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Introduction to the 2016 John Lewis Reflective Essays



It is our pleasure to share the Presentations of the 2016 John Lewis Fellows, a program in partnership with the Center for Civil and Human Rights and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

After working with speakers, experiencing multiple site visits and engaging in non- stop discussions and conversations among themselves, the Fellows were asked to complete the following task:  Fellows are asked to write a 1,000 word essay reflecting their experiences during the 2016 John Lewis Fellowship with Humanity in Action and the  National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This work should provide an intellectual and personal response to the subjects and speakers presented throughout the program and include quotes from or ideas expressed by designated speakers and references, if desirable, to the readings. This work should reflect, as well, the integration of personal aspects of a Fellow’s identity—such as national, ethnic, gender, racial, or religious identity, perspectives and/or experiences. Fellows are encouraged to take copious notes during the program sessions in order to share ideas and words that have made strong impressions and formed the basis for creative reflections. On the last days of the program, each fellow will deliver a seven-minute oral presentation about the content of the essay. The style of the written and oral presentation is up to the discretion of each Fellow and can include paintings, videos, photographs, drawings, poems, power point presentations and graphic work.

The program was deeply enriched by the opportunity to work with Dr. Roslyn Pope, author of “An Appeal for Human Rights” issued by the Atlanta Student Movement in 1960. We urge reader of these presentation to visit our website ( to see all the Fellows as they read that historic document.

We are grateful to Prof. Karcheik Sims-Alvarado, La’Niece Littleton and Ufuk Kâhya for their leadership of the 2016 John Lewis Fellowship.