Allies in Action: The 60th March on Washington’s Unwavering Stand Against Hate, Racism and Extremism

Andrew Goretsky

Andrew Goretsky

As the 60th March on Washington approaches, it is important to reflect on the progress we have made and acknowledge how far we still must go.

In my life, I have lived to see the progress made toward accomplishing our nation’s goal of achieving equality and justice for all. Since that original march in 1963, important work has been done toward putting an end to much of the legal discrimination and the everyday hateful animus. In doing so, we have achieved a more just and fair society than existed just 60 years ago.

However, as we reflect on the progress we have made, we must also look forward to the next 60 years and the long road ahead towards achieving the dream of Dr. King, and the shared ties that connect us in this pursuit.

In my capacity as regional director for the Philadelphia Anti-Defamation League, I am committed to fighting hate and achieving a more just society for all. But beyond that, I am a father, and I, too, share Dr. King’s dream of seeing a world in which my child will not be judged or discriminated against, nor one in which they will discriminate themselves.

But this dream is impossible if we allow hate and discrimination to survive in any form. Hate and discrimination are not matters of opinion but rather an all-consuming plague that leads to society becoming more and more segmented, with one group ultimately seeking total ownership over a nation to the exclusion of all others. The Jewish community knows too well that when hate is allowed to thrive in one area it will always spread to others. This is why for over a century, ADL has understood that the fight against antisemitism cannot exist in isolation; it must encompass the battle against all forms of hate.

Thus, this milestone event is a continuation rather than a commemoration of the original 1963 march and calls on us to renew our commitment to the fight for racial justice, economic equality, and against hate in any form. We at the ADL Philadelphia office, alongside members of the Jewish and surrounding Philadelphia community, are joined in this march because our involvement underscores the importance of allies in this ongoing battle, demonstrating the power of unity and solidarity in confronting bigotry.

This year, ADL is co-chairing the 2023 March on Washington, joining hands with esteemed organizations such as the NAACP, National Action Network and Drum Major Institute. Our goal is not to commemorate past achievements but to continue the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the pursuit of his dream.

Recent events have underscored the urgency of this fight. Hate crimes, like those seen at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville or the tragic shootings at the Pittsburgh Synagogue or the Tops Supermarket in Buffalo, have tested the very foundations of our society. The rise of extremist violence, coupled with instances of specific police violence and voter suppression, reminds us that the pursuit of justice is ongoing and requires sustained dedication by all of us.

This march presents an opportunity to call for an agenda that seeks justice and to dismantle bigotry in all its forms. With a focus on policies to combat hate crimes, ensure voting rights and promote economic equality, the march aims to lay the groundwork for a more inclusive and equitable future. This agenda reflects the shared values of both the Jewish and African American communities, underlining the vital importance of coming together as allies to achieve a more just and fair society for all.

As we prepare to march once more, we must remember that we do not walk alone. The pursuit of this dream, of fighting hate, and achieving a fair and just society, all require the collective strength of individuals, communities, and organizations, working together. The 60th March on Washington serves as a testament to the power of unity and the enduring significance of allyship.

In the face of hate, racism and extremism, we come together as allies, fortifying our resolve to build a future defined by justice, equality and harmony.

Join us on Aug. 26 in Washington, D.C.  You can register by going to 2023 ADL March on Washington – Campaign

Andrew Goretsky is the regional director for the Philadelphia Anti-Defamation League.


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