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Oct 9, 2005 — Hurricane Katrina thrust racial disparities onto the nation's political agenda and top civil rights leaders, fueled by outrage over the disaster, are heading to Washington. The occasion is the 10th anniversary of Louis Farrakhan's Million Man March, a long-planned event that now is shaping up as a stage for black America to respond to the devastation in New Orleans.
"Because Katrina put it out there, no one can play the pretend game any more that there isn't poverty and inequality in this country," said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. "The Millions More Movement Katrina gives it added significance."
Though Farrakhan has long stirred controversy and lately he has speculated that New Orleans' levees were bombed to destroy black neighborhoods his event will unite a wide array of prominent social justice advocates. The guest list for Saturday's event includes members of Congress, hip-hop artists, civil rights activists, media pundits, academics and business leaders. Muslim and Christian religious figures will also participate.