The Power of Words with John Lewis and Co-Creators Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

John Lewis, Nate Powell, and Andrew Aydin on Edmund Pettus Bridge

Monroe County Public Library and The Friends of the Library are honored to announce that this year’s Power of Words visiting authors are civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis (GA-5), co-writer Andrew Aydin, and local artist Nate Powell. The Power of Words is a free event and takes place Monday, September 21, at 7:30 p.m. in IU Auditorium.

Congressman Lewis and his co-creators will discuss their groundbreaking graphic novel series, March, an engaging and award-winning first-hand account of Lewis’s lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. March: Book One spans Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Nashville Student Movement's battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins. The memoir trilogy continues in the newly released March: Book Two, including the 1961 Freedom Rides and the legendary 1963 March on Washington. Both March books are New York Times Bestsellers and are available for check out at Monroe County Public Library.

A host of programs and events are currently being planned in advance of Congressman Lewis’s visit on September 21. Partners with Monroe County Public Library and the Friends of the Library include: City of Bloomington; IU Center on Congress; IU Neal Marshall Black Culture Center; IU Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs; IU Union Board; Ivy Tech Community College; Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC); Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation (RBB); and South Central Community Action Program.

“The visit of Congressman John Lewis to Bloomington is especially timely, given the recent 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery march that he co-led, which changed our country’s history. The Library is indebted to our multiple partners for working to ensure that the visit has a long-term, meaningful impact on our community,” said Sally Gaskill, Co-Chair of the 2015 Power of Words.

This summer Monroe County Public Library will host a community read program, One Book, One Community, featuring March: Book One and March: Book Two. Book discussions and a film series are being planned. The community read program culminates with the visit from Congressman Lewis, Aydin, and Powell.

In the fall, select high school classes at MCCSC and RBB will read March and have a special opportunity to hear from the authors ahead of their free, public talk on September 21.

The Power of Words: Changing Our World — One Author at a Time is a bi-annual event presented by The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library.  Previous visiting Power of Words authors include Nicole Mones, James McBride, Rick Bragg, and Luis Alberto Urrea.

For more information contact Michael Hoerger at 812-349-3050 or email mhoerger [at] mcpl [dot] info.

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