John Lewis

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John Lewis

John Lewis was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 5th district of Georgia. He died on July 17, 2020.

Early life

John Lewis was born the son of sharecroppers on Feb. 21, 1940, outside of Troy, Ala. He grew up on his family's farm and attended segregated public schools in Pike County, Alabama.


John Lewis holds a B.A. in religion and philosophy from Fisk University, and he is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary, both in Nashville, Tenn.

Early activism

As a student at Fisk University, John Lewis organized[1]sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tenn. In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South.

Lewis risked his life on those rides many times by simply sitting in seats reserved for white patrons. He was also beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South.

During the height of the movement, from 1963 to 1966, Lewis was named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he helped form. SNCC was largely responsible for organizing student activism in the movement, including sit-ins and other activities. At the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.

Support for the Council on American Islamic Relations

John Lewis wrote a letter of support to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on the occasion of their 24th anniversary in September 2018.[2]

"Community organizer"

Writing in the Huffington Post of September 8, 2008, in an article entitled "From Organizer To Elected Official" Democratic Socialists of America member Peter Dreier listed several serving US politicians who had begun their careers as "community organizers". They were US Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Representatives John Lewis of Georgia, Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis of Illinois, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Linda Sanchez of California, and Donna Edwards of Maryland, Washington House of Representatives Speaker Frank Chopp, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, state legislators Beth Low of Missouri, Michael Foley of Ohio, Gilbert Cedillo of California, Tom Hucker of Maryland, Tony Hill of Florida, and Crystal Peoples of New York, Alameda County (California) Supervisor Nate Miley, City Council members Jay Westbrook of Cleveland, Chuck Turner and Sam Yoon of Boston, and Melvin Carter of St. Paul, and San Francisco School Board member Jane Kim. [3]


At 17, after becoming the first member of his family to graduate from high school, Lewis attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, which allowed students to work in lieu of tuition. He worked as a janitor and simultaneously attended the all-black Fisk University, graduating with degrees from the seminary and the university.

The Rev. Kelly Miller Smith, a local black minister and activist, introduced Lewis to James Lawson, a divinity student at nearby Vanderbilt University, who was conducting workshops on nonviolent social action through the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Lawson prepared his students intellectually, psychologically and spiritually, assigning the works of Mohandas Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau and theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. The students debated whether they could learn to forgive, even love, white segregationists who might beat them. They wondered if they had the self-discipline not to strike back, especially if they were called "nigger" or other epithets while being hit.

Lewis attended a weekend retreat at the Highlander Folk School, an inter-racial training center for activists in rural Tennessee. There he met Myles Horton, Septima Clark and other veteran organizers who helped him visualize what could happen if thousands of poor working people - folks like Lewis’ parents - were galvanized into direct action.

"I left Highlander on fire," Lewis recalled. The fire got even hotter in the summer of 1959, when Lewis attended a workshop at Spelman College in Atlanta and heard veteran organizers Bayard Rustin, Ella Baker, Glenn Smiley, and James Lawson discuss what it would take to dismantle Jim Crow.

When Lewis returned to college in the fall, the number of students attending Lawson's workshops had grown and included some white students from Vanderbilt. As Lewis wrote in his memoir, Walking with the Wind, "We were itching to get started." They planned to launch a full-scale nonviolent protest campaign targeting the major downtown department stores that refused to serve black people.

But to their surprise, on February 1, 1960, four students from the Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina, beat them to it, organizing a sit-in at the local Woolworth's. The news generated excitement on Nashville's campuses. Hundreds of students emulated their Greensboro counterparts and were threatened with arrest. Lewis wrote up a list of do’s and don'ts to help the students:

"Do Not: Strike back nor curse if abused. Laugh out. Hold conversations with a floor walker. Leave your seat until your leader has given you permission to do so. Block entrances to stores outside nor the aisles inside."

"Do: Show yourself friendly and courteous at all times. Sit straight: always face the counter. Report all serious incidents to your leader. Refer information seekers to your leader in a polite manner. Remember the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King."

Lewis was arrested at Woolworth's for the first of many times in his life. So too were hundreds of other protesters at other stores. Day after day, Lewis and the other students sat silently at lunch counters, where they were harassed, spat upon, beaten and finally arrested and held in jail, but the students insisted that they continue. The protests continued, with Lewis playing a key leadership role, and eventually Nashville's mayor and business leaders agreed to desegregate the downtown stores.

Lewis’ physical and spiritual courage would be tested many times during the next few years. Each time, he revealed a remarkable, calm discipline, galvanizing others to follow his lead. The success of the sit-in movement led Lewis and his counterparts across the South to start SNCC in April 1960. [4]

Freedom Riders

In May 1961, the 21-year-old Lewis participated in Freedom Rides, organized by the Congress of Racial Equality to protest the segregation of interstate bus terminals. Lewis was on the first Freedom Ride, which left the District of Columbia on March 4 destined for New Orleans. When they reached Rock Hill, South Carolina, and got off the bus, Lewis tried to enter a whites-only waiting room. Two white men attacked him, injuring his face and kicking him in the ribs.

Nevertheless, only two weeks later, Lewis was one of 22 Freedom Riders - 18 blacks, four whites - on another Freedom Ride bus from Nashville to Montgomery, accompanied by a protective escort of state highway patrol cars. As they reached the Montgomery city limits, the state highway patrol cars turned away, but no Montgomery police appeared to replace them. When the bus arrived at the Greyhound terminal, several reporters approached Lewis to interview him. But they were quickly overwhelmed by a mob of angry whites carrying baseball bats, bricks, chains, wooden boards, tire irons and pipes - screaming, "Git them niggers."

As Lewis wrote in his memoir: "I felt a thud against my head. I could feel my knees collapse and then nothing. Everything turned white for an instant, then black. I was unconscious on that asphalt. I learned later that someone had swung a wooden Coca-Cola crate against my skull. There was a lot I didn't learn about until later."

