The event will be held 2 p.m. on June 22 at Shiloh Temple International Ministries, 1201 West Broadway, Minneapolis. This community-wide commemoration will commemorate the Freedom Summer anniversary of the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner. A call to action is in support of Congressional action to reinstate the key provisions of the Voting Rights Act. This event is part of the City of Minneapolis' celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Many feel the Voting Rights Act was undermined by the 2013 Supreme Court ruling of Shelby County v. Holder. One of the organizers of the event, Vic Rosenthal, executive director of Jewish Community Action said, “Just as people from diverse communities, lived and died alongside our African-American colleagues during the summer of 1964, so too now we bring our shared values to our work in support of ensuring equal voting rights today by making sure the Voting Rights Act is renewed by Congress before 2015.”
Dr. Josie Johnson, civil rights leader and a participant in the Freedom Summer of 1964 will be the keynote speaker and will be joined by several other Minnesotans who were involved in civil and voting rights 50 years ago. Rep. Keith Ellison will also be speaking at the event to discuss what Congress must do in the coming year. The event will also feature spoken word artists, songs and other elected officials. Bishop Richard Howell of Shiloh Temple International Ministries, Rabbi David Wirtschafter from the Jay Phillips Center and Imam Abdisalam Adam from Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque will also speak at the event.
Organizers of the event believe it links the Civil Rights Act with the Voting Rights Act, two very important milestones in the history and highlights the need for action to make sure the Voting Rights Act is renewed.
The event is sponsored by the Jewish Community Action, National Council of Jewish Women – Greater Minneapolis, Minnesota Council of Churches, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, Wellspring Second Chance, Minnesota Rabbinic Association and the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition.