Minister Louis Farrakhan is set to speak Tuesday at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit as part of his push to promote a rally coinciding with the Million Man March’s 20th anniversary.

Doors open at the church starting at 5 p.m.; the Nation of Islam leader’s free program is at 6 p.m., according to his Facebook page. Organizers said the message also will be shown live at

Two decades after he sought a million men to converge on the nation’s capital to pledge responsibility for improving black communities, Farrakhan is mobilizing people nationwide to attend his planned Oct. 10 gathering in Washington, D.C.

The aim of the rally is to create change and address national issues such as the “school-to-prison pipeline” and unjust killings — including those of African-Americans, according to the website Justice or Else, which is also the name of the gathering that commemorates the Million Man March.

“If we are denied what rightfully belongs to us then there has to be unified action that we take that will force the justice that we seek,” Farrakhan is quoted on the website as saying.

Farrakhan previously delivered remarks at Fellowship Chapel, which is headed by the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit Branch NAACP, in May 2013.

Thousands of men from Detroit attended the Million Man March in 1995, so Farrakhan’s anniversary-linked visit to the city is fitting, Anthony said.

“We had one of the largest delegations from around the country,” Anthony said. “We registered several thousand men at Fellowship Chapel … so it’s appropriate that Detroit in that spirit would be part of this.”

The message from the controversial figure, who some accuse of delivering anti-Semitic comments and being racially divisive, should resonate with those in the expected large crowd who want to speak out against economic and social inequality, Anthony said.

“There is still a great need for African-Americans and other people who still seem to be on the outskirts of justice to call attention to that,” he said. “We’re very grateful that we can participate in something that’s historic. We look forward to the minister coming and articulating that message of unity and coming together to address those concerns in a very powerful way.”

The Rev. Malik Shabazz, a longtime community activist in Detroit and leader in the Marcus Garvey Movement/Black Panther Nation, said he was among a large group of local officials invited to meet with Farrakhan on Monday night ahead of the scheduled Fellowship Chapel visit.

Lingering quality-of-life issues for minorities in Detroit show why “Minister Farrakhan’s words and actions, his program and his platform, are important and essential for the city,” he said. “We need to go to D.C. (this fall) as if our life depended on it. Let’s go and participate and be a part of history and place the demand for justice.”

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