Coretta Scott King said yesterday that she will launch this month a year-long campaign for jobs, freedom and peace, a campaign in which she will be joined by representatives of nearly 100 labor, civic and social organizations in a "coalition of conscience" to rekindle the dream that her late husband spoke about in a speech almost two decades ago.
As president of the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change, King said that the program will end with a march on the nation's capital next August.
Although she said she won't predict how many people the March on Washington would attract, King said its thrust won't differ substantially from a massive march here in 1963 that had the same theme -- jobs, peace and freedom.
King said representatives of a wide range of groups are scheduled to meet this month in Atlanta to observe the 19th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech. She said plans for the march would be developed during the two-day celebration.
She said it is time for people to join together again to tackle some of the nation's most troubling problems, chief among them unemployment, the threat of nuclear war and an increase in racial violence.
"We are reconvening people and organizations of good will to forge a movement and a strategy toward a resurging of the spirit of Martin Luther King and a reclaiming of our rights as citizens," she said at a press conference here at the National Press Building.
Later, in an interview, she said: "I think people are waiting for something to happen . . . I think once we start to put some things in motion people will want to join in."
King was joined at the conference by representatives of about a dozen labor, civic and social organizations.
Key to the year-long effort, King explained, is nonviolence.
"People only resort to violence when they feel a sense of utter hopelessness, see no way out," King said. "Martin used to say violence is the language of the unheard. As people get a little hope, they will continue to be patient and struggle."