To commemorate 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Annapolis-based Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Inc. will unveil the nation’s first memorial to the 250,000 “foot soldiers” of the March—the ordinary citizens who risked the threat of personal harm to magnify the impact of the words of the civil rights leaders who spoke that day. The public is invited to the unveiling of the Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Memorial, which includes the names of more than 500 foot soldiers. The ceremony will take place at Annapolis’ Whitmore Park, the site of a bus depot from which Annapolis residents traveled to the march. Speakers at the unveiling of the 2 1/2-ton-granite memorial will include Senator Ben Cardin, Congressman John P. Sarbanes, Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, Anne Arundel, County Executive Laura Neuman, Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen, chairwoman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus Delegate Aisha Braveboy and Martin Luther King Jr. Committee Chair Carl Snowden, as well as a local foot soldier. Many of those named on the memorial are expected to be in attendance.
For the first time in its 157-year history, the Mississippi State Medical Association has selected an African American physician to lead its organization. The association, with nearly 5,000 members, elected Claude Brunson, senior adviser to the vice chancellor for external affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and professor of anesthesiology, to serve as its president-elect. That means Brunson will become president the same year the nation recognizes the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. In 1964, the physician in the position Brunson will assume opposed hospital admitting privileges for Black physicians.
The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice have filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voter suppression law signed by Gov. Pat McCrory. The suit specifically targets provisions of the law that eliminate a week of early voting, end same-day registration, and prohibit out-of-precinct voting. The group seeks to stop these provisions, arguing that they would unduly burden the right to vote and discriminate against African American voters, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. For more information about the case, including a copy of the complaint, visit: aclu.org/voting-rights/league-women-voters-north-carolina-et-al-v-north-carolina.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Young Invincibles have announced the Healthy Young America video contest in an effort to inform young people about health insurance coverage and new options under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. People can submit entries and vote for their favorite video at www.healthyyoungamerica.org. The Affordable Care Act is making healthcare more affordable and accessible for 19 million uninsured young adults across the country. Three million previously uninsured young adults have joined their parents’ health insurance plan because of the healthcare law. Young Invincibles is in the midst of a nationwide campaign designed to inform young adults about coming changes and new options. The campaign includes healthcare “train the trainers” to help community leaders be informed about new changes. A website with frequently asked questions and a mobile app to help consumers learn about their options, find local healthcare services, and get information on enrollment events this fall are also included in the campaign. Young people can access a variety of online tools now, through HealthCare.gov, and count on in-person help to get answers to their questions to help them enroll by Oct. 1.
Compiled by Juliana Norwood.