Written by Secret Media Writers Mª DEL ROSARIO CASTRO DÍAZ and CLAIRE LEADEN
Today marks the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, and thousands have gathered once again to make their voices heard.
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march marked a turning point in the fight for civil rights. Now, 57 years later, activists are set to repeat it once again. [featured image source: Instagram / @mikiodo]
Today’s Commitment March: Get Your Knees Off Our Necks has been organized by the National Action Network (NAN) in reference to the killing of George Floyd in May. Collaborators for the event include the NAACP National Urban League, AFSCME, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Hispanic Federation, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
The NAACP also announced it will be holding a virtual march online as part of the event. “Our 2020 Virtual March on Washington is about asking everyone — from protesters in the streets to elected officials at all levels of government — to commit to pursuing a new agenda that prioritizes equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all,” Derrick Johnson, the president and CEO of NAACP, said in a statement. “As we approach the November elections, we must mobilize to vote like we’ve never done before.”
If you’re looking for ways to support the movement from right here in NYC, here are 5 ways to take action now:
1. Participate in Local NYC Events
If you weren’t able to travel down to D.C., there are many events taking place right here in the city, in the form of sister protests and other demonstrations of solidarity. Justice for George NYC shares updates on their Instagram page, and also helped organized the groups of local New Yorkers that traveled from the city to Washington this morning. Groups from Freedom March NYC, Unite NY 2020, Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, Moms United for Black Lives, and Ride to DC all helped hundreds of New Yorkers join the national march.
2. Watch the Virtual March On Washington
If you can’t make it out in-person at all, the march is being live-streamed here. Hear from speakers in the community and elected leaders to learn more about the issues and find out what you can do to help.
3. Register to Vote, Volunteer or Learn How to Become an Election Official for the 2020 Elections
Taking civic action is one tangible thing march participants are being ask to do. There are resources in person, but you can also do the same things from home. You can find out how to register to vote here, volunteer here, or become a poll worker here.
4. Complete the Census and Be Counted
Being counted properly can help ensure that adequate resources are provided to communities by the government. It only happens every 10 years, and many areas are often undercounted due to lack of participation, so now is your chance!
5. Demand Justice for Jacob Blake
Jacob Blake is the most recent victim of police violence against Black individuals, but is part of a larger systemic issue. You can find out more about how New Yorkers have been standing up for him and how to help demand justice here.