This evening at the Whitney, artist Danny Lyon will speak with Congressman John Lewis about his lifelong advocacy of civil liberties and his current leadership on issues including gun control and voting rights.

Tonight’s conversation takes place amid wrenching events for this country: the shooting of forty nine people at a gay nightclub in Orlando on June 12, followed weeks later by shootings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota, Dallas, and Brooklyn. These tragedies have shaken communities across the country, demanding that we acknowledge and address the racial, social, and political divides that plague our country and that have given rise to decades of violence and loss.

Congressman Lewis and Danny Lyon first met in a related period of turbulence and change in the 1960s: Lewis was serving as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Lyon was a principal photographer of the Southern Civil Rights Movement and a staff member of SNCC.

Tonight’s program pays tribute to their more than fifty years of friendship. At a moment when national action is urgently called for, it also brings together two men who—whether through political leadership or through image-making—have dedicated their lives to social activism and to bringing greater equality and empathy to our national culture. 

Follow the conversation on Twitter, and check back on whitney.org in the coming days for footage of the event.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Arrest of Taylor Washington, Atlanta, 1963. Vintage gelatin silver print.  9 7/16 × 6 ¼ in. (24 × 16 cm); Collection of the artist. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

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