign, we will hear from associate director of diversity and the director of religious
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mobilization, the reverend macarthur from the human rights campaign. following them, on the eve of the great march of washington. one of the founders of the organization passed away. w.b. dubois. it was a transition from one era to the next. we will hear from the president of the civil rights organization in america. try as they might to cut a slow sayst as low, as the naacp , fire it up, ready to go. hear ye them. >> good morning, my name is donna. in times like today i stand proudly with you as an african american lesbian
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representing the human rights campaign. i am proud because he lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and the african- american community, are working together toward justice for all. there have been many attempts to tell you that we cannot get a long. do not believe the hype. i come from a mother and a father that sat at the table. they fought for our freedom from jim crow laws. the majority of my family are lifetime members of the naacp. i am part of the fabric that we've our destiny together to freedom. it is not about one civil rights group but of all of our civil rights for everyone. as we move forward in our celebration of this 50th
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anniversary, let us respect our past and let us grab hold to our futures victories together. >> good afternoon. at times like this i think about one thing. my mother used to tell me i was raised by an interracial couple. i was the grandson of mexican immigrants. my mother said would ever you find yourself in a situation that when you are representing this family, you stand up and today i stand up as a black gay man, ordained in the church, in love with god, filled with faith. we all are made in the likeness and image of god. there are freedoms that we have
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won in the lgbt movement, but that is not enough. i am the father of five children. i love my sons and daughters -- i want my sons and daughters to be protected. we join our faith with your faith. we look for an answer to describe nation in all its forms and no more religious bigotry, no more racist bigotry, no more violent bigotry. today we stand tall. it is not enough that we stand up, but we stand together. he joined our faith with your faith. we look forward to an end to unemployment -- to employment situation -- to employment termination. -- employment discrimination. thank you and god bless you. >> fired up and ready to go.
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when they say no you can't, we say yes we can. when they say no you can't, racial profiling, we say yes we can because yes we did two days ago in new york city. when they say no you can't pass the dream act, no you can't pass marriage equality, no you can't abolish the death penalty, no you can't expand voting rights in any state south of the mason dixon, we say yes we can because yes we did just five miles from here in maryland last year.
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when they say no you can't restore the full force of the voting rights act, no you can't raise the minimum wage, not with this congress, we say yes we can because yes we have again and again. let us claim some victories right now. let us say yes we will pass the law from coast-to-coast. let us say yes we will protect the right to vote with all our might until we win the fight finally once and for all. and let us say yes we will raise the minimum wage because you can not survive on seven dollars $.25 -- on $7.25.
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yes we will. yes we will. yes we will. god bless you. and god bless the naacp. ♪ >> i am the hardest working man in radio. 50 years ago it was radio that got people here. i think today that 50 years later radio has played a big part in getting people here for the 50th anniversary of the march on washington. make some noise.
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cameraman, can we get an aerial shot so everyone can see how many people we have here. i haven't gotten an estimate of how many thousands -- hundreds of thousands of people that are here. we cannot count off because we have a time limit. right now i am bringing up the next speaker from the national action network, the national executive director. >> good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. today is one of the greatest days for our movement in the last 50 years. on behalf of the national action network leadership, i want to thank all of you for making this day a priority for you.
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it is important because we are going to leave here, charged up and ready to do some work. 50 years ago on these very steps, just underneath abraham lincoln, martin luther king jr. delivered one of the most transformative moments in american history. today, one of our greatest civil rights leaders of our time, the reverend al sharpton, is teaching us that we must use all of the right moments and opportunities to fuel a movement. when president barack obama stood up, raised his right hand, laced his left hand on the bible, and was sworn in as america's 44th president, that was a great moment. the sweat, tears, and blood that was shed by frederick douglass, a philip randolph, c higgins, congressman john lewis, the
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freedom fighters, and so many others helped us in -- helped make it possible for us to vote. that is a movement. national action network, since the last year, traveling across the nation ensuring that no vote is suppressed. we are continuing the movement. a march on washington, 50 years ago, was a powerful moment. the women who were the backbone of the civil rights moment -- civil rights movement who could not speak paved the way for me to speak whenever i want to and what ever i want to. he created a movement. mothers and sisters, today our lives may be experiencing pain. we have experienced moments of suffering. our pride has been down, confusion and unbearable moments. what matters is how we use those moments to gather together and
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unite as an opportunity to energize a movement. backward, never. forward, always. we can accomplish what we will. overall very much for supporting the national action network. -- thank you very much for supporting the national action network. >> good morning. >> good morning. my name is crystal ball, i am host of "the cycle" on msnbc. it is a little hot out here today. i know that you all can make it a whole lot hotter. it is my pleasure to introduce this morning the chair of the congressional black caucus, the first african-american mayor of her city, former president of elton sigma theta, congresswoman marsha.
