A Moment Of Silence For Two Civil Rights Icons

BlueSprig July 24, 2020

BlueSprig is dedicated to a level playing field for all. Recently, BlueSprig employees have come together on a diversity and inclusion mission called “Kintsugi”. Kintsugi (golden joinery) is a Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with gold, silver, or platinum lacquer. And is built on the philosophy that breakage and repair are part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise.

Sponsored and supported by our CEO and several other executives, the Kintsugi team looks at every aspect of the BlueSprig employment experience to ensure that we are truly a Great Place To Work where everyone is rewarded fairly and earns opportunities for bringing their whole and best selves every day, to allow for the fulfillment of our mission to change the world for children with autism.

Today, we welcome guest blog contributor and Kintsugi team member, Simone DuBois, Operations Manager at our Avondale, Arizona center. Simone is passionate about civil rights, both historical and current, and has shared this testament to raise awareness and acknowledge the loss of two great pillars of the Civil Rights movement here in the United States. In addition to her stellar work as Operations Manager, Simone volunteers her time and talent to the communications, mentoring, and incident reporting groups within the Kintsugi team.

Did you see a flag at half-mast over the weekend and wonder why? On Friday, July 17th, we lost two civil rights icons, Representative John Lewis, 80 and Reverend C.T. Vivian, 95. These great men were pivotal during the Civil Rights Movement and continued to stand against injustice until the day that they passed. Their contributions shaped voting rights and the integration of People of Color into society from the 1960s to today. It is our intent to remember these men for giving their lives to enrich the lives of People of Color.

From the Biography of Rep. John Lewis:

Often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. [During the Civil Rights Movement], John Lewis [and Hosea Williams] led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a brutal confrontation that became known as “Bloody Sunday.” News broadcasts and photographs revealing the senseless cruelty of the segregated South helped hasten the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

From the Biography of Rev. C.T. Vivian:

Dr. Vivian, once known as a Christian journalist, is best known for his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As National Director of Affiliates, and strategist for every Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.) organization, he truly helped change the nation. In Birmingham, his work helped to enact the Civil Rights Bill and in Selma, the Voting Rights Bill. Vivian was deeply involved in other movements such as Nashville, TN; Danville, VA; St. Augustine, FL; and Chicago, IL. Dr. Vivian had won his first non-violent direct action movement in 1947 by integrating restaurants in Peoria, IL. The summer following the Selma Movement, Dr. Vivian developed, organized, and launched Vision, an educational program that assisted over 700 Alabama students to attend college on scholarship. Vision would later be known as Upward Bound. In 1970 Vivian authored the first book written by a member of King’s staff entitled Black Power and the American Myth.

Many of our team members have chosen to participate in a moment of silence on Monday, July 27 at 9 a.m. CT (7 a.m. PT, 10 a.m. ET). We invite you to join us and use the time to reflect on how we are standing against current injustices in the United States and how we can drive change.

In the words of Rep. John Lewis, “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”

If you would like more information on the lives of Mr. Lewis or Rev. Vivian, start here:
John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80 (New York Times)
Civil rights icon Rev. C.T. Vivian dies at 95 (CNN)
John Lewis’ Biography
C.T. Vivian’s Site