UofL Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
By Cherrelle Marable–
On August 28, 1963 America witnessed the largest Civil Rights demonstration which was held in the nation’s capital. The March for Jobs and Freedom took place in Washington, D.C where approximately 250,000 people came together to march from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.
50 years later, University of Louisville students, faculty, and staff, as well as Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, joined together on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate this historical turning point in American history.
The celebration started with a public panel discussion –“Reflections on Dr. King’s Dream”. Mr. Ira Grupper, who was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s, said that it was Dr. King who inspired so many people, and himself in the Civil Rights movement.
Following the discussion, hundreds of people gathered together and walked in a symbolic march which was led by University of Louisville President Ramsey, from the Student Activities Center and concluded outside of Ekstrom Library.
Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs, Mordean Taylor-Archer said “the March was a defining moment in history and today as a defining moment for our campus community because it symbolizes our unity and commitment to social justice”.
Even though majority of the students who were present at the campus celebration were not alive to witness Dr. King famous “I have a dream “speech at the nation’s capital still know the importance of the March on Washington.
For those who were alive, they are able to reflect back on August, 28 1963.
“I remember Dr. King’s speech like it was yesterday. “I have a dream.’ It was gripping, emotional, even for a 14-year-old who really couldn’t grasp its meaning,” said Ramsey.
After President Ramsey had remarks, Raoul Cunningham of the NAACP Louisville Chapter gave the Keynote address.
The nation as made great progress since the civil rights movement but the work is not over. “The struggle continues and there is still work to be done”, said the Director of REACH Academic Development, Vicki Bridgeman.
Following the program outside of the Library, the university continued its commemoration in the Chao Auditorium with a showing of Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin, a documentary film about the March on Washington organizer and civil rights activist.