Registration open for 56th annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia wait with former President George W. Bush, former First Lady Laura Bush prior to the walking across the he Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches, in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

The historic 56th annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee has released its official schedule of activities for the virtual event taking place March 5-7. While the event typically takes place in Selma, Alabama, all of this year’s activities will be broadcast virtually, making it a truly global event that will be seen around the world. The star-studded lineup is a fitting way to share the commemoration of equity and justice with the world.

“When planning the schedule of activities for the 56th annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, we knew we wanted to have activities that could be enjoyed virtually,” said Drew Glover, principal coordinator of the event. “We also knew that we’d have a bigger audience than ever before, from all parts of the world, so that’s why we made sure we have the variety of activities that we do. We have music, speeches, photography, panels, films and of course, the actual bridge crossing. No matter who you are, there’s an activity here that will help you celebrate the important history behind the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee.”

Two civil rights legends are set to make the historic 56th annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee even more special. Andrew Young, former ambassador to the United Nations and a close confidant of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (now United Farmworkers) with Cesar Chavez, are both scheduled to appear at the event, themed ‘Beyond the Bridge: People Power, Political Power, Economic Power.’

“We are honored to have Andrew Young and Dolores Huerta sharing their prolific voices with us. As we continue the work of the movement ‘Beyond the Bridge,’ we don’t do so alone,” said Glover. “We are standing on the shoulders of the elders and ancestors. The presence of these civil rights icons makes our first foray into the virtual space even more powerful.”

The annual Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee event in Selma, Alabama, commemorates ‘Bloody Sunday,’ which occurred March 7, 1965, when a group of about 525 African American demonstrators gathered at Browns Chapel to demand the right to vote. They walked six blocks to Broad Street, then across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where they were met by more than 50 state troopers and a few dozen postmen on horseback.   When the demonstrators refused to turn back, they were brutally beaten. At least 17 were hospitalized, and 40 others received treatment for injuries and the effects of tear gas. The attack, which was broadcast on national television, caught the attention of millions of Americans and became a symbol of the brutal racism of the South. Two weeks later, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and 3,200 civil rights protesters marched the 49 miles from Selma to the state capital, Montgomery—an event that prompted Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act.

Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee activities are educational, inspirational and entertaining for people of all ages. The event kicks off on Friday, March 5 with Children’s Sojourn, a mass meeting, and the Freedom Flame Awards. Other activities include Black Music Experience and screening of the John Lewis documentary, a photograph event, and a day of storytelling. Registration is free at <www.selmajubilee.com>.

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