Kate Childs Graham
WASHINGTON— The American Federation of Teachers, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Service Employees International Union and the National Black Justice Coalition have joined forces to host "A Tribute to Bayard Rustin and the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Rustin was the organizer of the 1963 march. The commemorative event will be held on Monday, Aug. 26, 6-9 p.m., at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. The evening will include a keynote address from Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and a select screening of the award-winning documentary "Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin."
Rustin is credited with mentoring Martin Luther King Jr. and helping to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the A. Philip Randolph Institute. President Obama recently announced that Rustin would posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Other speakers at the Aug. 26 tribute will include: AFT President Randi Weingarten, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, APRI President Clayola Brown, U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), and NBJC Executive Director and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks.
Rustin's longtime partner, Walter Naegle, will share some of his memories, and a panel featuring individuals who knew Rustin's work well, including Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and former APRI President Norman Hill, who participated in planning the historic march, will offer their reflections. The Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force led the host committee for the tribute.
The closing will feature the AFT's Albert Shanker Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition announcing the establishment of a Bayard Rustin Fellowship, which will focus on research, policy development and advocacy in the field of public education. For tickets and more information, visit the Bayard Rustin 2013 Commemoration Project.