Groups to celebrate 'I Have a Dream' speech 50th anniversary

ATLANTA -- In the months leading up to next year’s 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial, civil-rights groups are setting aside their differences to cooperate on a nearly year-long celebration.

Thursday, the leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and The King Center announced joint plans to observe the lead up to anniversary of the March on Washington and King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech Aug. 28, 1963.

Events include gatherings in Atlanta at the King Center and in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial and the MLK memorial.

“We still have to march,” said SCLC President C.T. Vivian, who served on King’s staff. “We must tell the president and Congress that 50 years later, the struggle continues and poverty continues unabated.”

Other events include motorcades and marshes in Birmingham, Ala., and at the Moores Ford Bridge in Monroe, Ga., the site of a lynching that King was due to visit had he not been assassinated. The motorcade traveling to Washington will stop for commemorations along the route before arriving in the nation’s capital where the SCLC will hold its annual convention.

“It is our intention to make the 50th anniversary observance an inspiring, global and educational celebration, which renews my father’s challenge to create a nonviolent society in which justice, shared prosperity, brotherhood and sisterhood can flourish in America and throughout the world,” said King’s daughter Benice King, King Center CEO.

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