Congressman John Lewis speaks during the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture September 24, 2016 in Washington, DC, before the museum opens to the public later that day.
Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

Lewis told young leaders invited to the White House, "The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it."

Sydney Scott
Oct, 05, 2016

On Monday, Civil Rights icon and United States Congressman John Lewis urged young leaders invited to the White House to continue the activism that generations before them had started.

"I say to each and everyone of you, in the best way I can. I gave a little blood on the bridge, but some people gave their lives. The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it. And so you must go out all across America and tell young people, and people not so young, tell all of us: Vote. The vote is powerful.”

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The Georgia congressman also encourage told young leaders to fight for social change and "get in trouble, what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.”

"I saw those signs that said, ‘White Men, Colored Men, White Women, Colored Women,’ and I would come home and ask my mother, my father, my grandparents, ‘Why?’ And they would say, “Don’t get in the way. Don’t get in trouble.' But one day in the 10th grade, I heard of Rosa Parks. I heard the words of Martin Luther King on the radio. The action of Rosa Parks, the words of Martin Luther King inspired me to find a way to get in the way, to get in trouble, what I call good trouble, necessary trouble." He added, "It is time for each of you as young leaders to get in trouble. Good trouble. Get in the way and make some noise. Just do it."