When he regained consciousness, he was bleeding badly from the back of his head and his coat, shirt and tie were covered with blood. Jim Zwerg, a white Freedom Rider, was in much worse shape. Lewis asked a police office to help him get an ambulance, but the cop simply said, "He's free to go."

Two days later, the battered Lewis was back on another Freedom Ride bus, heading to Jackson, Mississippi, but this time with National Guard escorts. When they arrived at the terminal, a police officer pointed them toward the "colored" bathroom, but Lewis and the others headed toward the "white" men's room and were promptly arrested. Twenty-seven Freedom Riders were jailed. Lewis and others were later moved to the notorious Parchman Penitentiary state prison, where they were held for more than three weeks.

By the time he was elected SNCC chairman in 1963, Lewis had been arrested 24 times. SNCC was the most militant of the major civil rights groups, led by black college students, but involving white students as well. As its chairman, Lewis was invited to help plan the March on Washington and be one of the major speakers, alongside King, Randolph, Wilkins, labor leader Walter Reuther and others. (Another controversy that erupted in the weeks leading up to the march was the absence of any women - who were the backbone of the movement's grass-roots leadership - among the speakers).[5]



Highlander Research and Education Center, April 3, 2013 ·

On this day in 1960, Highlander concluded its Seventh Annual College Workshop. Eighty-three students from 20 colleges were there, among them young leaders who would become driving forces of the Civil Rights Movement, including Marion Barry, Diane Nash, Julian Bond, and future Congressman John Lewis, pictured below (first row, all the way to the right). Of this group, Highlander's Director of Education, Septima Clark, said, "Our young have gone out in front, and we must run to keep up with them. We must give them our support, but we must not attempt to wrest the leadership from them."

Statement on Highlander

In August 2019, John Lewis released a statement on the Highlander Center:[6]

April 4, 2019 Press Release
I was disturbed to learn that just a few days before the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, a fire burned the main building of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Some of the archives of a priceless history were lost. White power graffiti was also discovered there, raising questions about whether the fire was started by an arsonist who wanted to deliver a message of hate.
Sixty years ago, the center was called the Highlander Folk School, founded by Myles Horton and located in Monteagle, Tennessee. Horton had been a student of a powerful theologian of the day, Reinhold Niebuhr, a philosopher, among others, students in the Nashville sit-in movement studied under the leadership of the Reverend James Lawson. The school’s early focus was on the ideas of the labor movement and in making adult education more accessible to people in Appalachia. But once Brown v. Board of Education was decided in 1954, Highlander shifted its mission to tackle the thorny issues of racial integration, teaching everyone it could to respect the dignity of all humankind. It was a haven for Dr. King, a place where he could go to relax and repair his spirit in the glow of its “noble and creative work”.
It was at Highlander Folk School that I shared a meal for the first time in my life in an integrated setting. I was a young adult, but I had never eaten a meal in the company of black and white diners. Highlander was the place that Rosa Parks witnessed a demonstration of equality that helped inspire her to keep her seat on a Montgomery bus, just a few after her first visit. She saw Septima Clark, a legendary black educator, teaching side-by-side with Horton. For her it was revolutionary. She had never seen an integrated team of equals working together, and it inspired her.
If Dr. King were here today, his words would ring so clear. He would say it is not so much a question of who but what. What is it that makes us feel threatened by a center that promotes peace and the brotherhood of all humankind? And what makes us believe that destroying a building will end the divine mandate of human unity? He would say, “The real problem is that through our scientific genius we've made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we've failed to make of it a brotherhood.”
When Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, some people hoped that his vision of humanity would die with him. But on this anniversary of his death, at a time when activism is again rising to the forefront and the demand for progressive change is more insistent and persistent, it should be more plain than ever before that you can kill a man, but you cannot kill an idea whose time has come. On this anniversary of his death, let us remind ourselves that the unity of all human kind is our inevitable end. It is either non-violence or non-existence.

Socialist associations

Lewis' civil rights activism brought him into contact with some of the leading leftists of the era, including Bayard Rustin, Andrew Young, William Fitts Ryan and James Farmer.

March on Washington

At the March on Washington, King’s speech was the most eloquent, Lewis’s the most radical. Lewis was just twenty-three at the time, the leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In the original draft of his speech, the demand for racial justice and “serious revolution” was so fearless that, in the last minutes before the program began, Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Roy Wilkins, and other movement organizers negotiated with him to remove any phrases that might offend the Kennedy Administration. Lewis planned to say, “We will march through the South, through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own ‘scorched earth’ policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground––nonviolently. We shall fragment the South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of democracy.” He had to lose the bit about Sherman’s army, but the rest of the text, capped by its final warning—“We will not be patient!”––left no doubt about Lewis or about the audacious generation he represented.[7]

Revolutionary speech

Only a handful of the 250,000 people at event – officially called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom to reflect the link between economic justice and civil rights - knew anything about the drama taking place behind the Lincoln Memorial. Under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph, the longtime civil rights and trade union leader,the march had brought together the major civil rights organizations as well as labor unions and religious denominations and women's groups. The planning group agreed that a representative of each group would address the huge crowd. Bayard Rustin, the veteran organizer who was in charge of the event's logistics, required all speakers, even King,to hand in the texts of their speeches the night before. The speech submitted by Lewis, the 23-year-old chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), criticized President John F. Kennedy for moving too cautiously on civil rights legislation. Rustin, Randolph and others considered Lewis’ text inflammatory, threatening the unity they had so carefully built for the event. It included these lines:

"The revolution is a serious one. Mr. Kennedy is trying to take the revolution out of the street and put it into the courts. Listen, Mr. Kennedy. Listen, Mr. Congressman. Listen, fellow citizens. The black masses are on the march for jobs and freedom, and we must say to the politicians that there won't be a 'cooling-off' period. We won't stop now. The time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington. We will march through the South, through the Heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own 'scorched earth' policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground - nonviolently."

The evening before the march, Patrick O'Boyle - the archbishop of Washington, who was scheduled to give the rally's invocation - saw a copy of Lewis’ speech. A staunch Kennedy supporter, he alerted the White House and told Rustin that he would pull out of the event if Lewis was allowed to give those remarks.

