Magazine article The Christian Century

Thousands Rally at Million Family March

Magazine article The Christian Century

Thousands Rally at Million Family March

Article excerpt

Five years after the Million Man March brought thousands of African-Americans to the nation's capital in a vivid show of racial unity and pride, its pro-family successor attracted a racially and religiously diverse crowd in mid-October to the National Mall.

The Million Family March, sponsored by Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and Sun Myung Moon's Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, brought people from across the country and the religious spectrum for a day of speakers, ceremonies and prayer. "We may have come in as many," Farrakhan told the crowd, "but I pray that God will allow us to go out as one." Though the crowd was thickest near the Capitol, attendance numbered far less than the hundreds of thousands who filled the Mall for the 1995 Million Man March that focused more on African-American men.

Benjamin Muhammad, national director of the Million Family March, outlined the 150-page agenda that march organizers created to highlight public policy issues. The agenda includes political and economic empowerment, civil rights, racial profiling, police brutality, juvenile justice and prison reform.

"We're here today to discuss atonement as a prescription for moral and spiritual renewal," said Muhammad, who under his former name, Benjamin Chavis, was executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Chang Shik Yang, cochairman of the march and a high-ranking official of Moon's federation, called for "all the walls" of race and religion to be torn down. …

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