Civil Rights and Social Justice

ABA honors Congressman and Civil Rights icon John Lewis

Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights leader John Lewis will receive the Thurgood Marshall Award from the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice on Saturday, Aug. 10, during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.  

Congressman John Lewis will receive the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall Award honoring  those who help advance civil liberties and human rights.

Congressman John Lewis will receive the ABA’s Thurgood Marshall Award honoring those who help advance civil liberties and human rights.

“I am deeply honored to be the only nonlawyer to receive the Thurgood Marshall Award at the American Bar Association dinner,” Lewis said.  “To receive an award named after one of our greatest lawyers and justices of the Supreme Court is also very meaningful to me.  All I have tried to do in my life is to help the cause of democracy wherever I could.”

The Thurgood Marshall Award honors those who contribute to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties and human rights.

Wilson Adam Schooley, chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, calls Lewis “a legendary lion of the civil rights movement,” adding that “John Lewis still roars, and we all need to hear his clarion call.” 

Lewis has served as the U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1986. As a college student, Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations and participated in Freedom Rides to challenge the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South. A devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence, Lewis was arrested more than 40 times and endured physical attacks and serious injuries for the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement.

“I often think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Sen. Robert Kennedy and so many others who did not live to see these days,” Lewis said. “I will accept this award on behalf of all the men and women in the latter half of the 20th century who struggled and sacrificed to make this a better nation.”

The Thurgood Marshall Award Dinner is at 8 p.m. at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Grammy Award winning artist, Rhiannon Giddens will perform.

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