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A Look Back: John Lewis’ 2008 commencement speech

January 27, 2017

As we spend this week celebrating diversity, and honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, we take a look back at the 2008 law school commencement at which U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia was the speaker. Lewis was a pivotal leader in the civil rights movement who led sit-in demonstrations at segregated businesses, participated in the Freedom Rides, founded and later chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and served alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the movement.

Former Lewis & Clark Law School Dean Bob Klonoff introduces Lewis, who tells the audience, “As law students, as you prepare to leave this great law school, you must go out and get in trouble. You must stand up and speak and speak out and defend the rights of all humankind. That is your calling. That is your mission. That is your mandate.”
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