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>> thank you so much. good morning. i want you to know that in 1960 three there were only six african americans in the house of representatives. today there are 43 and there are many sitting right here in this front row. today we stand on the shoulders of giants. giants who marched, thought, and died so that everyone, no matter their race, can have access to the american dream. i have no doubt that the men and women who birth the civil rights movement would say today that the civil rights is unfinished business.
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we're still fighting for equal access to quality education for all people. we continue to fight for good jobs and equal pay. we continue to fight for fair housing and believe it or not we continue the fight for the unabridged right to vote. we are fighting today for equal justice under law, and we all know what i am talking about. the efforts that we have seen over the past few years to roll back the clock must fire up the civil rights movement today. i am here to remind you that tomorrow's at reams depend on today's movement. the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. it is time for us to get uncomfortable. it is time for us to be inconvenienced. we are living in a time of great challenge and great controversy. we cannot rest, we must not rest until our work is done. i am here to remind you that it
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is time for us to do something. to say something, to stand for something, to march for something, to go forward and always go forward. civil rights is an unfinished business. each one of us needs to make it our business. thank you. >> next up, to introduce our u.s. attorney general eric holder is a man -- is a mayor of richmond, virginia. >> thank you, tom. i have the privilege of introducing one of the great leaders of our nation. dr. king died fighting for recycling technicians in methods
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tennessee -- in memphis, tennessee. he believed in external advocacy. the cousin of that we have mayors, we have congressman, we have governors, we will have senators, and we have even the president of the united states of america. if these elected officials are true to their way to getting elected to public office, they are busy today fighting for a level playing field. the man i have the opportunity to introduce today has been busy fighting for that level playing field. he is a voice for change in the criminal justice system, fighting the right -- fighting the drug sentences that have been unequally applied, recently calling for the justice department to no longer seek
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mandatory sentences. he is a voice for voter rights when local elected seek to disenfranchise. he had the courage to stand up and say that it will not happen on my watch. he has been vocal on the ambiguous stand your ground and castle laws, saying that vigilante-ism should not be accepted, we should do is call 911. he is a major of justice, a man standing on the truth of the law, he is our main country's lawyer. he is the 82nd attorney general of the united states of america, the first african-american to hold that office, please join me in welcoming eric holder. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. [applause] it is an honor for me to be here today among so many friends, distinguished civil rights leaders, members of congress, and fellow citizens who fought, rallied, and organized on the streets of this nation to the halls of our capital to advance the cause of justice. 50 years ago dr. king shared his dream with the world and described visions for a society that offered and delivered the promise of equal justice under law. he assured his fellow citizens that his goal within -- his goal
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was within reach so long as they kept pace with one another and maintained the courage and commitment to work toward it. he emerged them to do just that. he urged them to do just that by calling for no more and no less equal justice. by standing up to the civil rights to which everyone is entitled and by speaking out in this -- in the face of hatred, violence, and those that sought to turn them back with fire hoses, bullets, and bombs. the honor of a right redeemed and the pursuit of a sacred truth that has been woven through the history of our nation that all are created equal. those that marched in 1963 have taken a long and difficult road. front, -- from montgomery to greensboro, to birmingham and tuscaloosa, they march in spite
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brutality. they believe in the greatness that was -- the greatness that this nation could become an despaired of the founding promises not kept. their focus was the sacred and sadly unmet commitment of the american system as it applied to african-americans. as we gather today 50 years later their march is now our march. it must go on. our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of latinos, of asian-americans, of lesbians, gays, people with disabilities, and of countless others across this great country who still year and for equality, opportunity, and fair treatment. dr. king's indelible words helped alter the course of history. his words provided a foundation for much of the progress that
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has followed. this morning, as we recommit ourselves to his words for progress we must note that in addition to dr. king we also stand on the shoulders of untold millions whose names may be lost to history, but whose stories and whose contributions must be remembered and must be treasured. truly those that stood on the mall and the summer of 1963 -- but we also must remove were those who rode buses, sat at lunch counters, who stood up to race his government and governors. and tragically those that gave their lives. we must remember generations that carry themselves on a day- to-day basis with great dignity in the face of unspeakable injustice. sacrificing their own ambitions so the opportunities of future generations would be assured. i would not be attorney general
