WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2015 — The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) will participate in the historic 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama. The 81-member delegation includes staff, board members, family members, representatives from The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the African American Policy Forum and the National Council of Churches of Christ, USA. The delegation will participate in the weekend-long commemorative activities, culminating with the Sunday march. The Lawyers’ Committee, along with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, the African American Policy Forum and other national organizations, will co-sponsor a special workshop on March 7th, “The Future of Black America in the Post-Obama Era.”
In 1965, civil rights organizers planned to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama’s state capitol, to protest against egregious inequality. Those champions of justice set out that fateful Sunday to peacefully march across the Edmond Pettus Bridge, but instead were met by the batons of Alabama authorities. The televised violence of state troopers against those peaceful protestors brought a nation to its feet, sparking an irreversible outrage in the conscience of the American public. Shortly after, the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965 was introduced by President Lyndon B. Johnson, greatly influenced by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Bloody Sunday marked a pivotal moment in our nation’s Civil Rights Movement, and the Lawyers’ Committee could not be more proud to join this historic tribute in the retracing of those trailblazers’ momentous footsteps. As an organization committed to the continued protection of the right to vote, the journey to Selma, a battleground for the franchise, will undoubtedly be a powerful one.
“We feel a sense of shared history as we continue the fight for voting rights today,” said Lawyers’ Committee President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine. “While we cannot let our guard down against voter suppression still present 50 years following the transformative Voting Rights Act, we can carry the torch forward in the fight for equality, and to honor those great American foot soldiers, like Dr. King, Viola Liuzzo, Jimmy Lee Jackson and Congressman John Lewis, who bravely marched for justice, including voting rights, in 1965.”
The workshop, “The Future of Black America in the Post-Obama Era”, co-sponsored by the Lawyers’ Committee, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, the African American Policy Forum and other national organizations, the will be held at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center Saturday March 7th from 3:30-5:30 p.m. immediately following the “Fruits of Labor” Luncheon. On Sunday March 8th, President and Executive Director Barbara Arnwine will lead the reading of “The People’s Voting Rights Manifesto”, initiated by the Lawyers’ Committee and the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and supported by almost 70 civil, religious, voting and human rights groups, during a pre-rally and post-rally speech. The Lawyers’ Committee delegation will then march over the Edmond Pettus Bridge—retracing and commemorating the steps of those bold heroes and sheroes, and their bitter sacrifice, 50 years earlier.
Media inquiries: To coordinate interview opportunities with members of the Lawyers’ Committee delegation, please contact Stacie Royster, 202-445-6101 or [email protected].