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Mississippians Rally for Education, Healthcare and Jobs

By Paul Boger | Published 29 Aug 2013 10:10am | comments
People gather at the Mississippi State Capitol for the " Day of Dignity" rally (Photo by Paul Boger/MPB News)

Mississippians are demanding more social and political change in the name of civil rights. Their demands include better access to quality education, healthcare, jobs, and more affordable childcare and housing.

 At the "Day of Dignity" rally honoring the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, last night, leaders of the African-American community said more needs to be done to reach full equality in Mississippi. On the steps of the Capitol in Jackson, speakers demanded that actions be taken to strengthen families and communities by creating better access to jobs, education, healthcare and housing.

 Jed Oppenheim is with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 "We're backtracking on voter rights. We're backtracking on education. We're backtracking on all of these really important issues right here in Mississippi. So, we're getting folks from around the state out to the Capitol to be able to engage both individuals and organizations around these different issues." said Oppenheim.

Beveraly Wallace attended the rally. She said that while progress has been made in the civil rights movement, more needs to be done.

 "The rubber needs to hit the road. It's that time for the state of Mississippi. That’s really why I came out today. Just to show that we really need to wake up. We have not progressed as much as we would like to believe that we have; even though progress has been made." said Wallace.

 Jennifer Riley-Collins is one of the organizers for the event. She said she hopes people realize that it's up to them to make the difference.

 "I want them to take away the fact that we are simply defining, demanding and determining what dignity looks like for us in our communities. Tak[ing] that forward into the communities and demand those dignities, because it's not just about organizations like the ACLU or NAACP. It's about what we do together, as a community, that will make Mississippi a better place." said Riley-Collins.

 Among the numerous students in attendance, one Jackson high school student said she was attending the rally because she hoped to "repay" Martin Luther King's contributions

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People gather at the Mississippi State Capitol for the " Day of Dignity" rally (Photo by Paul Boger/MPB News)


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