ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — This weekend, thousands of people will attend March On for Voting Rights events across the nation. This comes after a year marred by racial and social injustice and a controversial election cycle. Officials also unveiled an interactive monument in Atlanta to kick off the events.

In a gathering outside The King Center, officials unveiled an interactive and traveling monument called Blank Slate: Hope for a New America. It depicts the struggle of African Americans from slavery to today. “The Blank Slate Monument is here for you, fathers and mothers, grandfathers, mothers and sisters, that we must dare to dream,” said Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, who sculpted the monument. It also celebrates the 58th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the 1963 March on Washington. “Art has a way of reaching our sensibilities and awakening our humanity,” said King’s daughter and The King Center CEO Dr. Bernice King.

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The unveiling also ushers in this weekend’s March On for Voting Rights events around the country and here in Atlanta. “The March On for Voting Rights across the country is a response to voting rights assaults happening in 20 states, but principally, to those happening in Georgia, Texas and Arizona. With the spontaneous ones that are being organized, it looks like it should be over 100 communities across the country. That dispersed pattern also makes more sense in the era of COVID,” said Ben Jealous, a national civil rights leader and president of People for the American Way.

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Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and TV producer Norman Lear founded the organization 40 years ago. “Norman had brought us ‘Good Times,’ ‘Facts of Life,’ and ‘All in the Family’ and taught the nation, really through television, that families that love each other have to fight with each other to figure out the right thing to do,” said Jealous. He says after a year of escalating social injustice and a tumultuous election cycle, history is repeating itself. “The purpose of People For was really to respond to a rise in far right extremism and hate in the early 1980’s and to help move the nation back towards the vision of Dr. King,” Jealous said. He says that mission continues today.

This weekend, they plan to educate voters and demand Congress pass federal legislation to stop voter suppression. “What I’m most proud of are these young people who are organizing for the marches across the country.” It’s a torch leaders want to future generations to carry for years to come.

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The Atlanta march will start on Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 9 a.m. at The King Center. For more information on nationwide marches, click here.