March On Washington Events: 50th Anniversary Celebrations Kick Off In D.C.

The civil rights leader Martin Luther KIng (C) waves to supporters 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Mo
The civil rights leader Martin Luther KIng (C) waves to supporters 28 August 1963 on the Mall in Washington DC (Washington Monument in background) during the 'March on Washington'. King said the march was 'the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States.' Martin Luther King was assassinated on 04 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to 99 years in prison. King's killing sent shock waves through American society at the time, and is still regarded as a landmark event in recent US history. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

On August 28, 2013, it will have been 50 years since Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led approximately 250,000 people in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The monumental event, which was held to protest discrimination, joblessness and economic inequality faced by African Americans, featured King's iconic "I Have A Dream" speech and set the stage for both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

In honor of the impending anniversary, Washington has prepared a range of celebratory activities. Renovations to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial have been completed just in time for the festivities, and President Barack Obama is set to speak on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Two major marches will take to the streets in the coming week, including the Action to Realize the Dream March and Rally "Jobs, Justice & Freedom" on August 24 and the March for Jobs and Justice on August 28.

Additional events hosted in the D.C. area in honor of the 1963 anniversary can be found below:

August 21

Event: Praise and Worship Service
Where: Mt. Airy Baptist Church, 1100 North Capitol St. NW
When: August 21, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sponsored by: National African American Clergy Network, Sojourners, National Evangelical Association, Christian Community Development Association
Cost: Free
Contact: For more information, contact Barbarella Brown at (202) 352-4956 or

August 22

Event: Black Youth Vote! Organizing and Training Conference
Where: National Education Association Headquarters, 1201 16th St. NW
When: August 22, 8 a.m. to August 24, 11:30 a.m.
Sponsored by: NCBCP Black Youth Vote!, NAACP, NEA, Generational Alliance, NAN Youth Move
Register: Invitation only;
Cost: Free
Details: The conference aims to build young leaders with training events about strategic planning, voting and technology. A men-only session called "I Am Trayvon" will allow black men to discuss the problems they face.

Event: Women Leaders of The Movement: Past, Present and Future
Where: U.S. Capitol, Cannon Caucus Building, Cannon Caucus Room
When: August 22, 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Sponsored by: NCBCP Black Women's Roundtable, National Council of Negro Women, National Action Network in partnership with The King Center
Register: Invitation only; contact or (for media inquiries).
Details: Women leaders will discuss female policy issues and women's contribution to the civil rights movement.

August 23

Event: "Celebrating the Legacy of A. Philip Randolph & Bayard Rustin" 44th Annual A. Philip Randolph Institute National Conference
Where: Hyatt Regency, 400 New Jersey Ave. NW
When: August 23 to August 29
Register: Register at or contact Jan Temple at or (202) 508-3710
Cost: Prices vary
Details: The conference includes town hall meetings centered around topics such as race and poverty and voting, as well as youth workshops and commemorative ceremonies.

Event: Redeem the Dream National Summit and Reception
Where: Independence Ballroom, 515 15th St. NW
When: August 23, 9 a.m.
Sponsored by: National Urban League, Memorial Foundation
Register: Register here.
Cost: Free
Details: The summit will feature two panels titled, "We Shall Not Be Moved: A Watershed Moment for A Movement" and "The Next 50 Years: Freedom Forward."

August 24

Event: Action to Realize the Dream March and Rally "Jobs, Justice & Freedom"
Where: Lincoln Memorial
When: August 24, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sponsored by: Martin Luther King III, Rev. Al Sharpton, National Action Network
Cost: Free
Details: The National Action Network writes, "We will gather ... to stand together against the recent attack on voter rights, against Stand Your Ground and racial profiling, and to continue to raise awareness on unemployment, poverty, gun violence, immigration, gay rights and other critical issues affecting our nation."

Event: Global Freedom Festival
Where: The National Mall, 7th and 14th St. NW
When: August 24, 2 p.m. to August 27, 10 a.m.
Sponsored by: The King Center and National Park Service; The Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Freedom
Contact: Peggy Cusack at or (404) 526-8900
Cost: Free
Details: The festival will include four days of "education, entertainment and activities" focused on the "freedoms to participate in government, prosper in life and peacefully co-exist."