The next day, as the marchers assembled in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the controversy over Lewis' speech continued behind the stage. An intense argument, with raised voices and fingers shaking, broke out between Lewis and Roy Wilkins, the director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Rustin persuaded O'Boyle to start the program with his invocation while an ad hoc committee battled with Lewis over the language of his speech. Finally, Randolph, the civil rights movement's beloved elder statesman, appealed to Lewis. "I've waited all my life for this opportunity," he said. "Please don't ruin it, John. We've come this far together. Let us stay together."

Lewis toned down the speech, but only slightly. His closing paragraphs no longer had the incendiary reference to William Tecumseh Sherman's march, but the address remained a powerful indictment of politicians' failure to deal boldly with discrimination. He criticized Kennedy's pending civil rights bill, filed two months earlier, for not going far enough in protecting blacks from police brutality and economic exploitation and for not including provisions to overturn Jim Crow laws that denied blacks their right to vote.

"We need a bill," Lewis said, "that will provide for the homeless and starving people of this nation. We need a bill that will ensure the equality of a maid who earns $5 a week in the home of a family whose total income is $100,000 a year."

"To those who have said, 'Be patient and wait,' we have long said that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now. We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen. We are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again. And then you holler, 'Be patient!' How long can we be patient? We want our freedom, and we want it now!"

Lewis removed his criticism of Kennedy for "trying to take the revolution out of the streets and put it into the courts," but he left in his attack on politicians in general. "By and large, American politics is dominated by politicians who build their careers on immoral compromise and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation. There are exceptions, of course. We salute those."[8]

Radical input

The march was designed to put pressure on the Kennedy administration and Congress to enact a civil rights bill and an anti-poverty bill, including a public works plan to generate jobs and an increase in the minimum wage. In drafting his speech, Lewis got input from many SNCC activists, including Julian Bond, Eleanor Holmes (now a Congresswoman representing Washington, D.C.), James Forman and others. They viewed it as a collective SNCC statement, not simply Lewis' own views, which is why Lewis was careful not to water down the talk's powerful condemnation of racism and politicians' complicity.[9]

Socialist Debs award

Every year since the mid 1960s the Indiana based Eugene V. Debs Foundation holds Eugene Debs Award Banquet in Terre Haute, to honor an approved social or labor activist. The first honoree, (1965) was John L. Lewis.[10]

Tribute to Socialist leader

In 1967, John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee said: "The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee salute Norman Thomas on his 80th birthday.

Norman Thomas has symbolized to millions of Americans the ideals of peace; freedom and equality. We are honored to pay him tribute."[11]


On September 11, 1964, Don Harris and other SNCC representatives visited several African countries. The goal of the trip was to invigorate civil rights workers frustrated by the slow pace of change and to introduce them to ideas emerging from newly formed African nations. “We were on the continent attempting to bridge the gap between Africa and the States,” Harris later wrote.

After the rest of the SNCC delegation returned to the United States, Harris and SNCC chairman John Lewis stayed in Africa a month longer to represent SNCC at Zambia’s independence ceremonies. Together, they visited Liberia, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Egypt. Harris came back convinced that SNCC should “establish an international wing….[since] the growing importance of Afro-Asian countries, their particular political and economic ideologies as well as their increasing influence in world opinion, must be communicated to the people that we work with.”[12]

Arrest at South African consulate

Steven Pitts February 15 2018.


"Bill Hall, Cleveland Sellers, Willie Ricks, James Forman, and John Lewis at South Africa’s Consulate Office in New York after being arrested for protesting in memory of the Sharpeville Massacre. Harry Belafonte provided their bail. Sidney Poitier was a member of the SNCC Fund Raising Brigade."


Two years later, in Selma, Lewis led a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge straight into a blockade set up by Alabama state troopers. The first nightstick came down on Lewis’s skull. The troopers used whips, horses, a hose wrapped in barbed wire. Along with Lewis, ninety demonstrators were injured. At the White House, Lyndon Johnson watched it all on television and deepened his resolve to push the Voting Rights Act.[13]


When Kennedy was assassinated three months after the March on Washington, President Lyndon Johnson, a Texan, drew on his political skills and the civil rights movement's momentum to get Congress to pass two pieces of civil rights legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as well as the anti-poverty programs often called the Great Society.

Lewis played a key role in those struggles. After the 1963 march, he worked with SNCC to register voters, including in the Freedom Summer campaign in Mississippi in 1964. The following year, he and Hosea Williams led 600 protesters on the first march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. Police attacked the marchers, and Lewis was beaten so severely that his skull was fractured. Before he could be taken to the hospital, he appeared before the television cameras calling on President Johnson to intervene in Alabama. The day, March 7, 1965, came to be known as "Bloody Sunday."

The Freedom Rides forced the federal government to implement laws and court rulings desegregating interstate travel. The voter registration drives, as well as public outrage against the violence directed at nonviolent protesters, helped secure passage of the Voting Rights Act.

The slow pace of change and the unrelenting attacks by Southern whites led some SNCC activists to question the nonviolent and integrationist tenets preached by King, Lawson, Lewis and others. Friction grew between various camps within SNCC. In 1966, Lewis lost his post as SNCC chairman to the more nationalist Stokely Carmichael.

For the next seven years, Lewis directed the Voter Education Project (VEP), which registered and educated about 4 million black voters. President Jimmy Carter then appointed Lewis director of ACTION, the federal agency that oversaw domestic volunteer programs.

In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council. Five years later, he was elected to Congress from an Atlanta district, and he has been re-elected every two years since. He has consistently ranked as one of the "most liberal" members of Congress, according to the National Journal.

After becoming an "insider," Lewis continued to advocate for progressive causes regarding poverty, civil rights and foreign affairs. He was an early opponent of the US invasion of Iraq. In 2002, he sponsored the Peace Tax Fund bill, a conscientious objection to military taxation legislation introduced yearly since 1972. In 2009, he was one of several members of Congress arrested outside the embassy of Sudan, where they had gathered to draw attention to the genocide in Darfur.

