Arkansas African-American Ministers and Elected Officials Will Lead Historic Community-Labor-Civil Rights March and Rally July 11 in Little Rock for Passage of Employee Free Choice Act

07/09/2009 09:21 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Judge and Rev. Wendell Griffin, Rev. Martha Blackmon of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Kenneth Hicks, Rev. Gene McElroy of Greater Archview Baptist Church, State Sen. Joyce Elliott, and Arkansas Working America youth leader Willie Holmes will be featured speakers at an historic, huge march and rally Saturday, July11 in Little Rock, Ark.

Arkansas African-American elected officials,religious leaders, and community leaders will lead Arkansas' largest ever community-labor coalition to call on Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln to vote for the Employee Free Choice Act. The Employee Free Choice Act will restore the freedom of American workers to form unions and bargain collectively.

At least 1000 Arkansas religious, community and labor activists will gather at 1 pm at the historic Central High School which was integrated by nine African-American students in 1958 where Judge Wendell Griffin will kick off the first rally. The crowd will then march to the State Capitol for another rally and finish the day with a catfish fry at the Arkansas Education Association.

The struggle and sacrifice of nine high school students to win freedom for themselves and all African-Americans is an inspiration to our generation in our struggle to win the simple freedom of workers in America to form unions and bargain collectively. We recall President Obama's words that our march and our determination to win workers rights are our duty today "to form a more perfect union". Just as in 1958, the stakes in today's struggle are very high -- freedom -- the freedom from want and hunger, the freedom to be heard, freedom from outrageous corporate power, the freedom to demand dignity, freedom to create a better life for our kids, the freedom to organize.