Pettus Bridge march image for SDARJ Zoom event (copy)

Local youth will commemorate the 56th anniversary of the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., with a walk across the Indian River Inlet Bridge on March 7. Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is required. A March 9 Zoom presentation from SDARJ will follow.

Inspired by the famous John Lewis’ Selma, Ala., walk to end voter suppression, students from Cape Henlopen High School and the Multifaith Youth Group are hosting a walk across the Indian River Inlet Bridge on March 7 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. — the same date as the historic Selma march.

The non-partisan, youth-led walk across the Indian River Bridge will commemorate the anniversary of the 1965 walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge led by John Lewis, which ultimately led to the passage of the 1966 Voting Rights Act.

“This idea was born after a group of multi-faith teens viewed the documentary ‘Good Trouble,’ based on John Lewis’ extraordinary life in public service,” said Rylie Maedler, one of the walk’s organizers. “Although much progress has been made since the ’60s, we are still walking for full equality, to end voter suppression and preserve our democracy.”

The students have been meeting since January under the guidance of Joel Simon, guidance counselor at Cape Henlopen High School, to plan the walk, and are supported by a host of community organizations, including the Seaside Jewish Community, the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice, the Sussex County League of Women Voters, Camp Rehoboth, Women’s March Sussex, Bryan Stevenson School for Excellence, Epworth United Methodist Church, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Islamic Society of Central Delaware, Pacem in Terris and the Faith/Israel United Methodist churches.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the march will be socially distanced, fully masked and capped at 250 marchers. An EventBrite registration website will be utilized to register all teens who are walking on March 7. All interested participants should go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/141592690549 to sign up, as only registered participants will be allowed to march that day.

In addition, a virtual Town Hall is planned on March 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for all those interested in participating in a discussion on John Lewis’ life and work. Visit www.sdarj. org/event/sdarj-march-town-hall-good-trouble for more information on the follow-up event.