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NASW statement on 2013 National Action to Realize the Dream March

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Social workers played a key role in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

For instance, social work icons National Council of Negro Women President Dorothy Height and National Urban League President Whitney M. Young Jr. helped plan the March on Washington.

That march, which sought equal treatment for African Americans, was one of the largest demonstrations in U.S. history. It helped galvanize support for Congress to pass two key pieces of legislation that social workers supported – the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The nation will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the march on August 24 with the National Action to Realize the Dream March.

Once again, the National Association of Social Workers supports this event and hopes it will help encourage the country to continue to live up to the goals of the 1963 event.

Given the events of the last three months, there is still much to do to realize Dr. King’s dream. The U.S. Supreme Court recently made a disturbing ruling that could seriously harm voters’ rights and protections. NASW is working with other organizations to support legislation that would fix problems that resulted from this ruling.

Work must also be done on other issues of importance to social workers, including voter suppression, racial profiling, immigration reform, criminal and juvenile justice reforms, workers’ rights and a living wage, and equal treatment for women and members of the LGBT community.

NASW urges you to support the National Action to Realize the Dream March on August. And we want you to work with us on the grassroots level and nationally in months ahead to use the momentum from this event to support legislation and regulations to address social issues that are important to our profession.

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 140,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.