Washington, D.C.–Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, released the following statement this evening on the passing of Representative John Lewis:
Tonight, with the passing of civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, the world has lost an icon, a fighter for justice, and a true American hero. Simply put, Lewis was living history. An original Freedom Rider and a chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, he was foundational to the civil rights movement—a movement that remains as urgent today as ever. John Lewis led a movement, and a nation, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, putting his body and his life on the line to advance equal rights for Black Americans—a cause he would champion for the remainder of his life. John Lewis’ leadership widened a path of opportunity for millions of Americans, and his courage challenged—and changed—our country.
In Congress, where he represented Atlanta for more than three decades, Lewis fought for racial justice, gun violence prevention, and global peace. His loss leaves a monumental hole in the halls of Congress and in our nation’s heart. I, along with all of CAP, grieve alongside John Lewis’ family and friends tonight and join with his admirers across the country and globe in thanking this beloved public servant for a job well done. May he rest easy. It is now on us to continue his fight.
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