October 11, 2011
AFSCME will co-sponsor a rally and march in Washington, DC, to coincide with the ceremony to dedicate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s National Memorial, the first on the National Mall honoring a non-president and a man of color. The march was originally planned for August 27, the day before the 48th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King's historic “I Have a Dream” speech, but was postponed due to Hurricane Irene.
The rally, led by civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network, will shine a spotlight on Dr. King's legacy as a civil rights leader, and assess America's progress since his death. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968 while supporting a strike by 1,300 sanitation workers represented by AFSCME Local 1733. The workers recently were enshrined in the U.S. Labor Department's Labor Hall of Fame.
AFSCME Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders will co-chair the event which is scheduled to begin Oct. 15 at 11:00 a.m. at the National Sylvan Theater. Other co-chairs are the Rev. Dr. W. Franklyn Richardson, senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and chairman of the National Action Network; and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. The National Director of the march is Pastor Willie F. Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, DC.
The ceremonial dedication of the Dr. King Memorial will be held on the following day, Sunday, Oct. 16. For information on the dedication, visit www.dedicatethedream.org.