Voting rights on the line — and people lining up to defend them

Fifty years after the Freedom Summer work to defend Voting Rights, and 49 years after the passage fo the Voting Rights Act, threats to voting are emerging across the country. An interfaith group, including veterans of the 1960s civil rights struggle, convened June 22 at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in North Minneapolis. They commemorated the Freedom Summer anniversary of the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner and issued a call to action to the U.S. Congress to reinstate key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

The event featured Dr. Josie Johnson, civil rights leader and a participant in the Freedom Summer of 1964 as the keynote speaker, along with Imam Abdisalam Adam (Dar Al-Hijarah Mosque), Rabbi David Wirtschafter (Jay Phillips Center), Rabbi Esther Adler (Mt. Zion Temple) and Bishop Richard Howell (Shiloh Temple International Ministries), and a representative from Minnesota Congressional Representative Keith Ellison's office.

Sponsors included: Jewish Community Action, National Council of Jewish Women – Greater Minneapolis, Minnesota Council of Churches, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, Wellspring Second Chance, Minnesota Rabbinic Association, the Joint Religious  Legislative Coalition, League of Women Voters, Second Chance Coalition, MN Catholic Conference, Gray Panthers and Mature Voices.