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Heeding Dr. King’s Call Once Again: The March on Washington 2023

Heeding Dr. King’s Call Once Again: The March on Washington 2023

<p>Heeding Dr. King’s Call Once Again: The March on Washington 2023</p>

The CEO of Family Equality on why marginalized groups are gathering in Washington, D.C., this week for the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Nearly 60 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called us all to unite, resist, and fight against injustice. He spoke of a dream where peace, justice, and equity reigned; where our differences were embraced as strengths; and where we’re all treated with the dignity and respect we deserve.

And 60 years later and we’re still fighting injustice. We’re still fighting discrimination. We’re still fighting racism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-semitism, xenophobia, classism, and more.

Now we’re heeding Dr. King’s call once again. This time, it’s an opportunity to recenter our shared mission of social justice. This time, marginalized groups are invited to gather in Washington D.C. for the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network, Martin Luther King, III, Board Chairman of the Drum Major Institute, and Andrea Waters King, Chairman, and President of Drum Major Institute.

The historic nature of this moment is not lost on me. And in this moment, coming together in community feels more urgent than ever before.

This year, we’ve endured devastating attacks on our most basic human rights from state legislators, policymakers, and even the Supreme Court. They came for our right to discuss the history of racism in the United States, our right to exist freely and authentically as LGBTQ+ people in classrooms, our right to choose when we become parents, and our right to overcome discriminatory barriers while applying to colleges and universities.

This cannot go on.

We must use our shared power to step up and make ourselves heard. To quote President Biden in his address at this year’s NAN MLK Day Breakfast, “There’s nothing beyond our capacity — nothing, nothing, nothing — if we do it together.”

As I'm a queer Black mom raising twin 9-year-old boys with my wife, this work is not only my passion — it’s also personal. My family and I know firsthand what it feels like to live somewhere that is actively legislating oppression. My wife and I made the difficult decision to leave our home state of Texas last fall for a more welcoming community in the Washington metropolitan area. We have the privilege and the resources to move, but so many people do not.

And as CEO of Family Equality, I’m proud to be part of the important work ahead to protect marginalized communities and resurrect our democracy. Finding ways for people to have safety in place continues to drive me to do this critical work for LGBTQ+ families across the country. That is why it was so important to me that Family Equality take part in this year’s March on Washington. We will join the Rev. Al Sharpton, members of Dr. King’s family, and other prominent civil rights activists, movement partners, and social justice advocates. We must show up to remind legislators who they serve — all of us. Parents, children, and families. Everyday Americans.

The NAACP website describes the first March on Washington as “a collaborative effort amongst major civil rights groups and icons of the day.” I am so grateful to help continue that legacy of collaboration by bringing Family Equality to the March on Washington as a community partner. If we are going to win this fight, we have to fight together.

Bridgett Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, made powerful remarks at the 2020 March on Washington that have stuck with me to this day:“What will be our legacy? Will our future generations remember you for your complacency or your inaction? Or will they remember you for your empathy, your leadership, your passion for weeding out the injustice and evil in our world?”

It’s time for us to come together. All movements for love, equity, and justice must join forces because every one of us is under attack. That’s the way we move forward.

That’s the way we make history. Join us.

Stacey Stevenson is the CEO of Family Equality

Views expressed in The Advocate's opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

Find out more about Family Equality's March on Washington Activities here.

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Stacey Stevenson