Congressman John Lewis – A Champion of Change and Justice for All
ECDC is saddened by the death of Congressman John Lewis. He was an American icon who repeatedly risked his life in the Civil Rights Movement in order to guarantee the rights of all citizens. Congressman Lewis spent his career as an activist and later in Congress, fighting for the poor and oppressed not just in the United States but also around the world. Among many struggles, he fought apartheid in South Africa, advocated for the rights of Soviet Jewry, and was arrested protesting the genocide in Darfur.
ECDC is particularly grateful for Congressman Lewis’ vocal support of refugees and immigrants, including his joining the 2017 airport protests against the administration’s travel and immigration bans. One of his last public statements was on June 10th when he criticized the administration’s threat to deport international students.
Congressman Lewis spoke with eloquence. He listened and translated what he heard into actions that made a difference in the lives of people across the U.S. At the 2018 March for Our Lives rally in Atlanta following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Congressman Lewis said “I gave a little bit of blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, 53 years ago for the right to vote.”
In 2011, when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. The president addressed Lewis as the “conscience of the United States Congress,” for his courage and unwavering commitment to justice.
ECDC’s President and CEO, Tsehaye Teferra, Ph.D., said “I know that Congressman Lewis experienced challenges throughout his life yet he never stopped going the extra mile to make sure that America’s promise of equal rights and justice for all would one day be met.”
John Lewis was a fighter for human rights until the end, and he will be missed
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ECDC’s mission is to resettle refugees, promote cultural, educational, and socio-economic development in the refugee and immigrant community in the United States, and to conduct humanitarian and development programs in the Horn of Africa.
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