civil rights

For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.

Bob Moses is 78, but he has the same probing eyes you see behind thick black glasses in photos from 50 years ago when he worked as a civil rights activist in Mississippi. The son of a janitor, Moses was born and raised in Harlem. He's a Harvard-trained philosopher and a veteran teacher.

He started a math training program — the Algebra Project — with a MacArthur "Genius Grant" 30 years ago. The goal is simple: Take students who score the worst on state math tests, double up on the subject for four years and get them ready to do college-level math by the end of high school.

Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise discuss Friday evening's "Syria: Not Our War" protest at the State Capitol, and what questions it raises about the growing U.S. involvement in Syria.

Rajdeep Singh, the Washington, D.C. Director of Law and Policy for the New York City-based Sikh Coalition, discusses his organization's civil rights work, including their 2009 effort in Oklahoma to stop legislation from advancing that would have prohibited motorists from wearing head scarves or other coverings in their driver’s license photos.

Henry Gass / Flickr Creative Commons

Nearly a year ago, a white supremacist killed six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.

The August 5, 2012 attack in Wisconsin was one of several incidents in the past decade against members of the South Asian religion.

“Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 environment, the prevailing stereotype is that if somebody wears a turban, they're affiliated with al-Qaeda,” says Rajdeep Singh, the Washington, D.C. Director of Law and Policy for the New York City-based Sikh Coalition. “And I think this has explained a lot of the violence and bigotry that is too-often directed at Sikhs.”

In 2009 the Sikh Coalition worked to stop Oklahoma legislation from advancing that would have prohibited motorists from wearing head scarves or other coverings in their driver’s license photos.