THE NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS MUSEUM AND INSTITUTE
The National Voting Rights Celebration is the largest annual Civil Rights Celebration/Commemoration in the United States. It commences on the third Sunday in February with the Jimmie Lee Jackson Memorial Program in Perry County, Alabama, continues through the first week in March with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma centered around Bloody Sunday, and concludes with the Selma-to-Montgomery March that ends in Montgomery.
THE BRIDGE CROSSING JUBILEE
The Bridge Crossing Jubilee takes place in Selma, Alabama on the first full weekend in March each year. It includes events commemorating the lives and deaths of voting rights martyrs Jimmie Lee Jackson, Reverend James Reeb, and Viola Liuzzo. The Bridge Crossing Jubilee also commemorates Bloody Sunday and celebrates the Selma-to-Montgomery March, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, and other voting rights accomplishments.
The Bridge Crossing Jubilee includes 40-50 events each year, including workshops addressing voting rights and other vital issues. The National Voting Rights Museum & Institute preserves and shares voting rights history. The Jubilee and the Museum provide educational programs and voting rights events year-round.
NATIONAL VOTING RIGHTS CELEBRATION
Tens of thousands participate in the Bridge Crossing Jubilee each year and more than 100,000 participated on just one day – the Sunday of the 50th Anniversary in 2015. Many leaders have participated including two sitting Presidents and two former Presidents. During the 50th Anniversary, 80,000 attended on that Saturday when President Barack Obama spoke with President George W. Bush in attendance.
Each year, Civil Rights leaders, members of Congress, Cabinet officials, and other leaders attend the Bridge Crossing Jubilee to commemorate, celebrate, and continue advancing voting rights progress forged in 1965 thanks in large part to the events surrounding Bloody Sunday. Selma is a worldwide icon for voting rights, and this Foundation works year-round to preserve the legacy of voting rights and to ensure the future of voting rights.
Leading the efforts to protect our civil rights.
WHAT WE DO
THE HISTORY OF THE SELMA-TO-MONTGOMERY MARCH FOUNDATION
The Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation is a non-profit tax-exempt entity and was created in 2014 to help facilitate and fund the activities of the National Voting Rights Celebration, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma-to-Montgomery March, and the National Voting Rights Museum. This Foundation has since raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the events that take place each year during the Commemoration/Celebration as well as various year-round activities.
The National Voting Rights Museum opened in 1990, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee was founded in 1992, and commemorations of Bloody Sunday have taken place every year since the early 1970s. Prior to the formation of the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation for the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, these voting rights institutions and events struggled to raise funds on an individual basis. The efforts were sporadic and haphazard. Now the Foundation leads these efforts to ensure they will continue for generations to come.
The mission of the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation is to help facilitate and fund the annual National Voting Rights Celebration, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, and the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute.
The National Voting Rights Celebration, the Bridge Crossing Jubilee, and the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute tell the history of the voting rights struggle in America, educate people about the importance of voting rights, and encourage the exercise of the voting franchise in the United States by all Americans. The work performed is more than a celebration but a continuation of the struggle for voting rights.
Selma, Bloody Sunday, and the Selma-to-Montgomery March were catalysts for passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. As a result, Selma, Alabama has become the foremost symbol throughout the world for the ongoing struggle for voting rights. People from across the country and around the world make the pilgrimage to Selma year-round.
Voting is the one right that touches all aspects of our lives – from before we are born until after we die. The events funded and facilitated by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation help provide individuals with the history and knowledge of the importance of voting rights and the understanding and tools to advance voting rights.
SENATOR HANK SANDERSManaging Partner, Chestnut, Sanders & Sanders, LLC
Alabama State Senator, District 23