After attending the ceremony commemorating the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the Selma-to-Montgomery March and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Brittany Pressley will have stories to share with her children and grandchildren.
“This was such a great historic event to have been a part of, and getting to hear the president speak was one of the highlights of my trip,” she said. “I will never forget this experience.”
Pressley, a YWCA Central Alabama AmeriCorps member, made the trip with a group of 27 YW staff members, AmeriCorps members and friends. They joined the thousands of people who descended upon the city of Selma to commemorate the bravery of those who fought for equal rights just 50 years ago.
The YW group made it a point to walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge and make a statement that, as a country, we are united in continuing the efforts of those who fought for the rights and freedoms of so many.
President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush were among the many dignitaries, entertainers and leaders of national organizations who also made appearances in Selma to show their support. One of the most symbolic figures for the occasion, President Obama addressed the thousands who stood before him.
Also in attendance was Representative John Lewis, who is well known for his contributions to social change and was one of those injured on the bridge half a century ago. “We must use this moment to recommit ourselves to do all we can to finish this work,” he said, challenging the crowd to avoid becoming complacent. “There’s still work to be done.”
Lewis and Obama agreed that while the past can’t be forgotten, we as a nation must continue to work toward a better future. That goal is right in line with the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
The YW’s social justice programs promote facing issues such as discrimination and injustice head on, in order to empower people to stand up for what is right That is the legacy of Bloody Sunday and the story of Selma.
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