March on Washington organizer and civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin is the first to be featured in the UFCW series commemorating Black History Month.

One of the greatest moments of the Civil Rights era was the March on Washington in 1963. The March on Washington brought thousands of people of all races together, in the name of equal rights for everyone–whether they were black or white, rich or poor, Muslim or Christian. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made one of his most inspiring and famous speeches at the march, which culminated on the National Mall.

History has often overlooked the man who was the driving force behind this monumental event–a man named Bayard Rustin. Rustin was the one who organized the march, bringing methods used by Gandhi as well as the Quaker religion to Washington. Rustin was also a champion of workers rights. In 1965, Rustin and his mentor A. Philip Randolph co-founded the A. Philip Ran- dolph Institute, a labor organization for African-American trade union members. Members can read more about Bayard Rustin at

The UFCW is collecting stories from members and local unions that illustrate Black History Month by celebrating victories and heros in the fight for equality. Members and local union staff can send their stories, photos, suggestions or thoughts to to possibly be featured on the UFCW website.

Report by UFCW International’s On Point Magazine