Boston University to Honor Georgia Congressman John Lewis and Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash

Boston – The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University will host Congressman John Lewis (Fifth District, Georgia) for their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Lecture. Congressman Lewis is best known for his contributions to the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960's and his work as a politician and social activist. Lewis will be installed as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow and will speak on his professional experiences and offer insight into his life as "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced." The event will also feature Civil Rights Activist Diane Nash, the 2010 Coretta Scott King Fellow. The event is free and open to the public.

Event Details

Title: Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Lecture featuring Congressman John Lewis, 5th District, Georgia
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Time: Doors open at 6:30 PM; lecture beginning at 7:00 PM
Location: Metcalf Hall (2nd Floor of the George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston)
Admission: Free and open to the public
Contact: For more information, call 617-353-3696 or email

In 1961, Congressman Lewis volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South. Lewis risked his life on those Rides many times by simply sitting in seats reserved for white patrons. He was also beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South. During the height of the Movement, from 1963 to 1966, Lewis was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he helped form. A devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence, John Lewis became a nationally recognized leader. By 1963, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He was also an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963. Lewis was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then.

Diane Nash was a key force in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. She was a leader and Chairman of the 1960s Nashville Student Movement, founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and a major participant in the Southern Christian Leadership Conferences' Birmingham campaign and Selma Voting Rights Movement.

The mission of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Lecture is to bring speakers to the Boston University community who serve as leaders in the quest for maintaining social justice and human rights. We seek mentors for our students who exemplify the highest standards of Dr. King's legacy.


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