Some students at American University got to listen to a lecture an important civil rights activist Wednesday afternoon.

Dorie Ladner, a Washington, D.C. resident, grew up in Mississippi during the Civil Rights era. She also participated in the Freedom Summer when civil rights activists fought to get blacks the right to vote in the South.

Ladner told the AU class the act of protest is an important tool.

"Each and everything that you do to bring about change is important," she said.

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Ladner said some of the issues that are happening today remind her of times in the 1960s. She said students in the Black Lives Matter movement are rising up much in the same way black students chose to react to the death of Emmett Till.

"I'm very happy," she said. "They (young people) are articulating the issues of the day."

Ladner added that she excited to see today's movements progress. She said one that really caught her eye was the Women's March.

"The Women's March here in Washington was unbelievable," Ladner said. "That really captured my spirit."

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ms. Ladner was a Freedom Rider.