I Am A Man Placard
Mobilizing Communities

Launching a Movement

In 1968 the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition began touring cities across the country to recruit participants to rally in Washington, D.C., to demand an Economic Bill of Rights and equal opportunity for every citizen.
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Photograph, Crowd outside Lorraine Motel after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mobilizing Communities

"Honor King : End Racism"

Still mourning Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference honored King and his final vision for economic justice and opportunity for every citizen.
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Black and white photograph of a Mule Train with "I Have A Dream" written on one side.
Mobilizing Communities

Riding the Freedom Train

Following Dr. King's memorial services, Coretta Scott King and Ralph Abernathy launched the Freedom Train on May 2, 1968 — the first caravan of the Poor People’s Campaign.
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Map of the United States showing campaign caravan routes
Mobilizing Communities

1968 Poor People's Campaign Caravan Routes

The SCLC worked with local communities to organize caravans of protesters to Washington, D.C. Caravans were not only the most efficient way of transporting participants, they were important symbols that redefined the ideas of community mobilization.
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Pinback button for the Poor People's Campaign
Mobilizing Communities

Start of the Campaign

The campaign officially began in Washington, D.C., on April 29, when a delegation of 100 leaders, representing poor communities from across the country, met with government agencies to present a poor people’s list of demands.
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