The Santa Monica High School student Civil Rights Coalition commemorated the past, present and future of civil rights by reenacting Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Monday, May 31st, in Santa Monica.

The participants started at the corner of Seventh Street and Michigan Avenue and marched down Lincoln Boulevard to Reed Park.

“At the beginning, attendance seemed to be lacking,” admitted Molly Strauss, Civil Rights Coalition vice president. “But as we started marching, I realized that our procession took up the sidewalk of more than one city block.

“The feeling was indescribable.”

Students, parents and community members held signs and banners reading “No U.S. Dough to Help Jim Crow Grow” and “We Ask Congress to End Racial Bias.”

Copying the format of the original March on Washington that ended in a park, the Santa Monica procession stopped at Reed Park.

At Reed Park, students from the Santa Monica High School choir and orchestra performed the national anthem.

Civil Rights Coalition members repeated speeches from past civil rights leaders and read their own poetry.

The event ended with remarks from the group’s president, Sara Milstein.

“We are working toward a place where the color of our neighbors’ grass does not matter because we are all colorblind,” Milstein said in a speech she wrote.

Civil Rights Coalition faculty advisor is Michael Felix, a U.S. history teacher at Santa Monica High School.

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