LCCR Launches Yearlong Civil Rights Campaign

Media 01.15,04

Today, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, launched a yearlong campaign,“2004. Civil Rights. Rekindle the Dream,” to help revive Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream for America.

“Now more than ever, America needs to be reminded of the vision Dr. King laid out for the nation,” said Wade Henderson, LCCR’s executive director. “This year promises to be an important year for civil rights. The presidential and congressional elections this fall will have a profound impact on the civil rights of all Americans for decades. Dr. King would want all of us to commit ourselves to doing everything we can to rekindle his dream.”

Among the activities making up the Rekindle the Dream campaign are:

  • A kick-off project celebrating Dr. King’s 75th birthday;
  • Brown Today, an initiative commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic Brown vs. Board of Education decision;
  • An anti-discrimination campaign observing the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;

  • A major legislative initiative to restore civil rights protections weakened by recent Supreme Court decisions;
  • A multi-state effort to implement the Help America Vote Act and help ensure a fair 2004 election;
  • Voices of Civil Rights, a project collecting and preserving thousands of firsthand accounts of the civil rights movement as a living memorial to those who lived through that era;
  • A convening assessing the affirmative action landscape one year after the Supreme Court’s Grutter and Gratz decisions; and
  • A special Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Awards Gala on May 13th.

Henderson added, “As we debate issues of concern to the civil rights community, including election reform, education, welfare reauthorization, tax cuts, the budget, immigration, judicial appointments, criminal justice, overtime pay, media ownership, and bankruptcy reform, we urge the nation not to lose sight of Dr. King’s legacy. His dream for America remains unfinished – but together, we can make it a reality.”

The campaign’s kick-off project, which launches on what would have been the civil rights leader’s 75th birthday, includes an online essay contest celebrating Dr. King’s life; an online petition drive requesting individuals running for office to refrain from using prejudice as a means of motivating people to vote; and a special online education section with commemorative events and activities and information about Dr. King’s legacy. For more information, visit