JOHN LEWIS is Georgia's Fifth Congressional District Representative and an American icon widely known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement.
As a student at American Baptist Theological Seminary in 1959, John Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South. He was beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South.
From 1963 to 1966, Lewis was Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As Chairman, John Lewis became a nationally recognized leader. Lewis was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and at the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.
In 1964, John Lewis coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. The following year, Lewis helped spearhead one of the most seminal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. Hosea Williams, another notable Civil Rights leader, and John Lewis 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.
Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. After leaving SNCC in 1966, he continued his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement as Associate Director of the Field Foundation and his participation in the Southern Regional Council's voter registration programs. Lewis went on to become the Director of the Voter Education Project (VEP). In 1977, John Lewis was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency.
In 1981, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council. He was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then. In 2011 he was awarded the Presidental Medal of Freedom.
Lewis' 1999 memoir Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, called "the definitive account of the civil rights movement" (The Washington Post), won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy, Lillian Smith, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. His most recent book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, received for the NAACP Image Award.
His first graphic novel, March (Book One) -- co-authored with Andrew Aydin -- will be published by Top Shelf in August 2013.
ANDREW AYDIN, an Atlanta native, currently serves in Rep. John Lewis' Washington, D.C. office handling telecommunications and technology policy as well as new media. Previously, he served as communications director and press secretary during Rep. Lewis' 2008 and 2010 re-election campaigns, as district aide to Rep. John Larson, and as special assistant to Connecticut Lt. Governor Kevin Sullivan. Andrew is a graduate of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Trinity College in Hartford, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
His first graphic novel, March (Book One) -- co-authored with Congressman John Lewis -- will be published by Top Shelf in 2013.
NATE POWELL is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2000.
His work includes "March", the graphic novel autobiography of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis (Top Shelf, 2013); the critically acclaimed "Any Empire" (Top Shelf, 2011); "Swallow Me Whole" (Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, two-time Ignatz Award winner, YALSA selection, and LA Times Book Prize finalist; Top Shelf, 2008); "The Silence Of Our Friends"(YALSA selection; First Second, 2012); "The Year Of The Beasts" (Roaring Brook, 2012); and "Sounds Of Your Name" (Microcosm Publishing, 2006).
Powell appeared at the United Nations in 2011, discussing his contribution to the fundraising fiction anthology What You Wish For: A Book For Darfur alongside some of the world's foremost writers of young adult fiction.
He's currently working as the artist on two high-profile projects: March, the three-part graphic novel memoir of Congressman John Lewis, and the graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan's #1 international bestseller Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero. In addition, he is writing and drawing his own forthcoming graphic novel Cover and assembling the short story collection You Don't Say.
From 1999 to 2009, Nate worked full-time supporting adults with developmental disabilities. He managed DIY punk record label Harlan Records for 16 years, and has performed in the bands Universe, Divorce Chord, Soophie Nun Squad, Wait, and Boomfancy. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana