We are deeply saddened by the passing of Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon and co-founder of the Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition.

Congressman Lewis was a powerful voice of conscience and a moral compass of our time. Just as he marched to demand equality during the civil rights movement, his energetic advocacy for justice never stopped. In a society that often seems to reject idealism, he encouraged us to remember that working toward a fair and just world is not a lofty goal, but an essential aspiration. His leadership inspired millions to be on the right side of history by continually pursuing justice and righteousness. Through his example, he reminded us that being an activist is a life-long commitment.

The Atlanta Black-Jewish Coalition owes its founding in 1982 to Congressman Lewis. From the beginning of his activism, he knew that creating change starts with building relationships. The Black and Jewish communities have a long history of working together, most notably during the civil rights movement. When the Voting Rights Act was up for renewal in 1983, he helped to lead the charge for renewing the civil rights legislation and reinvigorating the bond between our communities. He reminded us that we “walked together, marched together, bled together, and, in some cases, died together.” John Lewis’s commitment to the Black-Jewish relationship has produced tens of thousands of meaningful conversations, friendships, and activism achievements. We strive to honor his memory and hope to further his legacy of “good trouble” through working unwaveringly toward a better world for all.

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