Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia will visit the University of Florida to talk about the significance of the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is considered by many to be among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation passed in the history of the United States.

Lewis, who participated in many marches protesting Jim Crow voting laws and other disenfranchisement tactics in the South in the 1960s, will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the University Auditorium on the UF campus.

Prior to his speech, Lewis will take part in a roundtable discussion from 5-6:30 p.m., also at University Auditorium (CORRECTION: Rep. Lewis will not be part of the panel that will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m.). The title of the discussion will be “Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act,” which was signed into law on Aug. 6, 1965, by President Lyndon Johnson.

The roundtable will feature UF Political Science Professor Michael McDonald; author Ari Berman, whose new book, ”Give Us the Ballot,” was recently reviewed by Lewis; journalist Brentin Mock, and Miami-based attorney Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, who is on the Board of Directors of Latino Justice. Moderating the discussion will be UF Political Science Professor Dan Smith.

The visit by Lewis is being sponsored by the UF Bob Graham Center for Public Service, Department of Political Science, Samuel L. Proctor Oral History Program, African American Studies Program, College of Journalism and Communications, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, UF Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, Chomp the Vote, Democracy Fund and UF Federal, State & Local Politics Fund. READ MORE