President Joe Biden plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington with events Monday at the White House, two days after tens of thousands are expected to gather on the National Mall.
A White House official said that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris would meet with members of Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, as well as organizers of the march. The meeting will be on the anniversary of an Oval Office meeting between King and then-President John F. Kennedy.
Later on Monday, the president is due to host a reception honoring the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is also marking its 60th anniversary. That evening event will include remarks from the president, the official said.
The White House is also highlighting parts of the president’s economic agenda focused on increasing equity, including Black-owned small-business growth.
On Sunday, the Biden-Harris reelection campaign announced a $25 million ad buy running over the next 16 weeks that includes what the campaign described as “largest, earliest investment in Hispanic and African American media” for a presidential reelection campaign ever. The effort comes amid reports by the Washington Post and other outlets that key constituencies, including Black voters, are less enthusiastic about voting for Biden again next year.
The president and First Lady Jill Biden are scheduled to return to the White House from Lake Tahoe, where they have been vacationing this week, on Saturday, which is the day of this year’s march.
The march, which National Action Network President and Founder Al Sharpton announced earlier this year, is anticipated to draw 75,000 to the National Mall, according to the permit issued by the National Park Service for the event centered at the Lincoln Memorial. Sharpton’s message ahead of the event has been, “isn’t a commemoration; it’s a continuation.”
The Democratic National Committee is among the sponsors of Saturday’s march.
“We’re putting in the work early, and just this past month, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison met with Black voters in Mississippi and Wisconsin,” DNC outreach communications director Tracy Falon King said in an email.
“On the ground, we are listening to what matters most to voters and sharing with voters what the Biden-Harris administration has delivered to our communities, and we will continue to put in the work to make sure that Black voters know about the progress we’ve made in the last two and a half years and what is at stake in 2024,” King said.