Spelman College Creates Scholarship Honoring the Late John Lewis


Rep. John Lewis

Last week, civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis died after a long battle with cancer. Spelman College recently came forward to announce that it would be honoring his legacy with an endowed namesake scholarship worth $10,000 to five social justice fellows each school year.

“As we navigate today’s turbulent waters, we draw inspiration and courage for our challenges from the Congressman’s decades of selfless sacrifice, ardent advocacy and steadfast commitment for not just racial equality, but equity for all,” wrote Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman, in a post on the school’s website.

“Spelman was blessed to have him on our campus, engaging with our students, numerous times over the years. Just last spring he encouraged our social justice fellows to stay vigilant in the fight for truth and righteousness when the College joined the UNCF in honoring congressional lawmakers who have served as true champions and strong advocates for HBCUs and their students,” she added. “He set a stellar example of how, in his words—to get into “good trouble”—in service of justice can transform our country and the world.”

 

 

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John Lewis loved Black people unconditionally. And he loved justice just as much. With the death of the Georgia Congressman, the world has lost a valiant social justice warrior. On behalf of the trustees, faculty, students and staff of Spelman College, I extend my heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones. Congressman Lewis brought his heart, body and soul to his life’s work. As a young man, he was a global ambassador for nonviolent protests as a path to eradicate injustice. As a Congressman, he never lost an opportunity to champion equity for all of his constituents. He never stopped fighting. Spelman College intends to name an endowed scholarship after Congressman Lewis to celebrate his life. When funded, the scholarship will provide a one-time tuition contribution of $10K, awarded every year to five Social Justice Fellows, led by Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence. As we navigate today’s turbulent waters, we draw inspiration and courage for our challenges from the Congressman’s decades of selfless sacrifice, ardent advocacy and steadfast commitment for not just racial equality, but equity for all. Spelman was blessed to have him on our campus, engaging with our students, numerous times over the years. Just last spring he encouraged our social justice fellows to stay vigilant in the fight for truth and righteousness when the College joined the UNCF in honoring congressional lawmakers who have served as true champions and strong advocates for HBCUs and their students. John Lewis leaves behind an extraordinary civil rights legacy: organizing the March on Washington; challenging segregated interstate travel and pioneering new territory with voter registration as one of the original 13 Freedom Riders; co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; and using his voice to be an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. He set a stellar example of how, in his words – to get into “good trouble” – in service of justice can transform our country and the world. We mourn this loss and celebrate his brave, radiant life. With sorrow, Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D. President, Spelman College Read more on Spelman.edu.

A post shared by Spelman College (@spelman_college) on Jul 18, 2020 at 3:23pm PDT





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