Civil Rights leader urges courage at Bradley University event

Apr 11, 2014

The only living member of the “Big Six” leaders of the Civil Rights Movement spoke at Bradley University today. Congressman John Lewis was also a close friend of Martin Luther King Junior.  He urged the hundreds in attendance to have courage in standing up against injustice.  But Lewis also praised Central Illinois for a strong history of leadership:

 “To have people emerge like Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, Everett Dirksen, the founder of this great university - the name of Bradley - just to be here, to be here in this climate, this environment, to be in your presence is almost too much,” Lewis says.

 The event at the Renaissance Coliseum is part of Bradley’s year-long celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  The event also highlighted Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen’s pivotal role in passing the historic legislation.  Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Congress members Aaron Schock, Robin Kelly and Cheri Bustos also spoke at the event