CWS Mourns and Celebrates Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian

July 18, 2020

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2020


CWS Mourns and Celebrates Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian

New York City—Church World Service today honors the life and legacy of two civil rights heroes, Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian who both passed away yesterday. From his time as a young man on the forefront of the civil rights movement to his more than three decades in government as the “conscience of Congress, ” Lewis fused past and present, understanding the long struggle with which he has been a part of and the shoulders he walked on while also embracing new emerging leaders. He inspired activists and advocates worldwide, and his legacy of causing, “good trouble” in the name of justice and equality will continue to live on.

Also a member of the freedom riders, Vivian fought against voter suppression and  created a college readiness program to support low income communities and children of color.

“Today we mourn the passing of Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, two heroes in the longstanding struggle for racial equality and justice for the most vulnerable among us. We celebrate the legacy they leave and honor their enduring calls for action.

“Lewis was a tower of leadership for many decades, who dedicated his life and work to advancing civil rights, voting rights, SNAP and other measures to protect the poor and vulnerable of our country. Rep Lewis has said, ‘Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic … Never, ever be afraid to make some noise.’ Today we make a grateful noise in celebration of the life of John Lewis, and vow to carry on the work about which he was so passionate,” said CWS Executive in Charge Maurice A. Bloem.