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of the not -- of the united states if not for them. barack obama would not be president of the united states of america. we must remember those who labor for wages. we must remember those who served and died wearing the uniform of a nation that they cared so much about but did not reciprocate that emotion in equal measure. each of these brave men and women displayed a profound love of country that must always be appreciated. it is to these people that we owe the greatest debt. americans of all races, genders, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and background will risk everything in order for their fellow citizens and their children to truly be free. it is to them we must all say in
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the most profound of ways, thank you. it is to them i dedicate my words this morning and it is in their honor i pledge my continuing service in the hope that it might pay to worry the pay worthy tribute to their sacrifices. it is about shaping the future we will undoubtedly share. a future that preserves the progress and build on the achievements that have led us to this moment. today we look to the work that remains unfinished. we make note of our nation's shortcomings. not because we wish to dwell on imperfection, but because those that came before us -- because like those that came before us we love this great country. we wanted to be all it was designed to be and all that it can become. we recognize that we are forever bound to one another and we
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stand united by the work that lies ahead and buy the journey that still stretches before us. -- and by the journey that still stretches before us via -- before us. we will go on in our nation's quest for justice until every eligible american has the chance to exercise his or her right to vote. unencumbered by discriminatory or a niece who did -- or unneeded procedures, rules, or practices. it must go on until our criminal justice system can in short that all are treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the law. it must go on until every action we take reflects our values. generations yet to be born can be assured the right and opportunity that has been too long tonight to too many.
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the american vision at the site, 50 years ago, the beloved community has not yet been realized. half a century after the march and 150 years after the emancipation, it is finally within our grabs. through a willingness to confront corrosive forces tied to special interests rather than common good and through our devotion to our founding documents, i know that in the 21st century we will see an america that is more perfect and more fair. i think each of you for your continuing dedication to this cause. i look forward to all that we will truly achieve together by advancing the cause that remains our common pursuit, by pursuing the legacy that we are called on, and by helping realize the
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dream that still guides our every step. thank you all very much. >> is my pleasure to introduce you -- to introduce to you our next incredible speakers, president of the national urban league and 59th mayor of new orleans, mark morreale, and the president of the national council of laurent saw, the national hispanic advocacy >>ganization, janet -- hello, everyone. i cannot convey to you what an honor it is to stand on the steps of this glorious memorial right where many of our greatest leaders stood on one of the most important days in american
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history. it is a special privilege to be here with my good friend and a great leader, mark morreale. millions of latinos were watching that day in 1963 when we heard dr. king proclaim "i have a dream," we knew he was talking to us to. dr. king's dream was an inclusive dream. it is a universal dream. it is why he remains a beloved icon in my community and across the world. dr. king was one of the earliest supporters of another beloved icon, cesar chavez. at the height of his worst -- of his first in 1966, dr. king sent a telegram in support, which says our struggles are really
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one, a struggle for freedom, for dignity, and for humanity. we know we are standing here on the shoulder of these giants. we also know we are here to remember the one half -- to remember the hundreds of thousands of people whose names we may never know who sacrificed so much to be at this very place a half-century ago. those that had to write a buses ride buses all day and all night because they were not allowed to stop and rest, those that gave their time and those that gave their lives. we are here to remember who we are marching for today. for those who seek justice, who seek the right to vote, who seek a way to support their families, and for those whose names we also do not know what who also lives in the shadows and in fear everyday of their lives because
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they are undocumented, for those young people who know no other country and who are americans in every possible way but whose status puts the american dream out of reach. we march so everyone knows that true justice includes enacting comprehensive immigration reform. it is time for our nation to recommit to lifting up the hopes and dreams of all of us. we must remember that in unity there is power. together we can move mountains and see this agenda moved forward. si se puede. >> i stand here today on the half of billions of urban beakers on the great shoulders of my legendary predecessor who stood here in 1963 along with dr. martin luther king.
