The March on Washington brought together disparate branches of the civil rights movement. Here, leaders of the march walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, where the day's major speeches were delivered. Front row, from left: Whitney Young, executive director of the National Urban League; Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; A. Philip Randolph, leading organizer of the march and president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers; and Arnold Aronson, secretary of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Photograph by Rowland Scherman, courtesy U.S. Information Agency

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    On October 2, 2007, the United Nations first celebrated the International Day of Non-Violence. The day was chosen to honor the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, a pioneering strategist in the philosophy of nonviolence and a leader in India’s independence movement. 
    Nonviolent resistance includes marches, sit-ins, boycotts, demonstrations, and peaceful protests.
    Gandhi’s influence can be seen in the nonviolent resistance offered by civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cesar Chavez. Leaders in national struggles, such as Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma, have also been inspired by Gandhian nonviolence.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    boycott Verb

    to stop using or buying a product, or to stop using or buying products at a specific location, usually to make a social or political statement.

    celebrate Verb

    to observe or mark an important event with public and private ceremonies or festivities.

    civil rights Plural Noun

    set of fundamental freedoms guaranteed to all individuals, such as participation in the political system, ability to own property, and due process and equal protection under the law.

    demonstration Noun

    organized public display of support or criticism for a policy or event.

    honor Verb

    to highly respect or recognize as superior.

    independence Noun

    state or situation of being free.

    influence Noun

    force that effects the actions, behavior, or policies of others.

    inspire Verb

    to influence to act.

    Mahatma Gandhi Noun

    (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1869-1948) leader of Indian independence movement.

    movement Noun

    group of people or organizations with a common set of interests and plan for pursuing them.

    nonviolence Noun

    philosophy of rejecting physical force and transforming society through peaceful protest.

    philosophy Noun

    the study of the basic principles of knowledge.

    pioneer Verb

    to lead the way or be among the first to do something.

    political Adjective

    having to do with public policy, government, administration, or elected office.

    protest noun, verb

    demonstration against a policy or action.

    resistance Noun

    the act of opposing something.

    sit-in Noun

    demonstration where protesters occupy a space and refuse to leave it.

    strategist Noun

    expert in careful planning toward a goal (strategy).

    United Nations Noun

    international organization that works for peace, security and cooperation.