Civil rights icon John Lewis to speak at Rosa Parks Day event

Civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) will speak at 1:30 p.m. today in Middletown during the 12th annual Rosa Parks Day event at Rosa Parks Elementary School, 1210 Verity Parkway.

Lewis is the only speaker during Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic March on Washington who is alive. He also was a leader in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. on March 7, 1965 in an effort to show the need for voting rights in the state.

Middletown native Darren Brown, who lives in Maryland and is the director of transportation from the state of Virginia, has arranged for Lewis to offer the opening remarks at this year’s event, which he calls a celebration of the “life and legacy of the Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement — Parks.”

He added that, “Parks, embodied courage when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955. Her spirit inspires Ohio to recognize her legacy.”

The program will also honor and recognize students and individuals in the community who have played significant roles in developing character and molding and shaping the minds of youths and continue to serve to help improve the city.

The Rev. Dr. Jamey Colts of New Era Baptist Church will be the Honoree this year.

“This annual celebration has inspired hundreds of community leaders and thousands of children to learn more about Rosa Parks,” Brown said.

The event is free and open to the public.

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