Latino Leaders Push for Civil Rights at March on Washington Anniversary

On the fifieth anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech", Latino leaders took a stand to call for civil rights for Hispanics.

The National Council of La Raza's Janet Murguia and Voto Latino's Maria Teresa Kumar addressed thousands of those gathered at the Lincoln memorial to address equal voting rights and immigration reform. Many of those Latinos who gathered were mobilized by organizations like LatinoJustice, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, NCLR, Voto Latino and League of United Latin American Citizens, reports NBC Latino.

“Fifty years ago the March on Washington galvanized a nation and a Congress to pass the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that expanded democracy in America, but which the Supreme Court gutted earlier this summer,” Kumar said. “Today, millions of Americans’ ability to vote is at stake, including that of Latinos. It’s up to us to own this moment and do what was done in 1963: Galvanize a nation, united in the belief that every American, regardless of their age or race, must have equal, unrestricted access to the polls.”

Cid Wilson, a Dominican-American who serves on the board of NCLR and LatinoJustice, told NBC Latino why it's so important for civil rights to be addressed, specifically for Latinos, and why Latinos need to rally for these rights.

“We are seeing remnants of Jim-Crow-like laws, voter suppression, immigration. A lot of this other legislation is specifically targeted to suppressing voting rights and the civil rights of Latinos,” he says. “We stand here together today to say we are united.”