On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day my two children and I joined 9to5 Atlanta to march for an end to employment discrimination in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. We started by linking up with 9to5 members to make signs to carry during the march and listen to speeches by Dr. King. We all got motivated to speak out about employment discrimination against the formerly incarcerated and why we need to “Ban the Box” on employment applications asking about criminal history.
This issue hits home for me, because I have had court cases myself, and at times it has been a major barrier for me to find work. This campaign is personal for me, and I loved getting to talk about the issue with everyone at the parade.
When we got to the beginning of the parade, wearing 9to5 stickers and carrying our homemade signs, we fell into line behind a large group of unionized sanitation workers. As the parade began, we started marching and chanting. My son and daughter had a great time helping pass out informational flyers to the onlookers, and I got a chance to network with other organizations, as well as explain to parade-watchers what “Ban the Box” means.
As the march ended, I was reminded of the historical legacy of the day. And as we walked past Ebenezer Church, I told my children about the church and about Dr. King. I was inspired to see all these organizations of Atlanta coming together with one strong voice, and to add my voice to it.
By Amelia Mitchell, 9to5 Atlanta member