Message from the President
Brothers and Sisters,
On August 28, 2013 the nation will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Before the founding of the A. Philip Randolph Institute in 1965, A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin joined forces to organize civil rights, human rights, faith and labor leaders and community activists for a massive jobs-oriented protest in Washington, D.C. At the time Randolph, the eloquent senior statesman of the Black struggle for equality and opportunity, was President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Vice President of the AFL-CIO. Rustin was an organizer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was considered the chief strategist behind the March.
At that time, the March on Washington proved to be the largest mass protest in American history, resulting in 250,000 men and women, young and old, from all walks of life, from every community in the nation gathered in peaceful protest beneath the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial to express their deepest hopes for the cause of justice, freedom and equality.
Within two years following the March on Washington, the two most effective civil rights bills ever enacted, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, are passed.
Fifty years ago, in his speech Randolph said:
“The March on Washington is not the climax of our struggle, but a new beginning not only for the Negro but for all Americans who thirst for freedom and a better life. Look for the enemies of Medicare, of higher minimum wages, of Social Security, of federal aid to education and there you will find the enemy of the Negro, the coalition of Dixiecrats and reactionary Republicans that seek to dominate the Congress.”
Today, nearly fifty years after the March on Washington, the movements for civil, human and workers’ rights still dominate the national headlines. Working men and women are still impacted by the same evils which prevent us from achieving the full benefits of the American Dream. We cannot allow the clocks to be turned back on the advances of our hard earned civil rights and voter rights.
Call to the
44th National Education Conference