Washington, D.C. - Today, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations Representatives Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Will Hurd (TX-23) released the following statement on the passing of civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis:
I deeply mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis as a friend, a colleague and as an example to us all as a leader and most of all, a human being who exemplified goodness and kindness. John Lewis fought and sacrificed so much for freedom, equality, and the promise that America holds. We mourn the loss of this generous, courageous man of goodness.
“The Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, along with the rest of our nation mourn the passing of civil rights icon and founding member and Co-Chair of the caucus, Representative John Lewis.
“Representative Lewis did not sit idly by on the sidelines of history. As a student, Lewis was the leader of the Nashville Student Movement, participating in sit-ins throughout the city to fight for desegregation. He was a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, an original Freedom Rider, and an organizer of the March on Washington. He was the youngest and last surviving member of the Big Six civil rights activists, a Group led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He spent his lifetime as a dedicated public servant and served Georgia’s fifth congressional district, and our nation, with a burning desire to elevate the rights of others.
“He often spoke about Black-Jewish relations during the Civil Rights Movement, the deaths of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner who were murdered in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964, and the important role that both groups play in each other’s destiny. His belief in the power of Blacks and Jews to affect change together, to advocate for each other and stomp out all bigotry, was integral to the formation of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations.
BLACK-JEWISH CAUCUS CO-CHAIR STATEMENTS ARE PROVIDED BELOW.
“The passing of Congressman John Lewis is a devastating loss for our country. Congressman Lewis was a dear friend and colleague, an American hero, and the Conscience of Congress,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Representative Brenda L. Lawrence. “I am proud to have formed the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations with him by my side and we will continue to celebrate his legacy by getting into good trouble.”
“I deeply mourn the loss of Congressman John Lewis as a friend, a colleague and as an example to us all as a leader and most of all, a human being who exemplified goodness and kindness. John Lewis fought and sacrificed so much for freedom, equality, and the promise that America holds. We mourn the loss of this generous, courageous man of goodness,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Let’s honor his civil rights legacy by ensuring we use the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations to continue to confront hatred, injustice, and inequality together.”
“Our nation mourns the loss of a giant, civil rights icon, and steadfast warrior for justice. Rep. John Lewis’ legacy of persistence and hope in the face of overwhelming adversity will live on in the fabric of American history and, most importantly, eternally in all of us,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Representative Lee Zeldin.
“John Lewis was an incredible man, an American hero and a great friend and mentor. He shaped this country through his civil rights activism, by raising his voice when he saw injustice and so much more. I will forever appreciate the opportunity to work with such an inspiring American. The world lost a truly great man today,” said Caucus Co-Chair and Representative Will Hurd.