DES MOINES, Iowa — Twenty-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of Black men gathered at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the Million Man March to rally for racial equity. On Saturday, a much smaller group marched through the streets of Des Moines, but they hope their impact can be just as big.
“We are only 5% of the population, but when we look at the numbers, we are racially discriminated against and we’re just not getting the right piece of the American Pie,” said Justyn Lewis, founder and president of Des Moines Selma. “We’re here just to share stories and share experiences so people can grow and be aware of what’s taking place. And then empower them to make the change that America needs.”
The Million-ish (Hu)man March was organized by Des Moines Selma, a non-profit organization birthed out of the Black Lives Matter movement. The organization has online curriculum and a library of educational books and materials for K-12 programs to educate students about Black history.
The event Saturday had a wide range of speakers who discussed business, Black mental health, voting and issues in policing.
“We like to get involved with the community whenever we can show support for all different types of people. We believe in equality and think that everyone should have the same rights,” said Waukee resident Molly Lyon.