August West Coast Civil Rights Events

Maria was interviewed by musician activist Chili Most on Aug 1st on WVFG 107.5 FM in Uniontown, Alabama and in 8 surrounding counties. This interview was part of Mr. Most’s tribute to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. See and hear his inspiring music at: or search You Tube “Chili Most Fight for Your Rights.”


Social Justice and The Right to Vote: Looking Back, Looking Forward
panel 1 bonner gitin cervantez_MG_4465

As part of a daylong celebration with young and old activists, Maria Gitin facilitated a Voting Rights panel with Charles A. Bonner, civil rights attorney, author and SNCC field director who shared memories of the Selma and Wilcox County Alabama voting rights fight with civil rights veteran and author, Maria, a SCLC SCOPE and SNCC worker in 1965. Karina Cervantez, Vice Mayor of Watsonville, shared stories of her youthful experience registering and educating voters, and of the gains that Latinos have made through the 1965 Voting Rights Bill that Bonner and Gitin fought for and of the challenges that lie ahead. The three discussed what activists can do in the face the recent Supreme Court ruling striking down a key provision of the 1965 VRA.

Other Bay Area Veteran Panelists were Phil Hutchings and James Garrett. Clayborne Carson, Director of the MLK Institute at Stanford University was the keynote speaker.

The 10 Demands of the March on Washington – How Far do we Still have to Go?

  1. Comprehensive and effective civil rights legislation from the present Congress — without compromise or filibuster — to guarantee all Americans:
    Access to all public accommodations
    Decent housing
    Adequate and integrated education
    The right to vote
  2. Withholding of Federal funds from all programs in which discrimination exists.
  3. Desegregation of all school districts in 1963.
  4. Enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment — reducing Congressional representation of states where citizens are disfranchised.
  5. A new Executive Order banning discrimination in all housing supported by federal funds.
  6. Authority for the Attorney General to institute injunctive suits when any Constitutional right is violated.
  7. A massive federal program to train and place all unemployed workers — “Negro” and white — on meaningful and dignified jobs at decent wages.
  8. A national minimum wage act that will give all Americans a decent standard of living. (Government surveys show that anything less than $2.00 an hour fails to do this.)
    [The minimum wage at the time of the march was $1.15/hour.]
  9. A broadened Fair Labor Standards Act to include all areas of employment which are presently excluded.
  10. A federal Fair Employment Practices Act barring discrimination by federal, state, and municipal governments, and by employers, contractors, employment agencies, and trade unions.  – Courtesy of  National Civil Rights Website

2 comments on “August West Coast Civil Rights Events

  1. Dear Bay Area Community Member
    This August marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and organized by Bayard Rustin, prominent strategist in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

    To commemorate this historical event, the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition (BRC) has organized two events.
    Aug 21st:

    The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition presents a Panel Discussion at the GLBT Historical Society Museum discussing the historical impact of the March, status of labor movement in today’s global and digitally advanced economies, and what the future holds for working minorities, including LGBT people in America. Join the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition and our host, the GLBT History Museum.
    Wednesday, August 21st @7PM

    Aug. 24th:

    The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition presents a civil rights rally at the steps of San Francisco City Hall in commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. We shall also honor civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, a gay man who was a prominent strategist of this historic event. Join the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition and our host, San Francisco City Hall,
    Saturday, August 24th. @ 3:30PM

    We value and would appreciate your participation in these events.

    Thank You
    Founded in 2006, the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition works to
    end racism, sexism, homophobia and trans phobia in all their manifestations.

    The Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition embraces advocacy, education and strives to effect social change through the creation of a political dynasty that is visionary, proactive and rooted in the Black and LGBT experience.


  2. Maria Gitin says:

    On Monday June 14, 1965 Bayard Rustin gave a dynamic and informative lecture on the entire history of the Civil Rights Movement to our group of 400+ sweaty, excited civil rights student recruits to the Summer Community Organizing and Political Education (SCOPE) project of SCLC, as part of our five and a half day, 14 hrs a day Orientation, before we were assigned to our counties to work on voter registration. Although I did not write down his remarks, I remember him as a brilliant, riveting speaker who made clear that we were continuing the march of destiny for the liberation of African Americans. I can imagine him smiling from above to learn that liberation philosophy has spread to other marginalized and oppressed groups, and that he is finally getting the recognition that he so well deserves.


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