March Across Roebling Bridge August 8 for “Bridges to Cross: Building Bridges”
Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
CINCINNATI, OH (July 8, 2015) — The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC), National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (NURFC) and Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency (CAA) announced today that they are co-sponsoring the “Bridges to Cross: Building Bridges” march across the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge on August 8, 2015 at 9 a.m. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. There will be a program at the Freedom Center following the march, featuring local speakers addressing the topic: “Cincinnati 50 Years Ago”. Participants are invited to complete “I March for _____” response cards to better understand what society is still marching for today. These response cards will later be turned into action items by local Cincinnati agencies, who will reconvene throughout the year and lead community discussions inspired by the completed response cards.
“‘Bridges to Cross: Building Bridges’ isn’t a single event,” says Ericka King-Betts, executive director of CHRC. “This is the beginning of a new city-wide dialogue, where we connect the struggles, passions and interests of our communities into collaborative discussion and actions.”
The symbolic march across the Roebling Bridge honors the sacrifices made when 2,000 people set out from Selma on March 21, 1965, protected by U.S. Army troops and the Alabama National Guard that President Lyndon B. Johnson had ordered under federal control. Nearly 40,000 supporters met the marchers in Montgomery, where they gathered in front of the state capital to hear Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other speakers, including Ralph Bunche, address the crowd. On August 6, 1965, during the height of the American Civil Rights Movement, the Voting Rights Act—the landmark piece of federal legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in voting—was signed into law by President Johnson.
“The Selma to Montgomery marches changed the course of history and made the Voting Rights Act possible,” says Dr. Michael Battle, executive vice president and provost of the Freedom Center. “The ‘Bridges to Cross: Building Bridges’ march and program encourages participants to not only reflect on this historic anniversary and what it means to us today, but also to project what they want for the future of the communities that make up our great city.”
The Bridges to Cross: Building Bridges” commemorative march and program on Saturday, August 8, 2015 is free and open to the public. For more information visit freedomcenter.org.