Statement on the Passing of John Lewis by George A. Jones on Behalf of Bread for the City
Like many Americans, I awoke Saturday morning to the sad news that Civil Rights legend John Lewis had lost his courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. I reflected on my first meeting with him, and how generous he was with his time as I, Bread for the City’s Chief Medical Officer, and a member of our Board, spoke to him about our vision to open a large, state-of-the-art community center in Southeast DC. I was so honored when he shared with us some of his own life story and made the connection between his life’s work and ours fighting for justice, offering to come and shine some of his light on this community project in his part-time city of Washington.
John Lewis dedicated over 60 years of his life in service to the eternal quest for justice and equality for all people. He did this with such a joy for life and love for people. When I see our people and our allies engaging in the solidarity of direct action, I am always thankful for John Lewis and all the others who paved a way for us to point out the injustices we see and fight to uphold the true values of this country.
In the coming weeks, months, and years there will be many deserving words, testimonials, and books written about John Lewis, honoring his legacy and remembering his remarkable life as we all reflect on his lasting impact.
And even as a man who had a way with words, and would surely appreciate these testimonials, I can easily imagine that John Lewis would say that the best way to remember him is to engage your right to vote that he put his body on the line to ensure and to carry on his fight to liberate Black, brown, native, and other people in this country and throughout the world who continue to suffer from the injustice of the past and experience persistent inequalities today. I believe he would ask us to remember him by seizing this current moment, this renewed era of Civil Rights and racial justice, to make more “good trouble” until justice rains down like a mighty storm, washing away the sins of the past to clear the way for a day when there will truly be liberty and justice for all.
George A. Jones | CEO, Bread for the City