In response to community outrage and divisive protests over the deaths of numerous unarmed African-American men, a new breed of influential religious leaders, attorneys and activists are answering questions about "where are new civil rights leaders?" in the non-violent, dignified and audacious lineage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Thursday, April 9, 2015, 47th anniversary of Dr. King's funeral, dozens of ministers, political, business and other leaders will gather at the prestigious Atlanta Press Club to formally launch a contemporary, interracial and multi-generational civil and human rights organization based in Atlanta, Georgia.
MovementForward, Inc., "A Modern Collaborative for Civil & Human Rights Activism," will provide innovative, inclusive, and solution-focused advocacy via another generation of change agents in the direct-action tradition of the Civil Rights Movement. Founded by a diverse group of emerging faith leaders, MovementForward seeks to engage people of every race, class, sector and ideology in the continuing movement for social justice, peace, and equality for all.
During the group's organizing meeting on February 15, 2015, civil rights icon and U.S. Rep. John Lewis declared, "It's time for the next generation of servant leaders to step-up, step-in and get in the way (of injustice) the way we did."
Co-founder and noted activist Rev. Markel Hutchins, 37, said, "This organization is taking the important work of the Civil Rights Movement and moving it forward. Forward into new generations and stakeholders.
Forward into a technological and digital age.
Forward into shared ownership by all sectors of society. Forward out of traditional optics, descriptions, definitions and divisions that thwart cohesiveness around people's shared values." He continued, "Progress will happen only when people of good will of every race, ethnicity and faith perspective, and in every professional sector, have the courage to work cooperatively."
According to co-founder Rev. Barrett Johnson, a former national officer of Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), "the continuing struggle for civil rights desperately needs something new, something fresh, something different than most traditional organizations have the capacity to provide." Johnson added, "many recent leaderless protests have been ineffective, profane and in contravention to the spirit of reverence and peace that permeated the Civil Rights Movement."
MovementForward, Inc. is building a comprehensive movement to fulfill Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community" while propelling a new crop of civil and human rights leaders.
Press Conference (preceded by organizational meeting)
Thursday, April 9, 2015 -- 4:00pm Press Conference -- 3:00pm
Atlanta Press Club, Commerce Club of Atlanta, 191 Peachtree Street, NE - 49th Floor,
Atlanta, GA 30303
Atlanta, GA 30303
* The Atlanta Press Club serves as a neutral organization to hold press conferences but does not endorse events it hosts. *