Fifty Years after Selma, Social Movements Still Leading Charge toward Justice

by Community Change | March 9, 2015 11:20 am

For Immediate Release: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Contact: Donna De La Cruz,
[email protected] (202) 339-9331

Center for Community Change’s Bold Jobs Initiative Will Build on Proven Track Record

(SELMA, Alabama)—Fifty years ago, hundreds of peaceful activists marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, calling for the passage of the Voting Rights Act. On the other side, they were met by Alabama State troopers and local police who, when the protestors refused to turn around, fired on them with tear gas and beat them with billy clubs, resulting in the hospitalization of over 50 people.

This day, known as Bloody Sunday, created a sea change in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans as the images of extreme police brutality were broadcast on televisions and in newspapers around the globe.

Today, Center for Community Change (CCC) staffers will join thousands of others to commemorate these events as the organization continues to build on its proven track record to empower people to lead movements that will improve the policies that affect their lives.

“In our nearly 50 years, Community Change launched a national movement to create community development corporations—owned and run by low-income people themselves—that built or rehabilitated the majority of the housing created in America’s inner cities over a 20-year period,” said Gabe Gonzalez, CCC’s National Campaign Director. “Community Change built the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support that won a child tax credit that lifted half a million children out of poverty.”

“Next month, Community Change will launch a bold, new initiative to provide good jobs for all people who are struggling to make ends meet,” Gonzalez added. “While we have always worked to lift up the voices of low-income communities, especially those of color, there is an urgent need NOW for audacious new approaches to keep families from falling into financial despair, and to help those trapped by the rules of our economy to achieve new levels of stability and economic security.”

CCC’s campaign, which will be launched on April 29, 2015 in Washington, D.C., will focus on raising wages and improving benefits so struggling families can make ends meet, and call for game-changing new investments to create millions of good jobs. It will also address long-standing racial and gender inequalities, and work toward ending the exploitation of people in prison and eliminating barriers to employment for millions of people who were formerly incarcerated who find it nearly impossible to reintegrate back into society because they cannot find work.

“All of our efforts will need to encompass the voices of struggling Americans, many of them people of color,” Gonzalez said. “As we gather here in Selma today, we are woefully reminded that the struggle for many is not over.”

Community Change is proud to join partners and allies such as All of Us or None, Voice of the Ex-Offender and Save Our Souls as we commemorate the brave activists who crossed this bridge 50 years ago and pledge to continue our charge toward justice for all.

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