U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., announced today that he will serve as a Senate co-leader of the annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to historic sites of the Civil Rights movement in Alabama on March 1-3. The three-day event, which is led annually by Congressman John Lewis of Georgia, will culminate with a commemorative march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where Lewis was beaten unconscious in 1965 as he tried to lead several hundred protestors across the bridge to demonstrate the need for voting rights.
The pilgrimage, which is organized by the Faith & Politics Institute, will travel to Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, commemorating the 50th anniversaries of pivotal Civil Rights events such as the desegregation of the University of Alabama, the Birmingham children's crusade, the bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and the Martin Luther King letters from the Birmingham jail. The pilgrimage will culminate as it always has with Congressman Lewis leading a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Congressman Lewis has returned to Selma nearly every year since his beating during the 1965 march he led there.
"I am extremely honored to be a Senate co-leader of this year's Civil Rights pilgrimage to Alabama with my friend John Lewis. John is a hero for his bravery during the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, and his efforts continue to pave the way for equality, liberty and freedom for all," Isakson said. "This is the 50th anniversary of so many pivotal Civil Rights events, and I am humbled to make this pilgrimage to Alabama alongside John Lewis."
Isakson will serve as a Senate co-leader of the pilgrimage along with Senator Kay Hagan, D-N.C. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., are the House co-leaders of the pilgrimage. Three members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama will also serve as honorary co-hosts of the event.
Isakson also co-sponsored a resolution in the U.S. Senate commemorating February 2013 as Black History Month. The Celebrating Black History Month 2013 resolution pays tribute to the legacy and the contributions of African-American pioneers who have fought in the face of hardship and oppression for freedom, equality and opportunity for all Americans.
The Senate passed the resolution, which was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., by unanimous consent on February 13, 2013.