Grassroots groups and residents from throughout the South will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28 by keeping things local — and showing up at state Capitols for rallies, speeches and events aimed at community progress.
As President Barack Obama and other dignitaries talk in Washington, D.C. and remember Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, community members affiliated with the Southern Freedom Movements and Project South will focus on a “Day of Dignity” with a straightforward social justice theme: “I AM HUMAN. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”
Events are scheduled at 13 state capitols in the South, including Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Florida, according to organizers.
In their talks and at their events, participants will discuss ending poverty and deportations, strengthening communities, improving education, making neighborhoods safer and keeping families strong and united.
“We recognize that our strength is in the power of the people,” Southern Freedom Movements, which is made up of community groups dedicated to social justice, said in statements posted online.
A half century ago, community members in the South found strength by organizing, identifying goals and then working toward a vision that includes dignity, the groups said.
Since then, according to the groups, the South has seen community victories and challenges. “Social movements have continued to organize for the self determination of the people,” they said.
Project South is an anchor organization of the Southern Freedom Movements.
On Aug. 29, community groups affiliated with the Southern Freedom Movements will participate in commemorations marking the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The next day, grassroots organizations and their members will participate in a Southern Movement Assembly meeting in Dothan, Ala. That meeting will include discussions on grassroots efforts to strengthen communities.
Project South is an Atlanta-based group that works on grassroots organizing and leadership, especially for low-income communities. One of its main goals is to address poverty.