Event: D.C. Statehood Rally: "Remembering The Legacy. Where Do We Go From Here?"
Where: D.C. War Memorial, Independence Ave. NW
When: August 24, 8:30 a.m.
Cost: Free
Details: A short rally for D.C. statehood rights will precede the Lincoln Memorial march.

August 25

Event: "I Have A Dream" Gospel Brunch
Where: Grand Ballroom of the Willard hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
When: August 25, 2013, 11:30 AM
Sponsored by: Willard InterContinental
Cost: $132 per person
Register: Visit or call (202) 637-7350
Details: At the hotel where King is said to have finished writing his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, the Gospel Brunch will feature:
-Performance by opera singer Denyce Graves
-Dramatic reading of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and rendition of "Battle Hymn Of The Republic"
-Silent auction to benefit the King Foundation
-Sparkling wine reception
-Southern-style brunch

August 26

Event: Republican National Committee Commemorative Event
Where: Capitol Hill Club, 300 First St. SE
When: August 26, Noon to 2 p.m.
Sponsored by: RNC
Register: RSVP by August 21 to due to limited seating.
Details: Big names include RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

August 27

Event: Conference On Civil Rights
Where: The Washington Court Hotel, 535 New Jersey Ave. NW
When: August 27, 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by: Howard University
Cost: $50 for adults, $25 for students
Register: Register here.
Details: The Conference features panel discussions, speakers, open discussion groups on civil rights topics ranging from gun control to women's rights to education.

Event: Realizing a Dream: 50 Years After the March on Washington
Where: NYU Washington, DC Abramson Family Auditorium, 1307 L Street NW
When: August 27, 5 p.m.
Sponsored by: NYU Dialogues
Cost: Free
Register: RSVP here.
Details: NYU Dialogues will host a panel featuring Michaela Angela Davis, Many Carter, Earl Fowlkes and Darnell Moore. They will discuss how the March "shaped and influenced societal and policy changes in the U.S. and advanced civil rights" as well as considering current events.

Event: Panel Discussion with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Where: 801 K St. NW, Roosevelt Studio
When: August 27, 7 p.m.
Sponsored by: The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Cost: Free
Details: The panel will analyze the impact of the March on Washington through the photographers who covered the event. Panelists include:
-Krissah Thompson of The Washington Post
-Eric Kulberg, photographer and documentary producer
-Jennifer Krafchik, library director of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
-Derek Gray, community archivist

August 28

Event: Interfaith Service
Where: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
When: August 28, 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Sponsored by: The King Center; The Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Freedom; National Council of Negro Women; SCLC; National Urban League; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation; National Action Network; National Council of Churches, Children's Defense Fund
Cost: Free

Event: March for Jobs and Justice
Where: Assemble at 600 New Jersey Ave., ending at a rally on National Mall.
When: August 28, assemble at 8 a.m., march at 9:30 a.m.
Cost: Free
Details: "Veterans" of the 1963 march will lead a 1.6-mile walk through downtown D.C., accompanied by a bus used during the segregation era dubbed the "Civil Rights Museum On Wheels." Check out the route of the 1963 March on Washington 50 years ago here.

Event: The Let Freedom Ring Commemoration
And Call to Action Ceremony

Where: The Lincoln Memorial
When: August 28, 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by: The King Center; The Coalition for Jobs, Justice and Freedom; National Council of Negro Women; SCLC; National Urban League; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation; National Action Network; National Council of Churches; Children's Defense Fund
Cost: Free
Details: President Obama will speak from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. At 3 p.m., there will be a bell-ringing ceremony marking the time that Dr. King delivered his famous address.

Museum Exhibits:

Library of Congress: (10 First St. SE)
"A Day Like No Other: Commemorating The 50th Anniversary Of The March On Washington"
August 28, 2013 to March 1, 2014

National Museum of American History (14th St. and Constitution Ave. NW)
"Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 And The March On Washington, 1963"
Through September 15, 2013

National Museum of Women in the Arts, (1250 New York Ave. NW)
"American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold's Paintings Of The 1960s"
June 21 to November 10

National Portrait Gallery: (8th and F Streets NW)
"One Life: Martin Luther King Jr"
June 28 to June 1, 2014

Newseum, (555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
"Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement" and changing exhibit: "Civil Rights at 50"
A Permanent display starting August 2, 2013



The 1963 March On Washington