July 18, 2020
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders Executive Director Janson Wu issued the following statement on the passing Friday of Congressman John Lewis:
GLAD joins the nation today in mourning the loss of Congressman, American visionary and Civil Rights leader John Lewis.
As a young organizer in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an architect of the historic 1963 March on Washington and the youngest person to speak from the stage, and as a leader of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery in pursuit of voting rights for Black Americans, Lewis put his life on the line to push for pivotal civil rights advances. As a member of Congress representing the people of Georgia since 1987 Lewis continued to act for concrete change to better the lives of all Americans, and to speak out at every turn against threats to racial justice, civil rights, and human dignity.
Congressman Lewis’ death is a tremendous loss at a moment when his moral conviction and clarity are needed perhaps more than ever. But his legacy and vision are alive in a new generation of young leaders pushing today to dismantle the systemic racism and white supremacy that persist within our institutions of power. His insistence on believing that America could be a country where true justice prevails for everyone is both an inspiration and a challenge to us all to stay engaged in that work.
Today we say rest in power, Congressman, and thank you. May we follow your lead and your encouragement to keep making “good trouble” in order to keep pushing this country to be all you imagined it could be.
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Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.