By this, he meant that while sermons and sermonizing are important, what should not get lost is the everyday embodiment of social justice values to which the Bible speaks. What his life also shows is that while demonstrating, protests, and marching for social change are necessary, they are not sufficient to achieve our goals.
To extend power, we must also be policy actors, meaning that we engage policy and politics in high-stakes, arenas like Congress, legislatures, school boards, state boards, county and local city councils, and the like. We can and should play a crucial role as researchers, policy analysts, and through our work at the grassroots level, we we can be an informed voice on directions for policy.
As we sit at home, many of us would do well to consider our next steps in the current trajectory for change. I encourage you to not only lend support to organizations that are embarked on progressive policies, but also join them and be a voice yourself for much-needed policy changes. Or if you already belong to an organization, consider how it might unite with other organizations as a coalition for change. Even if you haven't been involved in these deep ways, that doesn't mean that you can't start today, by slowly and surely educating yourself on the work of organizations that are making a difference in government whether at the local, state, federal levels, or international levels.
As someone myself who teaches and works in policy across these arenas, I can attest to the artfulness involved in navigating in and across these systems of government as a researcher, activist, and community organizer. We are blessed to have been graced with the likes of John Lewis whose life is emblematic of the diverse sets of dispositions, knowledge, and skills that are requisite for us to be transformational agents of change.
Thank you John Lewis, for exemplifying both who and how we must become as policy actors and as good, decent people if we are to preserve our deepest, most-cherished values as Americans, including fair play, the rule of law, one person-one vote, unity in diversity, equality under the law, due process, and liberty and justice for all as the bedrock to a vibrant democracy that while currently under attack, is fully poised at the precipice of monumental change.