OSSINING, N.Y. -- Rather than host a march that would last a few hours, the Village of Ossining is using a concert, speakers and a documentary discussion set over two days to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Folk singer/songwriter Vance Gilbert is set to kick off the events with members of the Ossining community and the Star of Bethlehem Mass Choir in a concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, at Ossining's Louis Engel Waterfront Park. The concert is set to feature local speakers discussing the impact of the civil rights movement on Ossining and the nation.
The combination of Gilbert and the various speakers should provide tremendous insight for Ossining residents while also providing fun, said the organizer, Ossining Village Trustee Victoria Gearity.
"Vance Gilbert is the perfect person to kick this off for us as our guest speaker," Gearity said, adding that it was important for her to bring great talent to Ossining for the celebration. "We really wanted to do something special and something bigger for the anniversary and this is going to be perfect because it will be entertaining and informative."
The Wednesday night speakers will include Ossining's Project Earhquake Founder Martin McDonald, Ossining Mayor William Hanauer and several others.
On Thursday, the commemoration will continue at the Budarz Theatre in the Ossining Public Library with the Ossining Documentary & Discussion Series and the feature "Brother Outsider," a film that follows the story of Bayard Rustin, a civil rights leader and non-violent activist. Rustin is set to receive a posthumous award for the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Rustin was an openly gay civil rights activist, who organized the original March on Washington.
Following the Thursday screening of the film there will be a discussion with panelist Walter Naegle, Rustin’s life partner, and Dennis Parker, director of the ACLU Racial Justice Program and professor at Columbia University’s School Law Institute where he teaches Race, Poverty and Constitutional Law.
The screening is at 6:30 p.m. and the discussion starts at 8 p.m.
For more information on Ossining’s March on Washington events, residents are asked to contact Gearity at 917-685-6717, Vic.firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ossiningdocumentaries.org.