Congressman John Lewis to speak at BU Civil Rights event

Apr 7, 2014

Bradley University’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act is reaching a new level later this week. An event Friday at Bradley's Renaissance Coliseum centers on the role Illinois Congressman Everett Dirkson played in the passing of the law.

Congressman John Lewis is the keynote speaker of the event. Lewis was a close friend and advisor of Martin Luther King Jr. and is the only living “Big Six” leader of the American civil rights movement. Renee Charles handles public relations for Bradley. She says people will want to see Congressman Lewis and hear what he has to say: 

“Having him tell his story is a piece of history that our students and many members of our community, the public in general may never get a chance to hear. You may have seen it on TV or read about it books, but you’ll hear it first hand from somebody who was there, who lived it, who was entrenched in it,” says Charles.

Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is the Master of Ceremonies at the event. Congress members Aaron Schock, Robin Kelly and Cheri Bustos are also participating. The event is Friday from two to four. It’s free and open to the public, but registration is required at