The following post comes from HRC Religion & Faith Program Temp Diane Martin:
This past Saturday, HRC was proud to join tens of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Martin Luther King III, and the NAACP.
As most of the political and civil rights leaders who spoke that morning emphasized, the day was not just a commemoration, but a continuation of the fight for jobs and equality that began at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago. However, this time around the cause has broadened as women, immigrants, students, and members of the LGBT community joined the “March for Jobs and Equality.” A number of speakers on Saturday morning – while focusing their remarks primarily on issues of voting rights, gun violence, and economic justice – also were deliberate in including the LGBT community in the fight for equality, often quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous words: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Indeed, while 50 years ago Bayard Rustin, a black gay man responsible for organizing the 1963 March on Washington, hid in the shadows, on Saturday the LGBT community was embraced as a partner in the broader coalition fighting for equality. Amongst the roster of distinguished speakers, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. John Lewis, King, and Sharpton, were HRC’s own Donna Payne and Rev. MacArthur Flournoy, whose powerful, energizing words highlighted the importance of intersectional justice in moving forward to realize the dream of equality.
Rev. Flournoy spoke passionately about being a black gay man ordained in the church. As the father of five children, he acknowledged the recent victories for the LGBT community, but urged that there is work yet to be done: “Unless my sons and daughters are protected, we’ve not done enough.“ He enforced HRC’s commitment to creating justice for all communities: “We join our faith with your faith. We look for an end to discrimination in all its forms. No more religious bigotry. No more racist bigotry. No more violent bigotry. Today we stand tall. It’s not enough that we stand up, but we stand together.”
HRC's MacArthur Flournoy addresses the crowd with NAACP President Ben Jealous at his side. Photo (c) Judy Rolfe/HRC
On Wednesday, August 28, HRC will join with the Center for Black Equity, Hilton Worldwide and Verizon at 7 p.m. in the HRC Equality Forum in Washington, D.C. for a panel discussion and reception honoring Bayard Rustin’s contributions to the American civil rights movement. The event is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more and RSVP.
Photos (c) Judy Rolfe / HRC