FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jody L. Miller
Ellen Zoe Golden
MILLIONS MORE MOVEMENT LAUNCH GALVANIZES AMERICA’S DISENFRANCHIZED CALLING FOR UNITY, HEALING AND THE ORGANIZING OF MINISTRIES TO HELP ITS OWN
New Movement Emerges Across the Nation
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 17, 2005 – Amid a vast sea of people from across the nation and around the world, the Millions More Movement officially launched on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, October 15th marking the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. The vision of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan yet including a diverse coalition of national and international organizations, artists and civil rights leaders, the Millions More Movement sent a clear message to America’s poor and disenfranchised that without unifying and organizing its own systems and practices that begin at home and carry forth to entire communities, nothing will ever change.
“The government will never do for the poor of this nation until and unless we organize effectively to make government respond to the needs of the poor,” Minister Farrakhan declared to thunderous applause that reverberated down the Mall during his 80-minute speech on the West Front balcony of the United States Capitol. “We must go back home and organize as never before.”
The “marching orders” the Minister delivered to the men, women and youth who packed the Mall focused on the theme of self-empowerment and responsibility. Minister Farrakhan called for the establishment of ministries in every area of public service. This would allow the Black community, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and poor people everywhere to rely on themselves for those services which, in the past, have been substandard at best. Included are ministries of health and human services, agriculture, education, defense, justice, art and culture, trade and commerce, information and science and technology. Throngs of people raised their hands in unison from the West Front Capitol steps and throughout the Mall to show their agreement after the Minister announced each ministry. Troy Harris, a film student from Chico, California responded, “Minister Farrakhan has some wise words. It is time for us to build up our own services. It is time to organize our own processes. Because what’s there hasn’t worked.” Kyra Jones, a 25 year old special education teacher from Maryland, resonated with the Minister’s call for the Millions More Movement to establish ministries and added, “Imagine if we had ministries during the hurricane and we didn’t have to rely on the government.”
Minister Farrakhan emphasized, “The measure of this day is not today. The measure of this day will be determined by what we do tomorrow to create a movement, a real movement among our people.”
Civil rights leader and President of the National Action Network, the Reverend Al Sharpton stated, “The success of this march will be that we take charge of our communities and make a difference in the 2006 elections.”
Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women and national co-convener of the Millions More Movement affirmed, “We have to realize we are building a movement.”
“Any nation of 40 million should have their own political movement,” said political scientist at the University of Maryland, Dr. Ronald Walters.
Another significant milestone of the Millions More Movement is the active involvement of the hip-hop youth generation. Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, along with the presence of hip-hop artists Wyclef Jean, Jim Jones, Jadakiss, Styles P, Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, Erykah Badu and India.Arie helped to stress the importance of building an ongoing movement inclusive of youth.
“I was 9 years old during the Million Man March,” said Chris Cottrell, 19, who joined 16 fellow students from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore at the rally. “My mom took me out of school, and I watched it on TV, but I wasn’t sure of what was going on. Now I understand what this all means … that we need to unite together in a movement like this.”
“Minister Farrakhan is the only one who can pull this magnitude of people together,” said Michael Warren, a Washington resident who mentors youth. “No other leaders since Martin and Malcolm have done this.”
Russell Simmons emphasized, “The mission of the hip-hop community is to eliminate poverty and ignorance and the Millions More Movement presents an excellent opportunity for all of good will to work together in unity.”
To register and join the Millions More Movement, go to www.millionsmoremovement.com.