Jul. 29, 2020

Photo: Melissa Engle Hess/WCC, 2014

29 July 2020

The National Council of Churches (USA) is inviting churches across the country to ring their bells on 30 July for 80 seconds—one for each year of Congressman John Lewis’s life.

“Last week, we lost a hero,” wrote Jim Winkler, president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches (USA). “Congressman John Lewis passed away on Friday.”

Lewis, the son of sharecroppers, was a civil rights icon who was known as a moral compass for the US.

During the funeral on 30 July, in partnership with the Lewis family and office, houses of worship across the country will ring their bells at 11am ET for 80 seconds, one second for each year of Lewis's life.

Houses of worship that do not have bells will mark this time with other remembrances - prayers, moments of silence, and more.

Jul. 22, 2020

CBCF Commemorates the Life of Rep. John R. Lewis
Social Justice Fellowship named in honor of the late Congressman
WASHINGTON — CBCF President & CEO, Tonya Veasey, and Board Chairman, Rep. Cedric Richmond announce today the National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice fellowship program will bear and honor the name of the late Congressman John R. Lewis. The CBCF Board of Directors, Corporate Advisory Council, and staff mourn the immense loss of Rep. Lewis who passed away on July 17.

Leader & Legend
“Congressman Lewis was a leader and a legend who dedicated his life and career to the pursuit of racial and social justice,” said Congressman Cedric Richmond, chair, CBCF Board of Directors. "It is an honor to offer this opportunity to social justice leaders who will now carry the torch so brightly lit by Rep. John Lewis. We are excited for the work to come by the John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellowship candidates in advancing the global Black community.”

A-Pillar of the Congress
“Rep. Lewis was the exuberance of the Civil Rights Movement and a pillar of the Congress,” said CBCF President & CEO Tonya Veasey. "His work and personal sacrifices helped to build the democracy we have today, and he worked until the time of his passing to challenge the injustices present and prevalent today. We are reviewing an impressive slate of applications and we are excited to welcome public servants this fall who are dedicated to the ongoing demand for equity.”

“So help me God, I cannot do anything less. We are fighting to end segregation and racial discrimination,” said Lewis in a 2013 CBCF AVOICE (African American Voices in Congress) presentation.

Lewis told CBCF interns in 2019, “We are not going back.” This mantra described his determination to march for voting rights on Bloody Sunday, and his lifelong commitment to causing “good trouble” to advance toward equal and equitable rights for all.

Lewis was elected to Congress in 1986 and he was the senior ranking member of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was often referred to as the “conscience” of the United States Congress. Lewis was a freedom fighter and pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he served as the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 2011, then-President Barack Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. The John Lewis Legacy Award, introduced in 2018, is among the honors presented each fall during the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to social justice and civil rights advocacy.

The CBCF joins those saddened across the nation and the world in expressing our deepest condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and constituents of Congressman John Lewis. May he rest in power.

Applications are now open for the John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellowship. For more information on this opportunity and the National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice, visit

Jul. 22, 2020

Jul. 18, 2020

Photo credit, city of Houston [Turner hands on Lewsis holding proclamation

Mayor Turner's Statement on the Death of Rep. John Lewis.
Flags on All City Buildings will be Lowered in Honor of Rep. Lewis.

HOUSTON - The following is Mayor Sylvester Turner's statement on the death of Civil Rights Icon, Rep. John Lewis.

"Today, flags will be lowered to half-staff at Houston City Hall and all City of Houston buildings to honor late Rep. John Lewis. He may have been elected by a single congressional district in Atlanta, Georgia, but his life of service impacted all of us. I thank Rep. Lewis for uplifting and inspiring a generation.

"Rep. Lewis was a warrior in the fight for civil rights. He was an honorable man who exuded grace and dignity while he fought passionately for racial equality and justice for all.

"From his days marching with Dr. King to the many times he was arrested and beaten for daring to protest segregation, Rep. Lewis never lost his faith, courage, or commitment to fight for freedom.

"During his service and leadership in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Lewis was a champion for uplifting people and advocated for affordable housing, fair pay, education, voting rights and so much more.

"In 2019, I invited Rep. Lewis to be the Grand Marshal of the City – Black Heritage Society MLK Day Parade, and he honored Houston with his time and wisdom. He challenged us to be brave, to be bold, and never to give up.

"In the coming days, the lights of Houston City Hall, Montrose Bridges, and other buildings will be lit red, white, and blue in memory of Rep. Lewis, an American Hero.

"May he rest in power."

Jul. 18, 2020
Jul. 18, 2020

“He was strong, fierce and powerful. And of course, he was a man of strength and resolve that
believed America’s divisiveness cannot end without a commitment to the Beloved Community.
We will miss John Lewis forever. But what we must do is continue the journey that John Lewis
started, and that is a journey toward freedom.” - Sheila Jackson Lee
HOUSTON, TX – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of Congress released
the following statement on the passing of her friend and colleague Congressman John Lewis.
“The world has lost a beloved brother in the name of the Honorable John Lewis. John Lewis’ life
and legacy was based on the seriousness of now. He knew that America and the world could not
wait for freedom, justice or equality. From his early days as a boy from Troy, Alabama, he would
leave home to follow in the footsteps of his heroic mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who
established the Beloved Community and the importance of the Civil Rights Movement to move
America forward. John Lewis never stopped moving America. He never stopped challenging
America. And in the United States Congress, no matter what John Lewis fought for, he fought for
it with dignity, grace, and fierceness. In his speech at the 1963 March on Washington, he indicated
that we wanted freedom, not in drafts, but we wanted it now. Everything that John Lewis did was
with a fierceness of now. John Lewis’ legacy for this nation is to embrace all people, no matter
who they are and no matter what they are. So, it is important that John Lewis’ message never
“I was very pleased to be able to speak with him last week. He was strong, fierce and powerful.
And of course, he was a man of strength and resolve that believed America’s divisiveness cannot
end without a commitment to the Beloved Community. We will miss John Lewis forever. But
what we must do is continue the journey that John Lewis started, and that is a journey toward
freedom. And important journey and a journey that we should never ever forget. The life and
legacy of John Lewis is a legacy of the fierceness of now. And the fight for freedom does not end
until it is attained. The Beloved Community, America, has lost not a hero of this country, but a
hero of the world.”
Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat representing the 18th Congressional District of Texas, is a senior
member of the House Committees on Judiciary, Homeland Security, and the Budget.