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Students urged to 'make their voices heard' for civil rights

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Two leading figures of the American civil rights movement are encouraging university students to "make their voices heard" on voting rights and related issues.

The Rev. James Lawson and the Rev. C.T. Vivian spoke Thursday at Middle Tennessee State University about the challenges that remain a half-century after the Voting Rights Act was signed in 1965.

The veteran activists encouraged a packed auditorium.

In an interview with The Associated Press beforehand, they said they support a lawsuit by a group of Tennessee college students who want a federal court to require the state to accept their school identification cards as valid voter identification.

Lawson and Vivian were friends and confidants of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and led demonstrations that helped make the Voting Rights Act a reality.