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August 28, 2023

The Sixtieth Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

Keeping the Dream Alive

Showing the The Sixtieth Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Video

On August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a turning point in the moral struggle and journey toward greater racial and economic justice in the United States. Civil rights, religious, and labor leaders helped organize the march, calling for an end to segregation and racial discrimination, as well as advocating for fair wages and economic justice, voting rights, education, and long-overdue civil rights protections. At the end of the march, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. challenged America, saying “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’” 

Sixty years later we continue to face fundamental moral challenges in overcoming racism and honoring “a promise that all… would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This in-person and online dialogue examined what more needs to be done to advance freedom, equality, and justice for all. How are we keeping Dr. King’s dream alive? And where are we falling short? What are the responsibilities of Catholics and other people of faith to make this dream a reality?

The participants explored questions such as: 

  • What have we learned and where have we made progress in the 60 years since the March on Washington? Where have we not? 
  • What are key moral imperatives and policy priorities that advance racial and economic justice now? 
  • What is the connection between the civil rights and economic justice agendas from 60 years ago and those agendas now? 
  • Faith communities were a major part of the March on Washington. What are the continuing responsibilities of leaders and people of faith to advance freedom, equality, and justice for all? 
  • How do we engage and mobilize the broader U.S. community to address racism, economic justice, access to education, mass incarceration, and housing disparities?​

John Carr, founder of the Initiative, moderated the conversation. John served as the director of the Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for over 20 years.


View articles, statements, and other resources for this dialogue.


Sr. Anita Baird

Sr. Anita Baird, DHM

Sr. Anita Baird, DHM, is the United States Provincial for the Religious Congregation of the Society of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary, the founding director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Racial Justice, and a past president of the National Black Sisters' Conference.

Marc Morial

Marc Morial (L'83)

Marc Morial (L’83) is the president and CEO of the National Urban League, one of the original sponsors of the March on Washington 60 years ago. He also served as mayor of New Orleans and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Morial is a graduate of Jesuit High School in New Orleans, the University of Pennsylvania, and Georgetown Law.

Andrew Prevot

Andrew Prevot

Andrew Prevot is the new Amaturo Chair in Catholic Studies and professor of theology at Georgetown University. He is a former professor in the Theology Department at Boston College and is co-editor of Anti-Blackness and Christian Ethics (Orbis Books, 2017).

Lauren Reliford

Lauren Reliford

Lauren Reliford is the political director at Sojourners, a Christian organization committed to advocacy for social justice, where she works on developing and implementing Sojourners’ policy strategy, positioning, framing, messaging, and advocacy for Congress and the Administration. Lauren is a graduate of Boston College and has an MSW from Catholic University of America.