On Monday, Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights icon, urged a group of young leaders who had been invited to the White House to exercise their right to vote.
“I say to each and everyone of you, in the best way I can. I gave a little blood on the bridge, but some people gave their lives,” Lewis said, speaking of the journey to the Voting Rights Act in 1965. “The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. And so you must go out all across America and tell young people, and people not so young, tell all of us: Vote. The vote is powerful.”
He went on to say that the work that the civil rights movement did is still relevant today and that we must continue to work together.
“Maybe our foremothers and forefathers all came to this land in different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now,” he said. “And that is true today. So we must pull together and look out for each other. We must redeem the soul of America and create the ‘beloved community,’ a community that respects the dignity and worth of every human being.”