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i stand here to reaffirm our commitment to the civil rights and equal opportunity challenges of then and now. and the fundamental notion that we must redeem the dream in order to realize the dream. we must redeem the dream does there are those that attack our democracy, our voting rights, and our access to equal economic opportunity. they may wear different clothes, they may use different slogans, they may have different talking points. but like those in 1963, they filibuster, they struck, and they hinder. we must redeem the gene. 21st century -- redeem the dream. we must redeem the dream is our children should live in communities without senseless
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gun violence, our children deserve access to quality education that will lead to jobs that break generational cycles of poverty. and our children should go to bed on a full stomach and wake up with a good school and great teachers. full employment and economic opportunity for all our eternal values that transcend any century. we will redeem the dream. we will redeem the dream so that this generation are active and not silent. committed, but not complacent. there are those who wish to past who wish to pass stand your ground legislation. we will stand our ground against any procedure and movement that
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threatens our civil rights, our voting rights, and economic opportunity. 50 years ago is where we started. commitment is what we pledge. this is the 21st century agenda. this is the new civil rights movement. thank you very much. [applause] ♪ >> i was instructed to tell the lady next to me during the sign language to the move -- to move two steps to the right. sorry, ma'am.
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our next speaker, the democratic nominee and next senator of new jersey, mayor of new work -- of newark, mayor tori booker. and house democratic whip up to 113th congress. >> good afternoon, everybody. i know i stand amongst many heroes today, folks that actually were here 50 years ago. these allow me to speak to those like myself who were not even alive when the march on washington happened. my father said very simply, when i used to walk around our community and home use to look at me and say, "don't shoot their walk around here like you hit a triple. you were born on third base. you are enjoying freedom,
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opportunity, technology, things that were given to you bought by the struggle and sacrifices and the work of those that came before. don't forget where you come from. you drink the plea from wells of freedom and liberty -- drank deeply from wells of freedom and liberty that you did not dig. you eat lavishly from dank woods tables prepared for you by your ancestors. we as a generation can not get dumb, fat, and happy thinking we have achieved freedom. the truth of the matter is that the dream still demands that the moral conscience of our country still cause us. our hope needs heroes. we need to understand there is still work to do. when the leading cause of death
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for black men my age and younger is gun violence, we still have work to do. when we still have a justice system that treats the economically disadvantaged and minorities different than others. we still have work to do. when you can work a full-time job plus overtime and still be below the stifling line of poverty. we still have work to do. when we see wages stagnating and child poverty increasing, when the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, when millions of our children are living in neighborhoods where there rivers are polluted and their air quality is so poor that asthma is epidemic, we still have work to do. we cannot sit back now thinking democracy is a spectator sport,
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when all we can do is watch our tv screens and cheer for our side, democracy demands action. we cannot get sit -- we cannot sit back and get caught up in a state of sedentary agitation. we cannot allow ourselves to let our abilities to everything, undermining our determination to do something. i call upon my generation to understand that we can never pay back -- it is our moral obligation to pay for it. we must stand like king stood, like thousands of others stood, like good woman stood. we must stand now. we must stand until we live in a
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nation where it doesn't matter who you love, but we do not have second-class citizenship for gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. we must stand now until we become a nation until a woman working the same job as a man gets the same pay. we must stand. we must stand for our country were 20% of our children are not shackled to the shane's -- shackled by the chains of poverty. he must stand in my generation. we must stand for justice, we must stand like those stood before us. we still live in a country where anything is possible. as king said change will not roll and on the wheel of inevitability. we must straighten our backs, stand together, and join together, until in the our
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nations become one. when we make those words and not aspirational but true in our land, that america is a country truly for all of his children, that we are truly a nation with liberty and justice for all. double very much. -- thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you cory booker. i was a member of the generation that was alive. on behalf of that generation, we welcome your energy, your faith, and your focus to the efforts that have not yet been done. 50 years ago the reverend dr. martin luther king stood here and put out many words, the hopes, dreams, and frustrations of millions of americans, black and white, that the people of
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this land were not yet fully freed. we all know his famous words, the dream he shared. his feet was a resonating call to action. -- his feat was a resonating call to action. what calls us here once more was the pronouncement that dr. king made as he said 1963 is not an end but a beginning. that is what cory booker was talking about. america has much to be proud of, in no small part thanks to dr. king, and my friend john lewis and countless others who wrote, spoke out stood up, marched, fled,.