Throughout his career, Lewis, now 73, has encouraged young people to participate in political action and crusades for social justice. He has been a strong ally of students involved in the immigrant rights movement and a key supporter of the Dream Act. At a 2011 rally, Lewis said: "We all live in the same house. If any one of us is illegal, then we all are illegal. There is no illegal human being."

In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of dozens of prestigious awards and honorary degrees bestowed upon the civil rights icon.[14]

Nat'l C'ttee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities 'ttee

Circa 1962, Vice Chairmen of the Communist Party USA front, National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee were:[15]

As of May 1964, John Lewis, Chairman, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was listed as a sponsor of the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Freedomways connection


The Communist Party USA created Freedomways magazine as a propaganda vehicle with which to reach into the black intellectual and academic community. It was established in the mid-1960's by members of the CPUSA and well-documented sympathizers/supporters. It billed itself as "A Quarterly Review of the Freedom Movement."

Newly declassified documents from Operation SOLO, an FBI program to infiltrate the Communist Party USA, reveal that a journal called Freedomways, which was influential in the black community for decades, was subsidized by the Soviet and Chinese Communist Parties.

Freedomways has been called “one of the most influential African-American literary and political journals of the 1960s and 1970s.” It began in 1961 and ceased publication in 1986.

During the 25 years it served as a propaganda organ for the CPUSA and Soviet front organizations such as the World Peace Council, Freedomways published articles by such figures as:

Lewis, wrote a 1965 Freedomways article, “Paul Robeson: Inspirer of Youth,” about the famous actor and singer who had been a member of the CPUSA and admirer of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

“He [Robeson] talked and listened to the representatives of the Communist Party,” wrote Lewis, then national chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). “In many ways,” he wrote, “we of SNCC are Paul Robeson’s spiritual children.”[16]

GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee

Circa 1969, John Lewis, Southern Regional Council, Atlanta , was listed as a sponsor of the Socialist Workers Party led GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee .[17]

Sponsors of the Founding Conference of the NAARPR

The list of "sponsors" of "A Call" for a founding conference of the Communist Party USA front National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression May 11-13, 1973, included John Lewis of the Southern Voters Education Project .[18]

Political career

In 1981, Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council. He was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's 5th Congressional District since then. He is senior chief deputy whip for the Democratic Party in leadership in the House, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, a member of its Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, and chairman of its Subcommittee on Oversight.

"Congressional Pink Caucus"

In October 1989 the Nicaraguan Sandinista Government announced that they would no longer comply with the 19 month-old cease-fire agreement with the Contras. This had been considered a prime step forward for the "peace process" that was progressing slowly as part of the Arias Peace Plan.

A resolution was introduced in Congress deploring the Sandinistas' action. The Senate voted unanimously in favor, but in the House the vote was 379-29. All the 29 Congressmen voting against the resolution were Democrats.

The Council for Inter-American Security dubbed these 29 people the "Congressional Pink Caucus":

Alabama event


According to Danzy Senna, Stanford Daily Editorial staff;

Nine Stanford students joined leaders from across the nation last week in Selma, Ala., to re-enact and commemorate a 1965 voting rights march and discuss the unfinished business of the civil rights movement. The Stanford group, calling itself "Project Democracy II," went to record the history of the original march, called "Bloody Sunday" because it ended in bloodshed and violence, but in the process found a new chapter of history being written before its eyes. "I was figuring we'd meet some of our civil rights heroes, we'd sing some freedom songs and that would be it," said senior Stephen Ostrander, "but right away we realized that the struggle was still going on." The group found that the newest emphasis in the civil rights movement is on educational rights.

Present were Lyzette Settle, Dana Johnson, Kimera Koff, Jay Tucker and Michelle Graves marching behind a Black Student Union banner.[19] As well as Steve Phillips, Canetta Ivy, and Christy Brady.

Leaders of the week long event included Jesse Jackson, Rose Sanders, Hosea Williams, Coretta Scott King and Rep. John Lewis.


As a result of the pioneering work of SNCC, it was invited to send a delegation to tour several independent nations in Africa during the fall of 1964. The group spent two weeks in the Republic of Guinea at the special invitation of President Ahmed Sekou Toure. After this, John Lewis and Donald Harris continued the sojourn in Kenya and Zambia as well as other countries, while the other members of SNCC returned to the U.S.

James Forman, who was a leading member of the SNCC delegation to Africa, said in 1972: “[T]he trip for me was a culmination of my life in several ways. Africa as a black continent, as our homeland, had always been on my mind.” The SNCC executive secretary went on to say, “I had also dreamed for years of helping to build an organization to achieve popular power in the United States and then to relate it with one or more African countries for common revolutionary purposes.”[20]

Institute for Southern Studies

The Institute for Southern Studies was incorporated in the state of North Carolina on July 28, 1989. The founding members listed on the incorporation papers. The group is a spinoff of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Martinez Jobs Bill

In 1994, the Communist Party USA backed Martinez Jobs Bill (HR-4708), was co-sponsored by Democratic Party California Reps Howard Berman, Xavier Becerra, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Robert Scott (Va), Tom Foglietta (Pa), Bennie Thompson (Miss), John Lewis (Ga) and Ed Pastor (Az). Maxine Waters of California was a principal co-sponsor. [21]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 John Lewis Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[22]

As of February 20 2009 John Lewis was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[23]

Congressional Black Caucus

John Lewis is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[24]

Communist Party paper contribution


John Lewis contributed an article to the Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World, August 23,2003, page 8 "An Open letter to my Colleagues in Congress: Remembering the Legacy of Martin Luther King"

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[25]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

Theresa El-Amin connection

Theresa El-Amin August 24, 2003 ·


Theresa and John Lewis at the 40th MOW in August 2003.

