Two legends of the civil rights movement say they're encouraged by efforts to maintain voter equality despite what they see as attempts to thwart it.

The Rev. James Lawson and the Rev. C.T. Vivian will speak 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 spoke to The Associated Press ahead of the event. Vivian and Lawson say 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.

Vivian said their battle illustrates that the fight is far from over, but he said the students' determination tells him "that we will eventually overcome."