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it was what martin luther king called creative suffering. resident obama testifies to the progress we have made, which would have not been possible if it were not for the millions sacrificed and races -- sacrificed and raises. we shall not rest nor shall we be satisfied by the things now stand. too many people are still in islands of poverty and any quality. too many have no voice in our democracy because they are told they have no valid id with which to vote or they have to choose between going to work or the polls today. we will not rest, that is our pledge today. it was our pledge in 1963. god bless you.
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[applause] >> next up, the first female speaker of the united states house of representatives. minority leader and i would like to call her madam president, nancy pelosi. >> i guess it is still morning. good morning, everyone. as a member of the leadership of the congress of the united states, it is my official privilege to welcome so many of you to washington dc knew the steps of the lincoln lore --
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washington dc to the steps of the lincoln memorial. i join my colleagues and associate myself with the remarks of those from congress who have spoken before me. that's officially. personally, it is my very personal pleasure to be here with each and every one of you because i was here 50 years ago. so who among you is going to be the speaker of the house, the president of the united states, or whatever? you're a beautiful sight to behold. and at that time 50 years ago we heard dr. king inspire us with the, i have a dream, part of his speech. the part that was the call to action was the fierce urgency of now part of his speech. at that time dr. king said we refuse to take the tranquility
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drug of gradualism. we must move forward. and forward we will. if it was then urgent, it certainly is now. 50 years ago, there were only five african american members of the house of representatives. there was no congressional black caucus. today, there are 43 members. we want more. but there are 43 african american members and they are led by congresswoman marsha fudge who up heard from and they are the conscience of the congress. and in that black caucus we have the privilege of serving with john lewis, some of us for over 25 years in the congress, and aren't we proud of that? i also want to mention 50 years ago though he was not a member of congress at the time that john conyers was one of three people invited to the white house to meet with president john
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f. kennedy following the civil rights march, the march for jobs, justice and freedom, who is with us. 50 years ago, we had the first catholic president in the white house. today, we have the first african american president and the first african american first family leading our country so beautifully from the white house. you know, we come together here at a time when there is a monument to reverend martin luther king on the mall. here he sits with presidents of the united states so appropriately. we have a day set aside as a national holiday to celebrate his birthday. but he would want us to celebrate him, his birth, and his legacy by acting upon his agenda, by realizing the dream, by making the minimum wage a living
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wage, by having not just family and medical leave but paid sick leave for our workers, by having quality affordable child care so that our families can be -- the power of women can been leashed in our economy and in our society. and you know what? this just happens to be women's equality weekend. when women succeed, america succeeds. when people of color succeed, america succeeds. he would also want us to be fighting for voting rights. certainly we must pass a bill in the congress to correct what the supreme court did. but we must also be sure that every person who is eligible to vote can vote and that their vote would be counted. when i was here 50 years ago, people said -- oh, and that includes voting rights for the district of columbia.
