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KIPCOR to screen first major documentary biography of late Congressman

November 3rd, 2022

Film poster for "John Lewis--Get in the Way"

The KIPCOR Film Series continues its 2022-23 season, Sunday, Nov. 13, in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center with an acclaimed film portrait of a civil rights icon.

KIPCOR, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College, sponsors the series each school year.

John Lewis – Get in the Way is the first major documentary biography of the late Congressman and champion of human rights.

Showtime is 2 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on campus, and audience talkbacks generally follow the film screenings. 

John Lewis was the son of sharecroppers, who grew up in the Jim Crow South and rose from Alabama’s Black Belt to the corridors of power on Capitol Hill, serving from 1987 until his death from cancer in July 2020.

His humble origins have forever linked him to those whose voices often go unheard, and his unwavering fight for justice spanned 57 years.

Through never-before-seen interviews with Lewis as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton, Andrew Young, the late C.T. Vivian and others, shot over 20 years, filmmaker Kathleen Dowdey, in just 54 minutes, “shapes a gripping and intimate tale of personal voice and revelatory moments,” according to Early Light Productions.

Lewis was the youngest speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He led the Bloody Sunday march in Selma in 1965, where Alabama state troopers attacked peaceful protesters with billy clubs, bullwhips and tear gas.

The march and the police response, seen across the country and the world on television, led to President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act into law, which prohibited racial discrimination at the polls.

Originally an activist pushing from the outside, Lewis became the conscience of Congress, making noise on the inside as he pressed for justice, equality and human rights.

Despite many setbacks, Lewis’ eyes remained steadfastly on the prize.

The KIPCOR Film Series is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support KIPCOR and the series.

Additional dates are Sunday afternoons on Feb. 19 and April 16, 2023.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges,” and #24 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022-23. Bethel is the only Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. For more information, see

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