Sacramento-area events call attention to civil rights issues

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 - 3:07 am

On Wednesday – 50 years to the day since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech – Sacramento-area residents can participate in two local commemorations of the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom."

Sierra College, at 5000 Rocklin Road in Rocklin, will hold a march and forum with Eleanor and Tom Hunt, who attended the original march and were inspired to become civil rights attorneys.

In the quad at noon, an estimated 1,000 people will march through campus, singing and chanting the words that reverberated through Washington, D.C., in 1963.

At 12:30 p.m., students will read the "I Have a Dream" speech. An hour later, the Hunts will speak and take questions on their own civil-rights journey from Washington, D.C., to California. They have pursued civil rights cases against police and fire departments and businesses where minorities and women had been virtually excluded, including Eskimos in the building of the Alaska pipeline in the 1970s.

There also will be a "March on Sacramento" focusing on voting rights, the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the racial divide and the income gap, said community organizer Faye Wilson Kennedy.

It will also protest the lack of jobs for millions of Americans, especially people of color, she said.

The Sacramento march, organized by members of the California Legislative Black Caucus, will explore how the March on Washington served as a catalyst for the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act, which led to equal access to public accommodations and laws against discrimination in the workplace and at the polls.

It will start with a 10 a.m. briefing in Room 126 of the Capitol, followed by a noon rally on the Capitol's north steps.

For more information or to volunteer, send an email to or call the office of Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber, D-San Diego, at (916) 319-2079.

Call The Bee's Stephen Magagnini, (916) 321-1072. Follow him on Twitter @stevemagagnini.

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