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Where we are 50 years after 'I Have a Dream'

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

We are celebrating the dream 50 years later. Much has changed since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the iconic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but the country is still dealing with some of the same issues today.

"If Martin Luther King Jr. hadn't spoke those words, if he hadn't said what he said, I don't know where we would be as a nation, as a people," Congressman John Lewis said.

Lewis, who marched with King, acknowledges there are still struggles, but there are many advancements.

"Desegregating all means of transportation, integrating our schools," Lewis said.

Rev. Raphael Warnock, of Ebenezer Baptist Church, sees it too.

"The country is better. We have witnessed in the decades since the March on Washington, a growing and burgeoning black middle class. But there is still an underclass of people who are stuck at the bottom of the well," Warnock said.

"Integration has changed, but then we've lost a lot of parenting of our children," said Gwendolyn Morgan, a deacon at Ebenezer.

Members of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King once preached, boarded a bus to make their voices heard during a recreation of the March on Washington.

"We have so many things we need to resolve: voting rights, and justice, stand your ground laws," Morgan said.

"It's still a struggle. It's still a struggle. We need justice. We need to move forward with justice," parishioner Carrie Buggs said.

Warnock believes this is a moment to advance the dream, to take a look at our country and decide to move forward.

"In a moment like this when the issues are so serious, we are dealing with basic issues, survival issues, bread and butter issues, the growing gap between the have and the have not's. In a real sense our nation is falling behind because we're not educating all of our children. The good news is we can do better if we just stand together," Warnock said.

And stand together is what Lewis believes we're doing.

"Fifty years later we have witnessed unbelievable changes. We have witnessed what I like to call a non-violence revolution, a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. Our country is a better country and we are a better people," Lewis said.

What are you doing to advance the dream? Tweet reporter Jennifer Mayerle at @jennifermayerle. Use hashtag #advancethedream. 

CBS Atlanta News will have live coverage from Washington, DC, Aug. 27 and 28. 

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