Staffer's 2004 trip to Cuba

In June 2004, Michael Collins from the office of Congressman John Lewis spent four days in Havana, Cuba, for the purpose of "fact finding". The trip cost $1,280.16 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.[26]

Peace Pledge Coalition

In 2007 90 Members of Congress, pledged in an open letter delivered to President Bush: "We will only support appropriating funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office." The letter was initiated by the Peace Pledge Coalition. The Coalition was led by Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America, Bob Fertik, Medea Benjamin, CodePink, Bill Fletcher, co-founder of Center for Labor Renewal David Swanson,,, Progressive Democrats of America, Kevin Zeese, Voters for Peace, Democracy Rising, Brad Friedman, co-founder of Velvet Revolution, Bill Moyer, Backbone Campaign.

John Lewis signed the letter.[27][28]

DSA connections

John Lewis has long been close to Democratic Socialists of America.

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed John Lewis, Georgia 5 in that year's Congressional elections.[29]

Democratic Socialists of America event

Debs-Douglas Dinner program, Atlanta DSA, 2007

In November 2007, Rep. John Lewis was a special guest at the national Conference of Democratic Socialists of America held at the IBEW union hall in Atlanta, Georgia.[30]

Congressman Lewis Introduced Bernie Sanders to the conference.

The program of the first Atlanta Douglass-Debs Dinner, held at the Democratic Socialists of America conference on Friday November 9 was;[31]

Standing with DSA

Metro Atlanta DSA newsletter, Fall 2012, p4

On August 24, 2012, Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America's coalition partner Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Stand for Peace, held in front of Colony Square every Friday at noon, calling for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reductions in military spending and instead funding for human and environmental needs.

DSA members Barbara Segal and Marcia Borowski serve on the steering committee of the Georgia Coalition for Peace and Justice, which supports the Stand for Peace, and both were present at the anniversary. Pictured, DSA member Minnie Ruffin stands with US Representative John Lewis.[32]

Midwest Academy connection

John Lewis at the Midwest Academy

The Gala Host Committee, for the December 10, 2014 Midwest Academy Awards Ceremony included three Congressmembers, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Midwest Academy alumni.[33]

Khalid Kamau connection



  1. TBT April 2016: #KHALIDforSouthFulton Hosts Summit Between #BlackLivesMatter, SNCC & Atlanta Student Movement Leaders

Humbled to be following in the footsteps of a Civil Rights Legend (& my Congressman) John Lewis. #Defendthe5th — with Ruby Sales, Kristan Woolford and Charles A. Black.


Democratic Socialists of America member Khalid Kamau with Congressman John Lewis at Summit of #BlackLivesMatter & SNCC Leaders.

"Green New Deal"

From the Sunrise Movement:[34]


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has released a proposal for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal, a plan that would transform our economy and society at the scale needed to stop the climate crisis.

We have the momentum to make a Green New Deal real, but we need a critical mass of Congresspeople to support the proposal.

Take action on Dec. 10 to show Congress the Green New Deal is a top priority.

Congressional supporters by December 1 2018:

"Progressives' on "Ways & Means" committee

In 2008, the U.S. Congress' most powerful committee, "Ways & Means" was heavily influenced by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus including Chairman Charles Rangel, Pete Stark, John Lewis, Xavier Becerra and Jim McDermott.

Congressional Progressive CaucusVice Chairman Raul Grijalva and Danny Davis, joined "Ways & Means" late in the year.

Wellstone Action

In 2009 John Lewis was listed as a member of the advisory board[35] of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy[36] of that state’s late ‘progressive” Senator Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund combine to form a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to honor the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by continuing their work through training, educating, mobilizing and organizing a vast network of progressive individuals and organizations.

Mobilization to End Poverty speakers

The Mobilization to End Poverty Conference was held in Washington, D.C. from April 26 - 29, 2009, and was hosted by Sojourners and sponsored by World Vision.

The following were speakers at the conference:[37]

President Barack Obama was also invited to give a major address on poverty at the conference.

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included John Lewis.[38]

2009 letter on Colombia

From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.

Signatories included John Lewis.[39]

Cutting off military aid to Colombia

In November 2014, eight United States lawmakers sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in which they say that ongoing Afro-Colombian rights abuses show that “Colombia is not in full compliance” with human rights policies required to receive US military aid.

In the letter, coordinated by House Representative Hank Johnson’s office and signed by seven other members of Congress, the US politicians expressed “grave concern” over the human rights situation in cities on the Pacific coast, where the majority of inhabitants are Afro-Colombians.

Signatories were Hank Johnson, James McGovern, John Conyers, George Miller, John Lewis, Sam Farr, Barbara Lee, Emanuel Cleaver. [40]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included John Lewis. [41]

SNCC re-union

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee held its 50th anniversary conference at Shaw University here, April 15-18, 2010.

At its founding here on April 17, 1960, the now-legendary civil rights organization adopted its first formal program. Life long Communist Party USA activist Debbie Bell was a founding member, serving alongside Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis , Freedom Singer and Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Revs. David Forbes and James Lawson, Joyce Ladner and Dick Gregory.

All these founders spoke at the anniversary event. There were speeches too by Attorney General Eric Holder and actor Danny Glover.[42]

They agreed with Rep. Lewis when he characterized the election of President Obama as "down payment" and when he said we need to organize and push forward to cash in on that down payment..


In December 1963 Gloria Richardson attended a national meeting of SNCC leaders in Atlanta, where they discussed the future direction of the organization. Present were Bob Moses, Charles Sherrod, Frank Smith, John Lewis, Courtland Cox, Mike Thelwell, Stokely Carmichael, James Forman, Dottie Zellner, Ivanhoe Donaldson, Marion Barry, and Joyce Ladner, as well as staff and volunteers. Ella Baker and Howard Zinn led questioning to help the mostly young leaders work toward their vision for activism. In Atlanta they discussed and planned for an extended voting rights program to be conducted in the South the next year, an election year.[43]

CBTU 2009 conference

On May 23, 2009 Reps Hank Johnson, Marcia Fudge, and John Lewis addressed the opening session of the 38th Annual Convention of Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in Atlanta, GA.[44]

Endorsed Creamer's book

Rep. Lewis endorsed Robert Creamer's 2009 book "Listen to Your Mother: Stand Up Straight - How Progressive Can Win".

