Bayard Rustin and Cleveland Robinson, March on Washington August 7, 1963. World Telegram & Sun photo by Orlando Fernandez, Public domain

It’s hard to believe one of the country’s most powerful civil rights moments, the historic March on Washington is turning 60 years old.  

Held in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, the purpose of the march was to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. At the march, final speaker Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of the National Mall, delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism. 

It has been estimated that 250,000 people attended the March on Washington which is credited with helping to pass the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

In celebration of this historic moment in history and the need to continue the fight for racial equity, a commemoration and celebration event has been planned in Topeka on Mon., Aug. 28, 6:30 to 8 p.m. at New Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 2801 SE Indiana.

Academy Award winning filmmaker Kevin Willmott will deliver the keynote address at the Topeka event! Willmott is best known for his work as a director and screenwriter for “BlacKkKlansman,” “Da 5 Bloods,” and “C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America.” He also is a Professor of Film at the University of Kansas. 

“This event has been organized to recognize and celebrate those on whose shoulders the persistent and powerful pursuit of racial equity was revealed to the world 60 years ago while continuing to shine a bright light on that pursuit in 2023 and beyond,” wrote event organizers.  

Ongoing injustices the organizers cite are: a living wage, quality affordable housing, economic inclusion, education support and health disparities, among other challenges.