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"I Have a Dream" 50 Years Later: Marking the 1963 March on Washington

Three hundred people gathered at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Wednesday, August 28 to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, including some Minnesotans who attended the march 50 years ago. Panelists included Vice President Walter Mondale, Dr. Josie Johnson, Reverend Rolland Robinson, U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, State Representative Frank Hornstein, and Professor Samuel L. Myers, Jr. The Humphrey School co-hosted the event with the African American Leadership Forum.

The video below reflects on the March on Washington and its role in setting the stage for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Humphrey School of Public Affairs: March on Washington 50 Year Commemoration from Humphrey School Public Affairs on Vimeo.

View PDF of event program

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The historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history, calling for civil and economic rights for African Americans. It was during that event that Martin Luther King, Jr. stood before the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech before hundreds of thousands of people.

Join the Humphrey School in remembering this event with a panel of individuals who attended the March and became leaders in their right, including Dr. Josie Johnson, educator, civil rights leader, and first African American appointed to the Minnesota Board of Regents; Professor Sam Myers, Humphrey School of Public Affairs; and Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds, director of the Community Justice Project, University of St. Thomas Law School. The panel will be moderated by Sharon Sayles Belton, former mayor of Minneapolis and vice president for community relations and government affairs, Thomson Reuters.

The March is widely credited for helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and no single U.S. lawmaker was more responsible for passage of the Act than Hubert H. Humphrey. The 50th anniversary of both the March and ensuing Act present the Humphrey School community with an extraordinary opportunity—and obligation—to celebrate the achievements of the Act and rededicate ourselves to the principles of inclusion for which it stands. A series of events are planned throughout 2013.

Keeping Faith with a Legacy of Justice: This is the first of several civil rights-related events the Humphrey School of Public Affairs will host as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More so than any single law, this legislation was responsible for hastening the demise of de jure segregation in many parts of the country. No U.S. lawmaker was more responsible for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Hubert H. Humphrey, and he regarded its passage as a crowning achievement of his political career. During 2014, the Humphrey School and community partners will sponsor a range of activities to mark the anniversary of this critically important legislation, recommit to civil rights principles, and increase awareness of contemporary civil rights issues.

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