50th Anniversary of the March on Washington: Immigrant rights a key part of continuing fight for racial justice


Tomorrow in Washington, DC, tens of thousands are expected to rally and march on the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. In 1963, at the height of the civil rights movement, over a quarter of a million people marched in the nation's capitol for racial equality. There, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, in which he called forth the movement, "...we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream."

NNIRR is proud to support the march and the participation of members, friends and allies. March organizers intend the event as a "springboard for a nationwide campaign designed to take on issues such as poverty, jobs, racial and class inequality, and immigration...".

We recognize that our struggle for immigrant rights is absolutely entwined with our collective and ongoing fight for racial justice. Due to the tremendous advocacy and sacrifice of civil rights fighters, the Voting Rights Act, still under attack today, was passed by Congress and signed by President Lyndon Johnson in August 1965. It is no coincidence that in October of that year, he also signed into law the Immigration and Nationality Act, finally doing away with racist immigration quotas and ushering in a new era of immigration, particularly from Asia and Latin America--literally changing the face of the country.

We need only to reflect on the events of the past year to recognize the ongoing pushback against racial and immigration justice, and the long road ahead towards achieving racial and economic justice. Fair and just immigration reform, that includes legalization and the pushback against border militarization, the criminalization of immigrants and the undermining of workers' rights is certainly a key part of this important agenda.

Read here a great blog from NNIRR Board member Gerald Lenoir, coordinator of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, on the "March on Washington in Light of the Zimmerman Verdict: What do the Times Say About the State of Racial Justice?"

Here's another wonderful piece from our friend Makani Themba of The Praxis Project, "Remembering Dr. King, the Black Community Organizer."



Coming up next week:

A call for participation in the People's Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights, Sept. 29-Oct. 4 in New York, a movement-oriented event organized parallel to the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.