LAGRANGE, GA (WTVM) - U.S. Representative John Lewis delivered the annual Martin Luther King Jr. address Thursday at Callaway Auditorium in Lagrange, GA. The event was free and open to the public.
Lewis is considered a pioneer of the civil rights movement and has represented Georgia's 5th Congressional District since 1986. For decades, he has stood in the front lines of social change and civil rights activism.
While attending Fisk University in Nashville, Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at lunch counters and was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Committee, which was responsible for organizing the movement's student activism.
In 1963, at the early age of 23, Lewis was a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington. The following year, he coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. He then joined Hosea Williams to lead more than 600 protestors across the Edmond Pettus Bridge in Selma, AL in 1965.
Lewis holds a degree in religion and philosophy from Fisk University and has been awarded more than 50 honorary degrees from colleges and universities throughout the United States. President Barack Obama presented him with the nation's highest civil honor, the Medal of Freedom.