MFSA Sponsors Events Surrounding the 50th Anniversary of March on Washington for Jobs, Justice, and Freedom

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 10:35 am

WASHINGTON, DC – August 8, 2013 – The Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) announces opportunities for commemoration, celebration, and education during events surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs, Justice, and Freedom.

On August 28, 1963, the Historic March on Washington, organized by labor, civil rights, and religious organizations, was the largest rally for human rights in the history of the United States. The march commanded national attention and is credited with changing the tide of public opinion, leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Music and speeches filled the air, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial inspired the marchers.

This August there will be two commemoration marches. The first will be on Saturday, August 24 on the National Mall. Information about this gathering can be found at www.officialmlkdream50.com. Another will take place on Wednesday, August 28, with a focus on jobs and justice. More information about Wednesday’s march can be found at www.50thanniversarymarchonwashington.com. MFSA’s office at 212 East Capitol Street, NE in Washington, DC will be open both days from 7am-4pm to provide hospitality to those participating in the marches. Water, restrooms, and a bag drop will be available.

On Tuesday, August 27, MFSA is sponsoring two events focused on education and action. At 4pm at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, a Teach-In will be held on the topic “A Culture of Suspicion: The Criminalization of Race in America.” The final panel is still in formation, but will include Rev. Gil Caldwell and Charles Thornton. Rev. Caldwell is retired United Methodist clergy. He was a member of the Massachusetts Unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a founding member of Black Methodists for Church Renewal. Mr. Thornton serves as the Director of the Mayor’s Office for Returning Citizens Affairs for the District of Columbia.

At 7pm, MFSA is sponsoring a worship service at Historic Asbury United Methodist Church in downtown DC. InProcess, an African American women’s acapella quintet from the Washington, DC area, will provide music. The Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Associate Dean of Community Life and Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University School of Theology, will be the guest preacher. Dr. Lightsey is ordained in The United Methodist Church, and serves as co-chair of the Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Group of the American Academy of Religion and as a member of the Board of Directors for the Reconciling Ministries Network.

"Having grown up in the South during the 1960s, I remember the great appreciation my parents had for Dr. King, and their great saddness at his assassination,” said Dr. Lightsey. “These many years later, I am happy to be able to participate in these events to commemorate the March on Washington and believe our time together will encourage and inspire the continued work of social justice activism."

“This is a very exciting opportunity for people of faith, especially United Methodists, to come together, learn, and take action. The issues surrounding the March of 50 years ago are still prevalent today: racism, white privilege, access to good jobs and fair wages, and voting rights,” said Chett Pritchett, MFSA’s interim executive director. “We still have work to do to bring about God’s vision of a reconciled world.”

Since 1907, the Methodist Federation for Social Action has worked to mobilize, lead, and sustain a progressive movement, energizing people to be agents of God’s justice, peace, and reconciliation. As an independent, faith-based organization, MFSA leads both Church and society on issues of peace, poverty, people’s rights, progressive issues, and justice within The United Methodist Church.

 

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