COLUMBUS –House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued a statement ahead of the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which was held August 28, 2020, to advocate for the civil and economic rights and freedoms of Black Americans. The anniversary comes amid months of protest and renewed activism to end racial injustice in the United States.
“Though the March on Washington happened more than 50 years ago, our march toward freedom and equality for Black Americans continues. The pain and anger we’ve seen in recent months as Black voices cry out for justice is not new—we have so much further to go. We must root out systemic racism and lift up Black lives, give voice to Black experiences and reform broken systems that for too long have discriminated against Black Americans, shutting them out from the promise of the American Dream.
“In Ohio, we see racial disparities in health, in education and in the workforce. These issues must be met with urgency, and any meaningful change must be led by Black voices. We can’t afford the same old politics as Black lives continue to be cut short either by institutionalized violence or inaction amid this pandemic. We can and must do better.”