A civil rights leader and current congressman will come to UCLA on Monday to receive the UCLA Medal and deliver a lecture.
Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, will deliver the 5th Annual Winston C. Doby Distinguished Lecture at Royce Hall.
Patricia Turner, senior dean of the UCLA College of Letters and Science, said the lecture – put on by the Academic Advancement Program – commemorates Doby, a former vice chancellor for student affairs who founded the AAP.
“We usually identify someone whose life’s work (reflects) values Winston Doby espoused,” Turner said.
Turner added that both Doby and Lewis spent their lifetimes working on issues relevant to the empowerment of African-American people, people of color and people with low socioeconomic backgrounds.
She also said Lewis was chosen to receive the UCLA Medal because he personifies the values associated with the medal: hard work, creativity, recognition in the field and sacrifice for his beliefs.
The UCLA Medal is the university’s highest honor and is awarded to individuals whose body of work or contributions to society illustrate the highest ideals of UCLA.
Tyrone Howard, associate dean for equity and inclusion and education professor, will moderate the lecture and said he hopes Lewis discusses his activism in the past, the current political climate and potential issues to tackle in the future.
“I hope students come away knowing they are listening to one of the last living icons of the civil rights movement,” Howard said. “I also hope they walk away feeling inspired and moved.”
Howard added when he was a child, he knew Lewis was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s closest aides and encouraged college students to join the civil rights movement.
He also said he hopes students get involved with trying to tackle the issues of the day and see Lewis as someone who has devoted his life to a cause.
A limited number of student tickets for the lecture were still available at the UCLA Central Ticket Office as of Wednesday afternoon.
Contributing reports from Megan Daley, Daily Bruin contributor.