BC joined the nation in celebrating the late civil rights leader and US Congressman John Lewis with a moving series of presentations on his legacy of good trouble. Steve Watkin, BC Executive Director of Outreach and Early College, gave the opening remarks to our hour-long celebration of John Lewis that live-streamed on social media on Wednesday via Danny Morison, who also provided a moving retrospective of how John Lewis influenced his own social justice work. Julian West read John Lewis’ speech from the March on Washington in 1963, and Traco Matthews read Lewis’ 2015 speech from the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Several BC faculty and staff gave historical context to John Lewis’ life, including Oliver Rosales, Keith Wolaridge, Allen Bolar and Paula Parks. BC students Zariyah Hall, Sha’ron Bradley and Blake Burton also spoke about how John Lewis paved the way for other young activists to follow in his footsteps.
We were honored to have several community leaders contribute to the presentation, including Michael Bowers, Director Of Public Affairs & Government Relations at Centric Health California, and Cynthia Pollard, Director of Public Affairs from Aera Energy. Two musical performances bookended the celebration - Nina Grae performed "We Shall Overcome" on acoustic guitar, and former BC student Jaimi Banks closed out the presentation with a stirring rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing".