WASHINGTON (August 28, 2013) — In 1963, Howard University students contributed to the success of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as leaders, organizers and march participants. Almost 50 years later, hundreds of their successors as Howard students continued the tradition.
The 1963 March on Washington brought hundreds of thousands to the National Mall to call for integration and economic equality. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
This year, more than 300 Howard students carried the message of freedom and justice forward by rallying on the Yard and marching through the streets of Washington on Saturday. Hundreds of volunteers from the incoming Howard freshman class spent Fridayparticipating in the community service projects.
Students on Sunday attended the premiere of a documentary, 1963: The Year that Changed America, and participated in a question-and-answer session with the film's producer, Andrew Young, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a Howard alumnus (B.A. '51). Howard also presented a special Chapel Service in partnership with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) earlier that day with guest speaker, Rev. Dr. Lewis M. Anthony, pastor, St. Lucille A.M.E. Zion Church.
In honor of King's legacy and his call to service, the freshmen volunteers assisted with community service projects in the metropolitan area that focused on education, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, poverty, voter registration, non-violence, and environmental cleanup. During one project, students filed books in the library at Elsie Whitlow Stokes Public Charter School. They painted, helped clean hallways and discard trash in preparation for school to open.
Howard officials and alumni from across the country are recalling their experiences as university students who participated in the event and are speaking about its impact on their lives and the nation.
“The March was a culmination of a long and painful struggle to advance freedom for all Americans, but especially Black Americans,” said Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau. “A half a century later, the next steps must include vision and leadership for the struggle to protect the civil, economic and social rights of all Americans. It is imperative that we recommit to the goals of the 1963 March on Washington as we respond to contemporary challenges.”
For more information on Howard events, visit here.
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.