Souhegan graduate participates in network news coverage of March on Washington anniversary

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ITHACA, N.Y. – A Souhegan High School graduate was able to share the stories of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington with the nation recently.

Kristin Leffler, a senior journalism major at Ithaca College, traveled to Washington, D.C., on Aug. 24 to interview participants in the Realize the Dream March and Rally commemorating the 1963 event. Her footage was used on that night’s broadcast of “NBC Nightly News.”

Leffler was one of 13 Ithaca College students in the Roy H. Park School of Communications selected to cover the rally. Led by associate journalism professor James Rada, the students worked with NBC to capture the emotions and reactions of people as they celebrated the historic occasion.

Leffler said the experience was more than worthwhile. “I interviewed a man named Russell who discussed how far we’ve come in the fight for civil rights and how much more we still have to accomplish,” Leffler said. “It was a really powerful moment.”

The students’ footage was packaged and reported on by White House correspondent Kristen Welker. Their work can be seen on NBC’s website.

Participants in the rally marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the King Memorial. Nearly 200,000 people attended, many of whom saw Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in person 50 years ago. Leffler was able to hear their stories and capture the spirit of hope being passed on to the next generation.

Rada also has produced an hourlong documentary on the original march with the help of his students. “Meet Me at Equality: The People’s March on Washington” explores the historic event through interviews with historians and more than two dozen people who took part in it.

The film aired on several PBS stations as part of their March on Washington anniversary coverage.

For more information on “Meet Me at Equality: The People’s March on Washington” and the students’ work, visit meet, or contact Rada at or 1-607-274-3637.

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