Foundation established to honor John Lewis, wife announces launch
A foundation has been established to honor the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and his wife, Lillian Miles Lewis, and will hold a gala in May to mark its launch.
The John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation announced on Monday — which would have been the late congressman’s 82nd birthday — that the group will hold a gala on May 17, 2022, in Washington, D.C.
The group said the gala will be “a collective moment of reflection on the life and legacy of the civil rights icon John Lewis and also celebrate the Lewises’ vision and values.”
Funds raised as part of the gala will go towards initiatives that further the values of the organization.
The organization — which, according to John-Miles Lewis, the son of John and Lillian, was established by the late congressman — works to “ensure that future generations have the tools and support to create their own Good Trouble, realizing the Lewises’ dream that the power of individuals can reimagine and build a better society.”
Linda Earley Chastang, who twice served as chief of staff and counsel to Lewis, is president of the foundation and sits on its board. Michael E. Collins, who served as Lewis’ longtime chief of staff and senior adviser, will be the board’s chairman emeritus.
“Throughout their lives, the Lewises consistently demonstrated their love of learning, their unwavering devotion to helping others and their steadfast commitment to peace and building the ‘beloved community’,” Chastang said in a statement.
“They were dedicated to creating a world in which the dignity and worth of every human being is recognized and valued. We are honored to advance the Lewises’ vision,” she added.
The Georgia congressman died in July 2020 after serving for more than three decades in Congress. He was also a civil rights leader who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965 on what is now known as “Bloody Sunday.” Lewis and other civil rights activists were beaten during the demonstration.
Congressional Democrats honored their late colleague in August by introducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which aims to reinstate the oversight power of the Voting Rights Act, which has been scaled back in recent years.
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