Image credit: 2020March.com
The NAACP announced a list of high-profile speakers and performers participating in the 2020 Virtual March on Washington programming on August 27th and 28th. Before civil rights leaders, activists, and families of those who died at the hands of law enforcement attend the in-person march on August 28th, speakers are expected to call for police accountability reform and mobilize voters ahead of the November elections.
The virtual march is a part of a series of events led by the NAACP, National Action Network, and a coalition of civil rights partners—including Martin Luther King, III, and the families of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington. Over several days, thousands will physically and virtually March on Washington as a part of the Commitment March to recommit to the dream Dr. Martin Luther King defined in the 1963 march.
Rev. William Barber gave the keynote address for the virtual march, followed by speeches from Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Cory Booker, Rep. Brenda Lawrence, Stacey Abrams, April Ryan, Tamika Mallory, Yusef Salaam, and more. H.E.R., Macy Gray, BeBe Winans, and Lisa Ramey were some of the names expected to perform.
“These speakers embody everything this movement stands for; collectively, they’ve spent their lives working tirelessly against racial discrimination, advocating for equal access to the polls, fighting for justice, and they continue to use their platforms to call for reforms of the systems that enable police brutality and voter disenfranchisement,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of NAACP. “Our 2020 Virtual March on Washington is about pursuing equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all, and we look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our collective power by marching and demanding accountability.”
The NAACP executed a robust civic engagement effort with multiple levers of change, including registering participants to vote and encouraging them to participate in the Census.
A series of virtual and in-person programming took place as follows:
THE CALL: Thursday, August 27, 8pm ET: Virtual programming was carried on television networks and key social media platforms, including musical performances, remarks from young activists and emerging organizations and other entertainment.
THE MARCH: Friday, August 28, 11am ET: A Virtual March on Washington, streamed across key social media platforms and television networks. Led by Martin Luther King, III, and the families of Black people who have died at the hands of police officers, thousands will virtually March on Washington to restore and recommit to the dream Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defined in 1963. The virtual march will be in partnership with a socially distant, in-person march for those in the D.C. area.
THE CHARGE: Friday, August 28, 9pm ET: The event concluded with a night of virtual programming, including a major keynote address from Rev. William Barber, and musical performances by award-winning artists.
Coming days after both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention, the 2020 Virtual March on Washington set forth a bold new Black agenda — advocating for comprehensive police accountability reform, economic empowerment, and equitable access to health care, education, and the voting booths.
For more information, visit 2020march.com.