Statement of The Opportunity Agenda on the Passing of Civil Rights Lion, Congressman John Lewis

CONTACT: Christiaan Perez,, 212-334-4275

New York, NY – On Friday, July 17, 2020, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) passed away after a lifetime of service. Ellen Buchman, President of The Opportunity Agenda issued the following statement:

The nation, and the world, are better because of the courage, dignity, kindness, love, decency and fierce commitment to justice of Congressman John Lewis.

Mr. Lewis’s clarity and invaluable command of the values of love and hope, vision and fortitude for equity for all BIPOC, LGBTQ, and indeed for all of humankind pushed the arc of our history closer to true justice. With his life and work – from boyhood as the son of sharecroppers, to the young organizer who was brutally beaten in pursuit of a truly inclusive democracy and who roused the nation at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, to the halls of Congress where he championed historic legislation and became known as the conscience of the People’s House, Congressman Lewis showed us how to lead a life of advancing the values and principles of freedom and justice for everyone. Mr. Lewis began his life of advocacy calling for justice for Black people and in this time of nationwide uprising in support of Black lives, it is fitting that Mr. Lewis’s last public appearance was at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, DC.

We at The Opportunity Agenda, and all those demanding justice, now and into the future, march on the soil tilled by his courage.

We send our condolences to Mr. Lewis’s family, his constituents, his colleagues and his friends. And, in his name, we embrace his challenge to never cease. Inspired by Congressman John Lewis, we will help the voices of freedom fighters to be heard and we will move hearts and minds toward opportunity, justice and freedom for all.

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The Opportunity Agenda is a social justice communication lab. To advance the impact of the social justice community, we shape compelling narratives and messages; build the communication capacity of leaders through training and resources; and engage with artists, creatives, and culture makers as powerful storytellers to shift the public discourse.

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