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Press Release: Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis Featured for Saturday Night Lecture

From the office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Tuesday April 17, 2012 - 11:53:00 AM

In partnership, Merritt College and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center commenced the highly-received Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series to create an exchange of ideas to help inspire new servant leaders among our youth and community members, intergenerationally. This unprecedented, historic series, which highlights the devoted lifetime of service of many civil rights champions who worked directly with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., continues with the next lecture occurring at 7 p.m., on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the Beebe Memorial Cathedral, 3900 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA. This lecture is presenting civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis will deliver an address titled “Chaos or community. Where do we go from Here?" 

John Robert Lewis is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district, serving since 1987. He was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), playing a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Congressman Lewis is the only living speaker from the historic 1963 March on Washington. Often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls "The Beloved Community" in America of the aisle in the United States Congress.  

The first of three lectures featured Dr. Martin Luther King associates Dr. Dorothy Cotton and Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian, followed by the second lecture featuring Dr. Bob Zellner, formerly of the SNCC Coordinating Committee and Jack Hunter O’Dell, formerly with the SCLC. Attendees of the previous Barbara Lee and Elihu Harris Lecture Series heard ways to address the contemporary struggle of the American people and the pain caused by the economic crisis -- loss of jobs, increase in poverty, rise of foreclosures and loss of purchasing power. Our guest speakers shared their unique views on a half century of Civil Rights Movement experience confronting racism, addressing the gap between the rich and poor, and the necessity to construct peace. 

The lecture series is a monumental opportunity for the Oakland community to be enriched and empowered hearing the historic experiences from those who walked with Dr. King and fought for civil rights. The Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Congressman John Lewis will be available to the press for statements. 

To reserve seating for the upcoming lecture please call Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center at 510 434 -3988 or contact D. R. Roberts Event Management at 510-654-5335.