2/19/2013 - U.S. Rep. John Lewis To Be Honored at Judson College
U.S. Rep. John Lewis will speak at Judson College on Feb. 21 on the theme, "A Path to Reconciliation and Healing," and receive the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the college.
Afterwards the congressman will sign copies of his books, Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement and Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change. Copies of the books will be available for purchase.
Born in Troy, Ala. to a family of sharecroppers, Lewis attended segregated public schools in Pike County. During the height of the civil rights movement in the mid-60s he founded and chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing student activism including sit-ins and other activities.
Lewis coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer in 1964.
The following year he helped spearhead one of the most seminal moments of the civil rights movement.
Along with Hosea Williams and Albert Turner Sr. of Marion and Amelia Boynton of Selma, Lewis led over 600 protesters across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma on March 7, 1965. Prompted by the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson in nearby Marion, marchers planned to walk to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. Marchers were attacked in a brutal confrontation that became known as "Bloody Sunday." News broadcasts and photographs of the event hastened the passage of the Voting Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson that summer.
Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence.
Lewis was elected to Congress in 1986 and has served Georgia's 5th Congressional District since then. He is Senior Chief Deputy Whip for the Democratic Party in the House, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, a member of its Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and ranking member of its Subcommittee on Oversight.
Lewis earned degrees from Fisk University and the American Baptist Theological Seminary, both in Nashville. He holds more than 50 honorary degrees.
The ceremony will take place in the Alumnae Auditorium at 11 a.m., and the book signing will follow in the Gladys Dunkin Parlors in Jewett Hall. The public is welcomed.For more information, please contact Dr. Billie Jean Young at 334.683.5288.