by Ken Coleman, Michigan Advance
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday proclaimed that Thursday through Sunday will be recognized as “June Jubilee: A Celebration of Freedom” in Michigan.
The Detroit NAACP-led effort commemorates the June 23, 1963, “Walk to Freedom” march where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. marched down Woodward Avenue in Detroit to advance jobs, justice, and freedom and delivered his famed “I Have a Dream” speech for the first time.
A summit centered on issues such as civil rights, voting rights and education are taking place Thursday at Wayne County Community College District in Detroit. U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) will keynote during the civil rights organization’s annual fundraiser on Sunday.
“Today I am proud to proclaim June Jubilee in Michigan to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate the efforts of the Detroit Branch of the NAACP,” said Whitmer. “This year marks 60 years since Dr. King debuted his iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech right here in Detroit. Together we have strived to live up the ideals he laid out decades ago by facing racial disparities in health care, education, housing, and so much more head on.
“We have made meaningful progress — closing the school funding gap, expanding health care to one million people, and lowering costs of child care, pre-K, housing, and job training — but we still have more to do. Our mission is to keep striving and working together to deliver real change that makes a difference in people’s lives and build a just, equitable Michigan for all,” she continued.
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said that the Detroit NAACP has been an “integral part of campaigns for social justice and human rights.”
“Since we took office, members of the NAACP have been active members of several different task forces aimed at ending racial disparities in health care, education, housing, and opportunity. Michigan is a place where anyone — no matter who you love, how you identify, or the color of your skin — can prosper,” Gilchrist said.
During Thursday’s opening session, Detroit NAACP President Wendell Anthony called the effort a “historic occasion for all the people who believe that an injustice to anyone, anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Here are scheduled events:Thursday, June 22, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. – Freedom Summit to be held at the Northwest Campus of Wayne County Community College District. Topics will include “Voter Mobilization – Registration and Protection;” “Critical Race Theory – What It Is and What It Ain’t;” “The Civil Rights Movement and Labor; Closing The Wealth Gap Through Housing and Equitable Access;” and “The Criminal Justice System — Let’s Stop The Violence.”Friday, June 23 – Unveiling of a commemorative statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., to be placed permanently in Hart Plaza.Saturday, June 24 – “Walk Toward Freedom,” beginning at 10 a.m. at Woodward Ave. and Martin Luther King Blvd; rally in Hart Plaza to follow.Sunday, June 25 – 68th Annual Fight For Freedom Fund Dinner at Huntington Place, 5 p.m.
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