Creamer's classroom has been the frontlines and trenches of progressive organizing, from the Civil Rights Movement to the battle for children's health care. Here, he shows us how to replace fear with hope, to renew the call to commitment, and to create our society's next historical movement.[45]

21st Century Democrats

On July 28, 2010, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congressman Elijah Cummings and former "Green Jobs Czar", Van Jones spoke about the future of American politics at the kick-off event for 21st Century Democrats' 2010 Youth Leadership Speaker Series. The event was sponsored by Representative John Lewis and Senator Tom Harkin.[46] 21st Century Democrats is led by one-time DSAer, Jim Scheibel.

National Domestic Workers Alliance connection

Palak Shah March 7, 2015 ·


National Domestic Workers Alliance visit with the one and only Congressman John Lewis. It was an emotional experience full of love and gratitude for all of us. — with Congressman John Lewis and Marcia Olivo.

Harvey Gantt award

left to right; Congressman Jim Clyburn, Congressman John Lewis, Donna DeWitt, Clay Middleton, and Kenneth Riley, SC AFL-CIO President

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and South Carolina AFL-CIO President Emeritus Donna DeWitt, a civil rights and union organizer, were honored during the Tri-County Ecumenical Service, Jan. 27 at Morris Street Baptist Church, 25 Morris St, Charleston.

The service and award ceremony was part of the 41st annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, sponsored by the YWCA.

The Harvey Gantt award was presented to Lewis and Dewitt by U.S. Rep. James Clyburn and newly elected state AFL-CIO President Kenneth Riley. Lewis gave the keynote address.

Today, race is less important than class, Lewis said.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Latino. Our obligation and responsibility during the next few years is trying to build a powerful coalition between people” — of different economic classes, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and faith traditions — “to look out for the common good. We all live in the ‘American house’ together.”.[47]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. Lewis.[48]

Tribute to the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 18, 2013, City of Chicago Pays Tribute to the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

27th Annual Interfaith Breakfast Honors Chicagoan Timuel D. Black and Congressman John Lewis for their Lifetime of Service to Civil Rights

This morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel was joined by Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin at the 27th Annual Interfaith Breakfast to honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There is much to celebrate on this Martin Luther King Day, but we cannot be satisfied with past successes, but must remember our own obligation to carry Dr. King’s mission forward,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Whether we are fighting for strong schools or safer streets, we must begin, as Dr. King began, with the belief ‘that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.’”

Dr. King’s life work represented a steadfast commitment to ensuring and advancing equality for all and the City of Chicago is honoring these ideals by recognizing Timuel D. Black, Jr. as the inaugural recipient of the City of Chicago Champion of Freedom Award for his work as an educator, activist and community leader in the Civil Rights movement.

Civil Rights hero and Congressman John Lewis of Georgia served as keynote speaker, reflecting upon his time as young man marching alongside Dr. King and the need to continue to champion the struggle of human rights in the United States, whether in Congress or in our communities.[49]

Immigration rally arrest

More than 20,000 people - including thousands of unionists -- who marched down the Washington, D.C., Mall on Oct. 8, 2013, to demand the U.S. House immediately pass comprehensive immigration reform. And 200, including 90 union leaders and union members and eight members of the House of Representatives were arrested when, in an act of civil disobedience, they blocked a street in front of the Capitol.

Arrestees included Lisa Bergmann, SEIU 1199 member Delphine Clyburn and activist Joelle Fishman, both also from Connecticut, Communications Workers Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hall and Political Director Yvette Herrera, The Newspaper Guild's president, Bernie Lunzer, and Paul Booth, the top assistant to AFSCME's president. Among the nation's top labor leaders also taken into custody were AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Unite Here President D. Taylor and Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Among the lawmakers arrested were Reps.Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Joseph Crowley (D - N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Unions, led by contingents from the Service Employees and their Local 32BJ, the Laborers and Unite Here, contributed a large share of the demonstrators. Other unions represented included AFSCME, the Communications Workers/TNG, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFT and the United Farm Workers. [50]

Jobs with Justice


August 29th 2013 Atlanta Jobs with Justice joined the national Fast Food Workers’ Movement in helping to orchestrate a strike of fast food workers in Atlanta, GA. Fast food workers from various restaurants went on strike for the day and were supported in their actions by community members that joined them in front of two McDonald’s, a Church’s Chicken, a Popeye’s, and a Burger King. In the afternoon there was a large rally outside of a few fast food restaurants in downtown Atlanta. Civil Rights Leader and Congressman John Lewis joined the rally and gave words of strong support and encouragement.[51]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and Senator, Irving Penso, and Erica Pines were assigned as the contacts for Rep. Lewis.[52]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[53]

JStreet endorsement

The socialist infiltrated, anti-Israel "two state solution" JStreet PAC endorsed John Lewis in his 2014 Congressional race. [54]

JStreet endorsed him again in 2016.

Lewis is a longstanding supporter of Israel and vocal advocate of US leadership to broker a two-state solution.[55]

Colombian "Peace" process

According to a May 2014 FARC press release;

In an historic action, 245 politicians from the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland have expressed their collective support for the Colombian peace process in a letter to both sides in the current negotiations, the Government of Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - FARC. The politicians from the US Congress, UK Parliament, Irish Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly, many of whom supported the peace process in Northern Ireland and some of whom were directly involved, congratulate the two sides for having engaged in talks. In the letter, the signatories, from sixteen political parties, encourage the negotiating parties “to consider the possibility of a ceasefire and take the necessary measures to minimise the human cost of the conflict”, emphasising that for them “the only route to bring an effective and long-lasting peace to Colombia is through dialogue and compromise”. The letter expresses the hope that measures to guarantee the safety of civil society activists will be taken.

The letter was coordinated by Justice for Colombia), the British NGO with the support of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and a cross party group of politicians.

