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The Syllabus: What you need to know for the August 25 'MHP'

On the heels of an inspirational afternoon of encouraging speakers, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington continues.
March on Washington
Credit: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

On the heels of an inspirational afternoon of encouraging speakers, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington continues.

The fight for equality that persisted 50 years ago is by no means over. Host Melissa Harris-Perry sits down with Myrlie Evers, widow of the assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers, and Clayola Brown, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, to discuss the issues that we continue to face in the fight for equality that was dreamed of many years ago.

Some of the issues that were addressed during the March on Washington in 1963 have progressed tremendously. More and more workers are unionizing and show a great deal of development since the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike in 1968.  Additionally, the March on Washington in 1963 improved the lives of African Americans dramatically, but there are still some aspects that are lacking.  Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel of experts will discuss the progress made since the 1963 March and the long journey ahead to create and continue the improvements.

On July 13, 2013, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second-degree murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, turned a horrific tragedy into an opportunity to stand up and fight against ‘Stand Your Gound’ laws and gun violence.  Join us as Melissa sits down with Sybrina Fulton along with her attorney, Benjamin Crump, as they discuss how the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington has given a platform to honor Trayvon and fight against the laws that made his killer walk free.

The voter-ID laws that have plagued Texas and North Carolina have set the progress in voting rights way, way back.  Tomorrow, Melissa and her panel will discuss how the fight for voting rights is still the struggle that it was 50 years ago.

In 1963, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and spoke in front of the hundreds of thousands of people that were attending the March on Washington. 50 years later, his eldest son, Martin Luther King, III, stood in that exact spot and spoke to all gathered to commemorate and agitate (as civil rights veteran Joseph Lowery put it in his remarks).  Tomorrow, Melissa will sit down with Martin Luther King, III to commemorate his father’s legacy and how he will continue his father’s dream.

The United States has one of the largest prison populations in the world, and sentence reform has recently become a topic of conversation. Harris-Perry will be joined by Ohio State Senator (and Ohio Secretary of State candidate) Nina Turner, criminal defense attorney Billy Murphy, and civil rights advocate Wade Henderson as they discuss the process of how prison sentences are given and how to decline these long-term mass incarceration rates.

The tragic death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis last fall in Jacksonville, Florida is brought to the forefront in the wake of the recent protests against Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws.  Michael David Dunn allegedly shot into a parked SUV where Davis and some of his friends were sitting after a supposed argument.  Tomorrow, Harris-Perry sits down with Jordan’s parents, Lucia McBath and Ron Davis--as well as their family attorney, John Phillips--to discuss how they will fight for the end of gun violence, and how the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington aids their cause.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.