U.S. Rep. John Lewis, one of the most significant figures of the American civil rights movement, had his appearance at Brenau University postponed again.
He was set to speak at Brenau’s Pearce Auditorium on Thursday, but the appearance will be rescheduled.
Lewis, who has represented Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1987, was coming to speak because of a Brenau senior history and political science major from his district.
Quanesha Davis of Decatur drafted a letter to Lewis requesting he come to campus to speak. The letter was signed by every Women’s College first-year seminar student.
Lewis also planned to sign copies of the graphic novel “March” following the presentation. Copies of the books, which were the common reader for last fall’s Women’s College first-year seminar, were going to be available for purchase.
Lewis was the chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from 1963-1966.
He served as one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s chief lieutenants for field work and protests throughout the Southeast, playing a pivotal role in the voter rights movement that culminated in the Selma-to-Montgomery marches in Alabama in 1965. He is the last surviving member of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders who helped put together King’s historic March on Washington, D.C., in 1963.
“We have learned from Lewis’ experiences and teaching that, although you may only be one person, you have the potential to make changes and accomplish anything you feel moved to pursue,” Davis said.
“It is a great honor for our institution to host Congressman Lewis on this occasion,” said Brenau University President Ed Schrader. “He is a true American hero who has shed blood and dedicated his life to public service and to win basic human rights for all.”
Andrew Aydin, Lewis’ technology policy aide and “March” co-author, will also attend.
“For our work to be welcome in classrooms and for Lewis’ story to resonate with students is the culmination of everything we have worked to achieve with ‘March,’” he said.
Lewis was scheduled to appear in January, but the university postponed the event because of inclement weather.