Image of C T Vivian and John Lewis
On Friday, July 17, 2020 two men passed away within hours of one another.  Both were longtime friends and comrades in the struggle for civil rights and human dignity.  John Lewis and C.T. Vivian were people who epitomized courage, dignity, compassion and respect.  They were also people that, as a young man, I grew up admiring.
I cannot add to the endless stream of testimonials that have come from world leaders about these two men. More than words, we all need to reflect on their actions.  At a time when protests could result in death, not simply being taken away in nylon-tie handcuffs to be released in hours, these two giants endured beatings, humiliation, and constant harassment.  They put their very lives on the line for the right to vote, equality in employment and housing, and equal treatment under the law.
Leaders like Mr. Vivian and Mr. Lewis served as models for generations of future leaders. I, like millions of citizens in this country, were the beneficiaries of their courage and their activism.  In both my personal and professional life I have encouraged those I have worked with to embrace the message of these men embodied in the phrase coined by Mr. Lewis of “good trouble.”  It is something I have tried to do myself.
As we remember these two icons of the civil rights movement, I would ask that we do whatever we can to make our communities better.  Look for the opportunity to help those who cannot help themselves and, where people in power threaten the most vulnerable among us, do not be afraid to get into “good trouble.”
In sympathy,
David Gómez, Ed.D.