High profile signatories include (former) Congressman George Miller, leading US Democrat on the Labor & Education Committee, the "legendary US Civil rights leader" Congressman John Lewis and Members of the Congressional Monitoring Group on Labor Rights Jim McGovern, Sam Farr, Jan Schakowsky, Hank Johnson, Keith Ellison and Rosa DeLauro. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness from Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland party leaders Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP and Naomi Long of the Alliance, and leader of the Republic of Ireland’s governing Labour Party Eamon Gilmore also added their names.[56]

2014 WOLA Awards

The Honorary Committee for Washington Office on Latin America's 2014 Human Rights Award Ceremony and Benefit Gala, consisted of;[57]

Anniversary of King march

A march and rally marking the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington on Capitol Hill, beginning a day of events recalling the historic 1963 civil-rights demonstration.

The march along a 1.6-mile route downtown will pass several buildings with significance for the civil-rights era, including the Justice Department, U.S. Courthouse, Department of Labor and Washington Monument. The procession, to be led by a restored 1960s-era bus like that used by civil-rights activists the Freedom Riders, is expected to draw upward of 100,000 participants. The original march, which demanded jobs and equal rights for blacks, drew about 250,000.

The route ends about midday at the Lincoln Memorial, where President Barack Obama will speak while standing in the same spot on the memorial steps where Rev. King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, a stirring vision of equality, exactly five decades ago. Mr. Obama will cap two hours of official speeches between 1 and 3 p.m.

Wednesday's speakers include former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, as well as civil-rights protest hero Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, the only surviving speaker from the original 1963 event. D.C.

Mayor Vincent Gray also will speak. Other congressional speakers include Reps. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas), Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio), Donna Edwards (D., Md.) and Angus King (I., Maine). [58]

Midwest Academy 2013 Awards

Midwest Academy Awards, December 2013, went to;[59]

Drinan Award

The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award was established in 2006. The award is annually presented by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment |to peace and human justice".

The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.

Communist's "friend"


Massachusetts Communist Party USA leader Gary Dotterman, described John Lewis as " my hero, my comrade, my inspiration and my friend".

CARA event

Connecticut Alliance Vice President Win Heimer and Rep. John Lewis

John Lewis attended a Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans event, in East Hartford, June 6, 2014.

ARA endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed John Lewis in 2014, also 2012.[61]

H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act

The 2015 Bill H.R. 1534 would reduce the number of nuclear-armed submarines operated by the Navy, to prohibit the development of a new long-range penetrating bomber aircraft, to prohibit the procurement of new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Sponsor: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3rd district). Co-sponsors were Reps James McGovern, Mark Pocan, Peter DeFazio, John Conyers, Raul Grijalva, Michael Quigley, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sam Farr, Jackie Speier, Barbara Lee, Donna Edwards, John Lewis, Jared Polis, Louise Slaughter.[62]

Praising CAIR

“I extend my sincere compliments and admiration as you continue to make such a positive impact on the world.”- Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (September 2014). [63]

Throughout its history, CAIR has worked admirably on behalf of Muslims in the state of Georgia and across the country.”

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) (October 2017)

Funding for Colombia

March 28, 2016 Washington, D.C. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), and 14 of their House colleagues sent a letter to key House Appropriations Committee members asking them to fully fund President Barack Obama’s budget request for aid to Colombia.

Last month, President Obama announced a new aid package totaling $450 million for FY 2017 to assist the Colombian government in implementing a potential peace deal with the FARC guerillas after more than fifty years of violent conflict in the country. The funding would also support Colombia’s efforts to address security challenges including the threat of violent drug cartels.

“Now, just as the peace process is beginning to bear fruit, is not the time to reduce our financial assistance to our ally and partner,” the group wrote in a letter to Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), chair of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who serves as the subcommittee’s ranking member. “After decades of equipping Colombia to fight, we have a vested interest in helping the Colombian people to rebuild. We must continue the robust, bipartisan support which, at long last, has brought Colombia to the precipice of peace.”

Signers include, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Linda Sanchez, Rep. Charles B. Rangel, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Filemon Vela, Rep. Tony Cardenas, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, Rep. Keith Ellison, and Rep. Mark Pocan.[64]

McSurely connection


John Lewis with Al McSurely.

Anti-Trump protest

According to Barbara Joye, January 30, 2017 started with a demonstration of solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) that threatens a major water source and sacred sites. A crowd of about 500, including Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America members Dani Atlanta, Barbara Joye, Daniel Hanley and Reid Jenkins, marched from a rally at Piedmont Park to another at the North Ave. MARTA station. Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring reminded us that the Sabal Trail pipeline under construction through our state will take gas from fracking in Alabama to Florida so utilities can compete with solar energy.

Later, several thousand Atlantans massed and chanted for two hours in front of the south terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, protesting Trump's executive order excluding all refugees and banning citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the U.S. Many MADSA members took part, dispersed among the crowd.

Congressmen John Lewis and Hank Johnson, State Sens. Vincent Fort and Nan Orrock, State Rep. Stacey Abrams, and Mayor Kasim Reed joined us - though Reed's statement that Atlanta is a "welcoming city" sparked cries from the crowd for a sanctuary city, as advocated by speaker Azadeh Shahshahani, spokesperson for GA-J20, the coalition which presented that demand to Reed's office on Jan. 20 (MADSA is a coalition member).[65]

Supporting Keith Ellison


In 2017 Reps John Lewis, Rick Nolan, Pramila Jayapal and Luis Gutierrez all endorsed Keith Ellison for DNC Chair.

"Confronting Racism In Our Hearts"

John Lewis was the featured speaker at a November 13 2017 symposium at D.C.’s Georgetown University, "Confronting Racism In Our Hearts And In Our Nation". It attempted to confront the rising tide of white supremacist racism in the U.S., manifested by the neo-Nazi, alt-right, KKK fatal riot in Charlottesville, Va., and similar events.

The session, with other progressive Protestant and Catholic religious leaders, played to a standing-room only crowd in the campus’ Dahlgren Chapel. All speakers generally agreed that change, however painful, starts from within.

