WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., United Methodists will unite with members of the National Council of Churches in Washington, D.C., April 3-5, for the Truth and Racial Justice Initiative.
The events begin with a briefing on alleviating racism and injustice in the areas of criminal justice, economic justice, the media, health care, voting, civil and human rights, environmental justice, education and immigration. Led by the General Board of Church and Society, the briefing will be held April 3, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Methodist Building at 100 Maryland Ave., NE, in Washington, D.C.
Bishop Bruce Ough, president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, will kick off the ACT NOW to End Racism event on April 3 with a prayer rally to Awaken, Confront and Transform, at the United Methodist Building at 2 p.m. Leaders from Baltimore-Washington Conference, Virginia Conference and others will also be in attendance.
A Rally to End Racism will be held April 4 on the National Mall. The day begins with a silent prayer walk from the MLK Memorial to the Mall at 7 a.m. An interfaith worship service is on the Mall at 8 a.m. and the rally and call to commitment will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
NCC leaders expect thousands of people from across the nation to attend the rally. Among the speakers are Bishop Vashti McKenzie, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Jennifer Harvey, Bishop Darin Moore, Rev. Freddie Haynes, Danny Glover, Esther Lopez, Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, DeRay McKesson, Bishop Michael Curry, Phil Lee, Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, Rev. Jim Wallis, Lou Gossett, Jr., Rabbi David Saperstein, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, and many others. Ben & Jerry will be present and will bring ice cream.
April 5 is a National Day of Advocacy and Action. That morning, the Methodist Building will be open so that United Methodists can have conversations and network with leaders from the General Board of Church at Society and the General Commission on Religion and Race, and the Council of Bishops at the Methodist Building. The NCC will lead efforts to lobby legislators on Capitol Hill.