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when i was here 50 years ago people said, what do you remember most? and the music is playing so i will say this. dr. king said this, 50 years ago, the music of the march the harmony of the civil rights movement dr.'s king's words must continue to inspire us to compose as dr. king said on that august afternoon a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. are you ready to beat the drum for that beautiful symphony of brotherhood? are you ready to realize the dream? thank you all very much. >> all right. next up to introdeuce everly williams is the eldest daughter
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of reverend al sharpton. please welcome dominique sharpton. >> our next speaker has devoted her life to the struggle for civil rights. on june 11, 1963 her husband was assassinated outside in the driveway of his home while she was inside with her three small children. metger was a courageous pillar in the battle for equal rights and a tireless fighter for the right to vote. his death was one of the pivotal events that motivated hundreds of thousands to march at this very place 50 years ago. not even 24 hours after his
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passing, merle evers turned a tragedy into a movement for action and added feet to her belief to ensure that her husband's life was not lived in vain. she is a former chairwoman of the naacp and the first layperson and first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration. she has been a trail blazer in the pursuit for justice and equality, a fearless courageous woman whose devotion for her family and struggle for freedom inspired us to stand firm in our belief with dignity, beauty, and grace, to encourage young women of color that we too can have a place at this table as the next generation's leaders for this movement to progress this nation. she was one of the two women confirmed to speak at the march on washington here 50 years ago.
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but because of travel mishap, she didn't make it to speak. today she joins us on the same set of the lincoln -- steps of the lincoln memorial. please welcome ms. merle evers [laughter] [applause] >> thank you ever so much. what an honor it is to be here today joining all of my brothers and sisters as we reevaluate what we have done in these last 50 years. unfortunately for me i was unable to make the first march on washington and i never really got over that until president obama said pleas us invocation and that was in
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january of this year. thank you, reverend sharpton and others, for asking me to lend a few words to this most precious gathering. and as i look out at the crowd, i find myself saying, what are we doing today? where have we come from? what has been accomplished? and where do we go from this point forward? i think of one theme that has been played over and over in the past few months, and it's one that brings great controversy. stand your ground. and we can think of standing your ground in the tegtive, but
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i ask you today to flip that coin and make stand your ground a positive ring for all of us who believe in freedom and justice and equality that we stand firm on the ground that we have already made and be sure that nothing is taken away from us. because there are efforts to turn back the clock of freedom. and i ask you today, will you allow that to happen? take the words, stand your ground, in a positive sense. stand your ground in terms of fighting for justice and equality.
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we have had wonderful speakers here and we will have even more who will outline those things to you but i think you know what i mean. take a negative and make a positive out of it. assess where we are today. assess where we have come from. assess where we can go. standing our ground for justice, for freedom, for equality. and i stand here today and i ask the question, ain't i a woman? where are the women that need to be acknowledged in this movement for freedom and justice? we must not forget them. we must not forget coretta scott king. we must not betty shabbazz. we must not forget all of the other women who fought in the
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sweat and the tears to move us further. so if you do nothing else, if you take nothing else from my heart and what i have said, stand your ground for freedom and justice and do whatever is necessary that's legal to move this country forward. because we are on stand still today. stand still that looks towards the back. and we must not have that. and i think of us as trees in a forest of people. trees with a network of roots that reach far and that reach deep. the strength of a tree comes from its roots. we have young people here today
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who were not born, who were not even thought of being born, but who have embraced the movement of justice and equality for all. stand by them, guide them, for those of my generation i say to you, sometimes it's necessary to step aside just a little bit, reach out a hand and bring up these young leaders that we have. for we need them in america today. this is our country. and we are the trees standing tall for justice. and we realize that the deeper we place our roots in this society, the less afraid we are to say to those who represent
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us, you do represent us and we will hold you accountable for all of the things, because we are the trees and we have the roots through the strength and the power to turn things around. never become so depressed that we think we can't make it. 50 years ago, dr. king and so many others helped to show us the way and give us the strength to move forward. i stand here today thankful to be 80 years of age and see all of those changes that have taken place and realize that there were people like dr. king and so many others and, yes, med gar evers who gave a life and lives for justice and equality. let us not forget that history. let us move forward. i am going to move off the stage
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because i hear the music being played. but i thank you for your time. i thank you for your attention. and i am thankful to be here with you today. [applause] >> our next speaker, congressman john lewis. now, band, there will be no wrapup music for john lewis. 50 years ago, john lewis stood right here and did his speech which he rewrote and rewrote i think two or three times because they said his speech was too much fire for the march on washington. but here to do that speech -- well, you're going to do that speech?
