AFJ Mourns The Passage Of Civil Rights Leaders John Lewis and C.T. Vivian

Press Release


Racial Equity

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Carolyn Bobb

WASHINGTON, DC, July 18, 2020 – This weekend the world learned of the passage of Congressman John Lewis. Lewis was a civil rights icon, a 17-term congressman, and the longest-serving member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Within the same 24 hours, civil rights champion C.T. Vivian also passed away, leaving behind a legacy of activism and leadership dating back over half a century.

Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement:

“Men like John Lewis and C.T. Vivian believed in equality under the law with every fiber of their being. From their early lunch counter sit-ins through the end of their lives, they never stopped envisioning a future in which all people felt safe and included in society. We were always proud that Congressman Lewis stood with us in fighting for a justice system that is fair and keeps the arc of the universe bending in the right direction. We’ve sadly lost too many of our civil rights champions recently, including also Joseph Lowery, another cofounder and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As our nation once again confronts the racial inequality they devoted their lives to dismantling, their courage will always be a shining example for the spirited way we all must continue the fight for civil rights.”