Celebrating Civil Rights

August 01, 2013

Yesterday, I attended a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building honoring the fiftieth anniversary of the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama. Sponsored by the Faith & Politics Institute and the City of Birmingham, it featured addresses by Democratic Representative John Lewis of Georgia (the first photo is one I took of him speaking), Democratic Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama, Republican Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, and Democratic Mayor of Birmingham William Bell. The event also featured live music from the civil rights movement and good hors d'oeuvres. The reception also featured a nice exhibit on the civil rights movement, with a focus on the events in Birmingham. With numerous photos, videos, and artifacts, the exhibit captured many elements of the historic effort. In addition to the speakers, several other congressional figures stopped by to see the exhibit. I was particularly excited to see Lewis, an icon of the civil rights movement. It was also good to see a Bachus, a white Republican congressman joining the group of mostly black and mostly Democratic congressional leaders at the exhibit (the second photo is one I took of Bachus speaking). The Faith & Politics Institute works to bring congressional leaders together for bipartisan events celebrating core democratic ideals. By doing so, they demonstrate how faith can be a positive influence in politics today.