Congressman John Lewis and Posse Scholars at Boston University.
Congressman John Lewis and Posse Scholars at Boston University.

Congressman John Lewis Meets with Scholars at Commencement

Fall 2018 | Atlanta

Posse Atlanta Scholars in Boston University’s 2018 graduating class had the privilege of a private meeting with Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis at their commencement ceremony in May.

Scholar Jenna Perlman was inspired to request the meeting and took the lead in arranging it.

“When Congressman John Lewis, a Civil Rights icon, was announced as our commencement speaker, I knew our Posse needed to meet him,” says Jenna. “As Atlanta residents, we’re his constituents,” she points out. Lewis has served as the congressional representative for Georgia’s 5th district since 1987.

Congressman Lewis graciously granted the Scholars some time prior to the ceremony. They remember eagerly waiting for him to arrive.

He said that his office is always open, just stop by.

“As he walked in, we were all overwhelmed with his elegance and comportment,” recalls Jenna. “He said that his office is always open and if we ever need anything, to just stop by. He told us to never give up and encouraged us to get into ‘good trouble.’”

When Jenna offered that she had seen his appearance in a CNN documentary on Robert Kennedy, she says he replied, “I was with Bobby Kennedy in the Oval Office when we heard that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.” He spoke more about his relationship with Kennedy, sharing details about their special friendship.

Congressman Lewis shook each of the Scholars’ hands with personal congratulations. When told it was time for him to put on his ceremonial robe and head to the stage, he asked his team not to rush him because he was “talking to the young people.”

Posse Atlanta Scholars were honored to add this momentous conversation with Congressman Lewis to their commencement celebration.