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do it. he risked his life. he is a member of congress from georgia. please welcome congressman john lewis. >> 50 years ago, 50 years ago, i stood right here in this spot, 23 years old, had all of my hair and a few pounds lighter. so i come back here again to say that those days for the most part are gone. but we have another fight.
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we must stand up and fight the good fight as we march today. for there are forces, there are people who want to take us back. we cannot go back. we have come too far. we want to go forward. back in 1963, hundreds an thousands and millions of our brothers and sisters could not register to vote. when i stood here 50 years ago, i said one man, one vote is the african cry. it is ours until it must be ours. i also said some people tell us to wait, tell us to be patient. i said 50 years later we cannot wait, we cannot be patient. we want jobs and we want our freedom now. all of us, it doesn't matter whether we're black or white, latino, asian, american, or native americans.
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it doesn't matter whether we are straight or gay. we are one people. we are one family. we are one house. we all live in the same house. so i said to you, my brothers and sisters, we cannot give up. we cannot give up. we cannot give in. we must get out there and push and pull. now, a few short years ago almost 40 years ago, almost 50 years ago, i gave blood on that bridge in selma, alabama for the right to vote. i am not going to stand by and let the supreme court take the right to vote away from us. you cannot stand by, you cannot sit down. you have got to stand up, speak up, speak out, and get in the
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way. make some noise. the vote is precious. it is almost sacred. it is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society and we have got to use it. back in 1963, we hadn't heard of the internet. we didn't have a cellular telephone, ipad, i phone. but we used what we had to bring about a revolution. i said to the young people you must get out there and push and pull and make america what america should be for all of us. we must say to the congress fix the voting rights act. we must say to the congress pass comprehensive immigration
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reform. it doesn't make sense that millions of our people are living in the shadows. bring them out into the light and set them on a path to citizenship. so hang in there. keep the faith. i got arrested 40 times during the 60s, beaten and left bloody and unconscious. but i am not tired, i'm not weary. i'm not prepared to sit down and give up. i am ready to fight and continue to fight. and you must fight. thank you very much. ♪ >> next up, ladies and gentlemen, it's my honor to introduce you to the president of the american federation of teachers randy winegarden and the president of the 1.6 million
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members strong lee saunders. >> so, i am randi and i'm the president of 1 million american federation of teachers, a union that supported this march 50 years ago. but first, i am proud to introduce a very important student activist, shawn johnson. >> august 28, 1963, dr. martin luther king, jr., and thousands of others marched on washington for jobs and freedom. congressman john lewis was the youngest speaker, and now 50 years later i am the youngest speaker.
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and i am marching for education justice and freedom. all over the country, public education is under attack. public schools are closing and african american and latino communities. in chicago, we have 50 school closings in african american and latino communities. budget cuts in all public schools and increase in charter school budgets and new charter school openings. every child deserves a great education. every school deserves equal funding and resources. i encourage all of you to keep dr. martin luther king jr.'s dream alive. help us fight for freedom,
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racial equality, jobs, public education, because i have a dream that we shall overcome. because -- >> that is our future. and that is what we are fighting for. and that is what we fought for 50 years ago and that is what we are fighting for now. dr. king's orations 50 years ago helped us create a better world, although we do not yet have the world that dr. king dreamed of. so this must not be a commemoration. this must be a continuation of that right to achieve racial and economic opportunity at the voting booth, in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
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yes, much remains to be done. it's been decades since the birmingham police turned watch dogs on protesters. it has only been months since the u.s. supreme court rolled back voting rights. every day in fact every 30 minutes a child is a victim of gun violence. so the whites only signs may be gone but there's still signs of injustice all around us. children born poor today are likely to stay poor. high poverty schools where kids need so much are given the least. and discrimination based on race or sexual orientation may no longer be legal, but it is still lethal. martin luther king jr.

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