What You Need To Know About The Two Marches Fighting For Racial Equality This Weekend

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On Sept. 30, two separate, but intertwined, marches will take place in the nation's capital of Washington, D.C. — the March For Racial Justice and the March For Black Women. The March for Black Women describes itself as its own independent march at the center of the March for Racial Justice, with both marches sending independent yet connected messages.

The March for Racial Justice describes its movement and upcoming march in great detail on its website. The site emphasizes the march's vision of creating a "just and equitable future" for communities of color:

The March for Racial Justice is a black and indigenous led multi-community movement united in our demands for racial equity and justice. We are calling for a reversal of laws, policies and practices that hasten inequality, dehumanize people of color and maintain white supremacy. We march because as long as U.S. laws, policies, and practices remain steeped in white supremacy, basic human rights and civil rights for all — our universal and constitutional rights — will never be fully realized.

The organization's website also outlines the Movement For Racial Justice (M4RJ) platform, which focuses on the following: ensuring freedom, justice, and safety for black, indigenous, and all women, femmes, and girls of color; ending criminalization of black, indigenous, all communities of color; ensuring justice, respect, and freedom for all indigenous peoples; securing political and economic justice for all communities of color, investing in health, housing, safety, and education of communities of color; and immediate removal of monuments, symbols, and manifestations of white supremacy.

The March for Black Women, which will occur at the center of the March For Racial Justice, has also outlined its vision and platform on its website. The march highlighted the utmost importance of denouncing the rampant oppression of Black women and girls:

On September 30, 2017, Black women in all their diversity will march at the center of the March for Racial Justice in our very own MARCH FOR BLACK WOMEN in Washington, D.C. to denounce the propagation of state-violence and the widespread incarceration of Black women and girls, rape and all sexualized violence, the murders and brutalization of transwomen and the disappearances of our girls from our streets, our schools and our homes.

We call on every Black woman from every U.S. city, every walk of life, every demographic to rise together within our differences and face our common oppressors—the systems, and too often the very communities claiming civil and human rights for some, while invisibilizing, rejecting and relegating the rest of us to political backseats.

The March for Black Women's website has also noted that, as part of the march, it will call on the federal government and Black communities to take on the following five actions:

  • issuing an apology to Black women for centuries of abuse
  • ensuring immediate and sustainable measures by the U.S. government to end police brutality
  • unjust incarceration, sexual misconduct, and murder of Black women; ending the threat against the human right to health care
  • ensuring economic justice for Black low income women
  • ceasing and desisting all threats of deportation of immigrant women across the country

If you will be in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 30 and wish to join the March for Black Women, you can gather at Seward Square in D.C.'s Capitol Hill neighborhood at 8 a.m. A program featuring artists, advocates and thought leaders will begin at 10 a.m. and marching will begin at 12:30 p.m., when the March for Black Women Will join the March for Racial Justice.

Moreover, if you wish to join the March for Racial Justice, you can line up at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Both marches will then proceed toward the Capitol building and then past the Department of Justice, before ending at the National Mall. There will also be a candlelight vigil held at the MLK Jr. Memorial at sundown.

If you are not based in the Washington, D.C. area, but still wish to participate in the marches, both the March for Black Women and the March for Racial Justice have sister marches happening around the country.

Overall, the March for Black Women and the March for Racial Justice are seeking to bring attention to and remedy exceedingly important issues of racial injustice in the United States. It is absolutely inspiring to see so many people come together to take a crucial stand against injustice and the mistreatment of communities of color.