PayPal CEO Dan Schulman and Award-Winning Filmmaker Dawn Porter Discuss the Life of Congressman John Lewis
When award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter appeared on PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman’s “Never Stand Still” podcast series, Porter’s most recent documentary, “John Lewis: Good Trouble,” offered a moment of deep reflection. With the civil rights issues John Lewis fought for currently at the forefront of U.S. national dialogue, Porter’s unique insights from documenting Lewis’ life story were particularly relevant.
Several weeks after Schulman spoke to Porter, Congressman Lewis passed away at the age of 80. The release of this episode serves as a reminder of the impact of Lewis’ work and the legacy he left behind.
Porter shared, “John Lewis grew up in the most calcified system of segregation that you could imagine…For someone who has never seen equality, how did he even imagine that world?” Just one year older in age than Emmett Till, John Lewis couldn’t even get a library card when growing up. “It’s beautifully American that he could say, ‘This is my current situation, but I know there’s more. And I’m going to go out and find it, or I’m going to make it for myself,’” Dawn said.
During the conversation, Porter reminded audiences that the work of the civil rights leaders was carefully researched and planned. “They studied for six months before they stepped foot onto a bridge or sat at a lunch counter, or boarded a Freedom Rides bus—so it’s actually a story about strategy,” Dawn said. “They weren’t looking for an immediate win…They were looking for systemic change and they were doing it one step at a time.”
Schulman added, “People are wondering whether this is a moment or a movement…After the protests dissipate, the need for progress remains. The Congressman’s fight over [decades] is really inspiring and says the work is never done.”