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Reeb Project Flashmob

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Published on Jun 23, 2014

Over 300 members and friends of All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, DC, gathered on the Supreme Court steps to create a live music flash mob to draw attention to the dire need to strengthen the Voting Rights Act.

For All Souls Church Unitarian, this issue is personal. In 1965, All Souls' former minister, Rev. James Reeb, was brutally murdered in Selma, AL, where he was marching in support of equal voting rights. Reeb's death, in part, prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to introduce the Voting Rights Act one week later. According to the Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in our country. On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-to-4 split that some sections of the Voting Rights Act were outdated and unconstitutional, and that these statutes "punished states for their pasts." Since this ruling, 15 states have passed legislation that restricts voting rights for students, immigrants, the working poor, people of color, and the formerly incarcerated. These laws represent a deliberate attempt to restrict access to the ballot by an establishment that can no longer win elections in which all Americans vote.

In one of his final sermons at All Souls before his death, Rev. James Reeb said, " We must take upon ourselves a continuing disciplined effort with no real hope that in our lifetime we are going to be able to take a vacation from the struggle for justice." In honor of Rev. Reeb's legacy, we march—and sing—on.

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