Civil Rights Leaders Conclude 2020 Virtual March on Washington, Amplifying Call for Police Accountability and Voter Mobilization

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 Virtual programming on 57th anniversary of March on Washington convened politicians, activists, and performers to advance a bold Black agenda

 Washington — A coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations concluded their two-day 2020 Virtual March on Washington programming featuring politicians, activists, and performers who 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.

The virtual march was 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, and Breonna Taylor — to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.

“57 years after the historic March on Washington — and amid an unprecedented pandemic and social justice uprisings — millions gathered virtually to call for systemic and structural reform. This is a testament to the collective power and passion of Americans fighting against racial discrimination,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “The nation is once again at an inflection point. We stood, and continue to stand united in our loud, bold call for equity, justice, and equal opportunity for all.”

In addition to the riveting remarks from politicians and activists, viewers were entertained and inspired by an appearance by Sheryl Underwood, a video of I Can’t Breathe by H.E.R., and performances from Bebe Winans, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lisa Ramey, Burna Boy and many others. The evening was hosted by April Ryan, White House Correspondent for the Urban Radio Network, and was simulcast on multiple digital and streaming platforms including Bounce TV, TVOne, ABC, Roku, and Hulu.

Highlights from the 2020 Virtual March on Washington:

  • “We are equal, we deserve equal protection under the law and we will declare at the ballot box that Black Lives Matter.” — Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO
  • “Thanks to the activism of countless young people… the movement for justice goes on, taking our nation ever closer to a more perfect union, for which John [Lewis] sacrificed and fought.” —  Speaker Nancy Pelosi 
  • “I know forward together Black, and white, and brown, and red, and yellow, and gay and straights, and every color and every creed, and every race and every geography, we can shake and reshape the very foundation of this nation.” — Rev. William Barber II, co-chair of The Poor People’s Campaign
  • “We must all understand that we’re in this together; we share one destiny. Today, again, we must herald the call for our community to show unity, exercise our strength and our power, to bend that arc of that moral universe toward justice.” — Sen. Cory Booker 
  • “Commitment is what we’ll need to fight against violent white supremacy, to fight against police violence against unarmed African-Americans, to fight against voter suppression, and to fight against educational and economic inequality. This year, the premier way in which we express our commitment to our own liberation must be by exercising our right to vote.” — Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. 
  • “It’s up to us to fight back and save our fragile democracy. No one can sit on the sidelines. First we all have the right to be counted in the 2020 census and we need to be counted. Our power depends on it. We have limited time and the impact is going to last the next decade. So if you haven’t already, fill yours out today at” — Vanita Gupta, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights 
  • “We can and should celebrate the centennial of the 19th amendment, the 150-year history of the 15th amendment, and the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington, but we must do so with a tacit acknowledgment of the complex nature of progress… for too long in our history, we have battled sexism within a fight against racial injustice and racism embedded in the fight against gender discrimination.” — Stacey Abrams 

For more information, visit See coverage of Virtual March here:

Cheddar: 2020 Election Is Driving Force Behind March on Washington, Says NAACP President

Black Enterprise: Black Leaders Remember The March On Washington On Its 57th Anniversary With Virtual Events

ABC News Radio: Tens of thousands march on Washington in “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” protest 

Voice of America: Civil Rights Leader Sharpton Calls for ‘New Conversation’ About Racism in America



Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. The NAACP is a c4 organization (contributions are not tax-deductible), and we have a partner c3 organization known as the NAACP Empowerment Programs (contributions are fully tax-deductible as allowed by the IRS).

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund — also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.

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