23 Aug Media Statment: The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
Friday, August 23, 2013
Susan Berryman-Rodriguez, 9to5
(Washington, DC) –The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
9to5 National Executive Director Linda Meric released the following statement in response:
“This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington when hundreds of thousands of people mobilized for equality, jobs and freedom. The monumental event and the organizing that followed helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act – legislation that helped reshape our country and the economy. But in the words of Dr. King on that historic day, ‘1963 is not the end, but a beginning.’
Enormous strides have been made. We saw the end of Jim Crow. We’ve seen African Americans, Latinos, women and others gain access to jobs and education they were previously denied. In 1963, 42 percent of African Americans lived below the poverty line; in 2011 that percentage dropped to 27 percent.
But we are not close to being done. There is a growing chasm of inequality in this country. African-American women earned only 69 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2011. Women and people of color are still underrepresented in engineering and the sciences, in law enforcement, in the skilled trades, and in corporate and political leadership. There is currently no federal law preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. And the Supreme Court just struck down a key portion of the Voting Rights Act.
Now in 2013, we must recommit ourselves to a renewed effort to expand opportunity to everyone. We must fight to increase economic security, protection against discrimination, comprehensive immigration reform, a robust safety net and voting rights. We must continue the fight for the basic standards that all of us need to contribute to overall stability for families, communities and a growing economy.
We must speak out. We must join together. We must take action. We must keep marching.”
About 9to5: Winning justice for working women for 40 years, 9to5 leads the way to create a powerful force for change on issues affecting low-wage women and their families. Through hands-on leadership development, grassroots organizing and policy advocacy, 9to5 organizes women in campaigns for family-supporting jobs with living wages and paid sick days; and stronger protections against workplace discrimination. To learn more or to get involved, visit 9to5.org and find us on Facebook and Twitter.