Only one commemorative march in Selma

In two weeks, I’ll be arriving in Birmingham, AL, for final preparations for the Marching in the Arc of Justice Conference, which will be held March 5-8, 2015, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma Voting Rights Campaign and specifically, Bloody Sunday. I’ve been working with a team of people from the Living Legacy Project, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham, and others for almost a year now to plan this event. It has been a labor of love for all of us, and we’re thrilled with how the plans have shaped up.

I’m especially glad to see that an unified committee that includes the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Inc., The Faith and Politics Institute, the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, Wallace Community College Selma, 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, The City of Selma, Rep. Terri Sewell, Rep. John Lewis, National Action Network, Rainbow/PUSH have come to an agreement that there will be only one march and that march will be on Sunday, March 8. Originally, President Barack Obama and John Lewis’s announcement that they would be coming to Selma to march on March 7 upset many people. Rep Hank Sanders wrote an open letter to the Faith & Politics Institute protesting this decision, which details a long history of distrust between the Faith & Politics Institute and Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Inc.

I commend all the parties involved for coming to compromise that preserves Selma’s Bridge Crossing Jubilee’s tradition of commemorating Bloody Sunday on the closest Sunday to March 7, the date of the actual event in 1965. See The Sacredness of Bloody Sunday Triumphs for the latest announcement. Hopefully, this is the beginning of some healing that will create even stronger unity as the second 50 years begins.