U.S. Representative, civil rights activist John Lewis to speak in Lansing



U.S. Representative John Lewis has been selected as the keynote speaker for the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Luncheon in Lansing.

“John Lewis is an icon of the civil rights movement,” said Elaine Hardy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commission of Mid-Michigan chair. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from someone whose work advanced the civil rights and social justice in our country for the past six decades, many times putting his own life at risk.”

Many of the state’s elected leaders will attend the 2020 event which will commemorate the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday.”

On this day, a voting rights demonstration known for the violent beating of protesters by law enforcement. Lewis was one of two who organized and led the demonstration.

Lewis began his political career in 1981 when he joined the Atlanta City Council and then was elected to Congress in 1986. since then, he has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s 5th Congressional District. He is senior chief deputy whip for the Democratic Party in leadership in the House, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairman of its subcomittee on oversight.

Lewis is the son of sharecroppers and was raised in the south. He was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent protests to fight racial injustice. He was at the front of the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama to advocate for the need of voting rights amid law enforcement attacks on protesters.

Lewis is also an award-winning author — the MARCH trilogy that he co-authored has been used to teach the civil rights movement.

Lewis will speak at the luncheon scheduled for Monday Jan 20. 2020 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lansing center located at 333 Michigan Avenue.

Luncheon tickets are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight. They can be purchased at Lansing City Hall, 124 W. Michigan Ave., and East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road. For more information, follow the commission on Facebook, search @MLKCommOfMidMI, or call 517.410.2998.

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