Fifty years ago 250,000 supporters of Jobs, Justice and Freedom marched on Washington, helping to open the door for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. Last Saturday, when 100,000 people retraced that route and celebrated the famous Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech, the event was still very much about civil rights and economic issues, including availability of affordable housing, ending homelessness and creating jobs and opportunities for vulnerable people all across America.
Care for the Homeless was especially pleased to have the opportunity to have ten of our client leaders, all members of a CFH Advisory Board and active in CFH activities, take part in the event. Of special note, two of the participants last Saturday were there for the historic march 50 years ago.
David Broxton and Bill Bryant went to Washington to stand up for civil rights and opportunities for people in need. Both were in their 20s, but even then they were thinking about social justice and equality. Bryant was in the military where he would later serve in Viet Nam, and home on leave in August of 1963. Broxton was living in Brooklyn and went down on a bus, just as the CFH clients did this year.
“There’s been lots of progress,” Bryant said, “but we’ve still got a long way to go.
Broxton agreed. “We’re still marching for many of the same things this time that we did then, including access to health care for all and access to decent housing” he said.
Other clients participating in Saturday included Calvin Alston, Ava Connor, Johnny Hernandez, Vilna Miller, Phillip Malebranche, Raymond West and Anthony Williams. A number of Care for the Homeless staff participated too, including CFH Executive Director Bobby Watts.