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Pepperdine Caruso Law Community Discusses the Life and Legacy of Congressman John Lewis

On August 26, 2020, over 80 members of the Pepperdine Caruso Law community attended the second installment in the "ReImagining Justice" series. The event was hosted by Chalak Richards (JD '12), Assistant Dean for Student Life, Diversity, and Belonging. The conversation was inspired by the New York Times Daily podcast, "The Life and Legacy of John Lewis." Participants listened to the podcast and then discussed the life of Congressman John Lewis and the future of voting rights.

Two alumni and one student who are voting rights advocates served as the panelists: Cicely Simpson (JD '01), Board of Advisors Member and CEO of Summit Public Affairs, James Slattery (JD '05), Senior Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Program, Texas Civil Rights Project, and Cooper McHatton (JD '22), President, Pepperdine Law Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

The panelists discussed their own connections to Congressman John Lewis and their experiences in the voting rights space. Attendees asked several questions of the panelists centered around the life of John Lewis. The panelists concluded by discussing how attendees can be involved in the process and encouraged all to register to vote, create a voting plan, sign up to be poll workers, and - most of all - hold meaningful and thoughtful conversations with others where they are.

All panelists recognized the disparity of views around issues surrounding voting rights and the need for all people on both sides of the aisle to work together right now to ensure voting rights are protected for the upcoming election. In the words of John Lewis, "If not us, then who? If not now, then when?"