What Can I Do?
When you google "civil rights" the historic movement from the early 1950s until the late 1960s to give African Americans the legal rights to fair treatment in American society is what you see referenced. But the definition of civil rights is more general: "Civil rights are an expansive and significant set of rights that are designed to protect individuals from unfair treatment; they are the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment (and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination in a number of settings -- including education, employment, housing, public accommodations, and more -- and based on certain legally-protected characteristics." (Findlaw.com) "The nonpolitical rights of a citizen; the rights of personal liberty guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and by acts of Congress." (The Paley Center)
Standing up in support of a marginalized group does not have to be a legal action--it is a moral action that can be done by any person who sees prejudice or injustice around them. After WWII, the community in Monterey, CA, rallied support to welcome back the Japanese Americans who had been incarcerated. The Go for Broke National Education Center in Los Angeles has created a traveling exhibit called "Courage and Compassion" spotlighting communities who recognized Japanese Americans as friends and fellow citizens.
Be inspired by the students who have undertaken "Missions of Courage" through the GFBNEC.
If you know of similar programs created to help people fight prejudice in America, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will highlight it here.
At the Memorial
Every year during the Cherry Blossom Festival in early April, we host the Freedom Walk, an event with distinguished speakers and a Walk from the Memorial to the National Mall at 7th St. and back. Everyone is welcome to this community-building event.
Veterans Day, November 11 of every year, is celebrated at the Memorial with reverence. Distinguished speakers attend a wreath-laying ceremony. Please join us this year.