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HRC joins civil rights march calling on U.S. DOJ to investigate hate crimes
HRC joins civil rights march calling on U.S. DOJ to investigate hate crimes
HRC associate director of diversity to join civil rights, political and religious leaders in Washington, D.C. march

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender civil rights organization, announced that Donna Payne, HRC Associate Director of Diversity, will join Reverend Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III and other civil rights and religious leaders at a march on the U.S. Justice Department in Washington , DC on November 16 at 12 noon. The march is being called by Rev. Sharpton's National Action Network and other black political, religious and media leaders to protest the lethargic response of the Department of Justice in investigating hate crimes.

Friday's march seeks to bring additional attention to and urge an immediate judicial response to the recent national surge in racial and ethnically motivated bias crimes, including the rise of nooses, swastikas and other symbols of hate being displayed across the country in the wake of the Jena Six case. In that case, the Human Rights Campaign joined with a broad coalition of national civil rights organizations in calling for fair treatment in the case of six black teenagers who had fallen victim to severe racial bias at the hands of judicial authorities in Jena , Louisiana .

Donna Payne is scheduled to give remarks at the march on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign between 9 a.m. and 12 noon (EST).

At a previous march, GLBT leaders were assured during discussions with MMM march organizer Louis Farrakhan and Washington minister Rev. Willie F. Wilson, the march's executive director, that GLBT activist/blogger Keith Boykin would be able to address the crowd from the main stage. However, their agreement was inexplicably annulled by march organizers at the last minute and Keith was prevented from addressing the crowd. Black GLBT leaders and Keith, who was president of National Black Justice Coalition at the time, spoke out forcefully on the snub, which was largely attributed to the influence of Rev. Wilson, an outspoken critic of Gays and Lesbians. Members of the local black GLBT community, who had held a rally earlier in Freedom Plaza, vowed to use the hurtful occasion as a call for intensifying their efforts to increase the visibility and solidarity of the black GLBT community.

Now, just two years later, Rev. Wilson has ostensibly extended an olive branch to HRC and the GLBT community by calling Donna Payne and inviting her to take part in Friday's rally for justice. And Donna will be in Freedom Plaza tomorrow - just like she was two years ago - to stand with our brothers and sisters in the civil rights movement in calling for our government to do its job and treat all of its citizens fairly and equally.

It's moments like this when the fight for equality seems to pay the sweetest returns.

For more information, visit: www.hrcbackstory.org

An HRC press release
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