Lewis, Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory, the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Georgetown History and African-American Studies Professor Marcia Chatelain agreed more legislation is not the whole answer, while emphasizing restoring the powers of the federal Voting Rights Act.[66]

HANA Center connection


John Lewis with Inhe Choi and the HANA Center, November 15 2017.

No Trump

Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Jackson, Mississippi’s revolutionary mayor, would not be sharing the stage with President Donald Trump at the grand opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum this December 9 2017.

“I believe that Trump’s presence is a distraction. His policies don’t reflect his statements that this is a movement that will bring people together. Trump has not demonstrated a continuing dedication to the ideals the civil rights movement upholds,” Lumumba said

Trump will no longer be speaking at the museum opening—since the announcement that he would was met with justifiable rage and disgust—but he will still be in attendance.

To add further insult to injury, Lumumba learned that he would also not have the opportunity to speak at the historic event.

“I had some words that I wanted to say,” Lumumba said, “but when I found out that I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to speak, I decided that I didn’t want to share the stage with Trump.”

Instead, Lumumba will hold a press conference with U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and NAACP President Derrick Johnson. The conference will take place at the same time as the museum opening.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), will also not be in attendance because of Trump’s "toxic" presence.

“President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum,” Thompson and Lewis said in a joint statement.[67]

Senior Advisory Committee NDI

In 2018 John Lewis served on the Senior Advisory Committee of the National Democratic Institute.[68]

Peace Action

Peace Action endorsed John Lewis in the 2018 election cycle.[69]

Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founders

In August 2018 Medicare For All Congressional Caucus founding members included Representative John Lewis.

Medicare for All Act

In February 2019 Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. By May 29 she had 110 co-sponsors including Rep. John Lewis.


The following are past and present staff:[70]

External links



  1. redirecttemplate:Institute for Southern Studies

Template:Eugene V. Debs Award recipients

  2. Letters of Support for CAIR accessed January 26 2020
  3. Huffington Post, From Organizer To Elected Official, Peter Dreier, September 8, 2008
  4. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  5. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  7. [, The New Yorker, The President’s Hero by David Remnick February 2, 2009]
  8. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  9. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  10. Eugene V. Debs Foundation homepage, accessed march 14, 2011
  11. Arkansas Democrat, February 1964, page 44
  12. [1]
  13. [, The New Yorker, The President’s Hero by David Remnick February 2, 2009]
  14. Truthout, 50 Years After the March on Washington, John Lewis Is Still Marching for Justice Tuesday, 20 August 2013 10:30By Peter Dreier, Truthout | News
  15. National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee letterhead circa 1962
  16. AIM Soviets Funded Black “Freedom” Journal, Cliff Kincaid — May 4, 2012
  17. Undated, GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee letterhead circa 1969
  18. Revolutionary Activities Directed Toward the Administration of Penal or Correctional Systems, Part 4, HISC, Hearings, July 25, 1973, in part, p. 1654 and additional sponsors, p. 1655, to "A Call to a Founding Conference for a National Defense Organization Against Racist and Political Repression"
  19. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 25, 14 March 1990]
  20. WW Youth played pivotal role in civil rights, Black Power movements By Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire Published Feb 11, 2010
  21. PWW Support for jobs bill grows, Evelina Alarcon, Oct. 1 1994, page 3
  22. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  23. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  24. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  25. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  26. American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  27. War Is A Crime .org, Peace Pledge Coalition
  28. [ Sign the Pledge for Peace petition. Bob Fertik August 19, 2007
  29. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  31. DSA National Convention November 9-11, 2007
  32. Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America newsletter, September 2012
  33. MWA homepage 2014 GALA HOST COMMITTEE
  34. [2]
  37. Mobilization to End Poverty website: Speakers
  38. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  39. Latin America Working Group, Get Your Representative to Sign a Letter Supporting Human Rights in Colombia
  40. Colombia Reports, US lawmakers question Colombia military aid over ongoing rights abuses Nov 10, 2014 posted by Joel Gillin
  41. [ American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  43. [Ransby, Barbara (2003). Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 9780807862704.]
  44. [, CBTU 38th Annual Convention of Coalition of Black Trade Unionists in Atlanta, GA]
  45. Democracy Partners
  46. 21st Century Democrats: 2010 Youth Leadership Speaker Series (accessed on Feb. 9, 2011)
  47. FB JAN 27 2013 Harvey Gantt Triumph Award - Congressman John Lewis and Donna Dewitt
  48. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  49. [ Office of the Mayor, January 18, 2013 City of Chicago Pays Tribute to the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr]
  50. [PW,More than 200 arrested at immigration rights rally in D.C. by: Mark Gruenberg October 9 2013 ]
  51. Talking Union,Rep. John Lewis Supports Atlanta Jobs with Justice 8/29 Fast Food Strike Posted on September 1, 2013
  52. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  53. The WaPo, Nelson Mandela memorial: Who’s in attendance, By Terri Rupar December 10, 2013
  54. J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
  55. JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
  57. WOLA, WOLA's 2014 Human Rights Award Ceremony and Benefit Gala
  58. [Williamson, Elizabeth. Wall Street Journal (Online) [New York, N.Y] 27 Aug 2013: n/a.
  59. FB, Midwest Academy 1 December 2013
  60. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation website. Council for a Livable World 50th Anniversary Celebration
  61. PAF
  62., H.R. 1534, The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act
  63. [ What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  64. [3]
  65. MADSA Jan. 29: Solidarity With Standing Rock, Refugees, Muslims posted by BARBARA JOYE | 21.80sc January 30, 2017
  66. Rep. John Lewis: “Past few months have been hell on wheels” November 15, 2017 10:49 AM CST BY MARK GRUENBERG
  67. The Root, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba Declines to Share Mississippi Civil Rights Museum Stage with White Supremacist-in-Chief Kirsten West Savali December 9, 2017
  68. [4]
  69. [5]
  70. Accessed 12/07/2011