CONTACT INFORMATION: Dorothy He
[***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***]
August 28, 2023
Washington, D.C. — The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), along with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC (Advancing Justice-AAJC), Asian American Scholars Forum (AASF), Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), and The Sikh Coalition will attend the March on Washington as an Asian American contingent.
The original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was organized by labor and civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin on August 28, 1963 to advocate for the civil and economic rights of Black communities. The Civil Rights movement, which was led by Black advocates, paved the way for civil rights victories for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities and led to the creation of more AANHPI advocacy groups.
“The March on Washington was a major turning point in the civil rights movement in our country, and a historic moment that set a precedent for other communities of color to make their voices heard and advocate for meaningful change,” said Gregg Orton, National Director of NCAPA. “NCAPA is proud to march alongside the National Action Network and our AANHPI partners at the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, and we will continue to move in solidarity with the Black community as we fight for racial equity for all.”
“On Saturday, we will march in continuation of the great Dr. King’s dream for Black liberation and equality for all,” said John C. Yang, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center. “We will not rest until justice has been achieved for all. As Asian Americans, we must do our part to show up and unite in racial solidarity with our Black community members – not only at the March on Washington, but every day until Dr. King’s dream is fully realized. Our fight for equity is one and the same.”
“If it were not for the March on Washington and the decades-long persistence of the Civil Rights movement, we would not be where we are today in the fight for Asian American and immigrant rights,” said Gisela Perez Kusakawa, Executive Director of the Asian American Scholar Forum. “Sixty years ago today, Black Americans bravely marched for their communities’ freedom, safety, and well-being. We march today in the same spirit, coming together with our AANHPI partners and other advocates across diverse causes to, in the words of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., bend the long arc of the moral universe towards justice for our communities and all that call the United States home.”
“As we rise in solidarity with the March on Washington’s 60th Anniversary, we in the labor movement and as AANHPIs must seize this vital moment to defy racism and oppression,” said Ligaya Domingo, President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA). “The Black-led civil rights movement displayed remarkable courage as they marched to secure freedom, safety, and prosperity for their communities, and union leaders were critical to the first march sixty years ago. Now, on this anniversary, labor unions are again taking a critical role of solidarity in fortifying our rights and fighting for a future that uplifts everyone and centers the voices of all workers whether we are Black, Brown, Asian, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Indigenous, or white. The urgency to act is upon us; voting rights are undermined and the hard-won rights we cherish face erosion from corporate greed and extreme right-wing attacks.”
“Just as we were at the first March on Washington sixty years ago, JACL will join again this weekend because our nation has failed to realize the aspirations of that first march,” said David Inoue, Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League. “Collectively we will renew the call for social and economic justice for everyone.”
“NAPAWF is proud to stand in solidarity with the National Action Network, the Black community, and the many partners standing united against hatred, violence, and the rising threats to democracy,” said NAPAWF’s Interim Executive Director and Chief of Staff Isra Pananon Weeks. “As civil rights and social justice advocates, it’s crucial that we center our intersectional identities in service of having full agency over our lives, families, and communities. If we narrowly focus on only one aspect of a person’s lived identity, it prevents us from seeing the fuller picture of how a person is impacted by social, economic, legal, and political inequities.”
“OCA will be alongside the National Action Network and our AANHPI partners at the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, in both joy and solemn,” said Thu Nguyen, Executive Director of OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. “While we continue to fight against hate, xenophobia, and systemic oppressions, we celebrate the solidarity and community that we have built over the years.”
“As we mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, SALDEF is proud to continue the fight for equality and justice alongside our partners, communities and advocates,” said Kiran Kaur Gill, Executive Director of SALDEF. “We will continue to fight together at the frontlines against hate and oppression to address this multigenerational moment to reclaim our rights and protect the progress we’ve made.”
“The Sikh Coalition recognizes that so much of our ongoing work today is built on a foundation paved by the original founders of the civil rights movement, including the Black community and the organizers of the first March on Washington,” said Anisha Singh, Executive Director of The Sikh Coalition. We remain ever grateful for the trailblazing work of those heroes, and we are honored to participate in this 60th anniversary commemoration in order to reaffirm the fact that our struggle for justice and equality is one we share across communities.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of forty-seven national Asian Pacific American organizations that represent the interests of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns.