“Inspiring” is the word that best sums up the Journey for Justice, a march that began in Selma, Ala., and ends this week in Washington, D.C.
Marchers have chanted, waved signs and, above all, kept walking – some of them along the entire 1,000-mile path of the march. They have done so in the name of justice and democracy, to call attention to economic inequality, the dire need for criminal justice reform, the appalling rollback of voting rights and the critical need for education reform.
Today, they will descend on the Capitol to deliver a message to lawmakers: “Our lives, our votes, our jobs and our schools matter.” They are advancing an agenda that aims to protect the right of every American to a fair criminal justice system, uncorrupted and unfettered access to the ballot box, sustainable jobs with a living wage, and equitable public education.
Fifty years after Selma, our country still has a long way to go in pursuit of racial and economic justice. The ongoing epidemic of police violence against African-Americans – not new, but newly documented by cell phone videographers – is just one reminder. But Selma also reminds us that it is protest and mobilization that drives forward the pursuit of justice and democracy, which is why the NAACP’s inspiring action is so important.
The Journey for Justice message cannot and will not be ignored. We applaud the NAACP for organizing this event and call on policymakers to listen to marchers’ stories and heed their call for justice.