Voto Latino Mourns the Loss of John Lewis

Washington, DC – The United States of America has lost a warrior for truth and justice in the death of Representative John Lewis. One of the original 13 Freedom Riders and a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Mr. Lewis’ lifelong commitment to the liberation and freedom of Black people in the United States became a model upon which all could base their own struggles for equality. Enduring racism and violence, including at the hands of the state, Mr. Lewis persevered to become known as the “conscience of the Congress.” His struggles and achievements continue to inspire greater conscientiousness and tenacity in all of us who seek to create a more just country. 

“John Lewis will continue being our nation’s moral compass and we create some good trouble to keep his legacy alive,” said María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “His passion and allegiance to the potential virtue of the United States inspired countless activists, politicians, and new leaders in this country. I was fortunate enough to know him. Now, more than ever, his legacy and vision will guide us in overcoming our current crises. He will be missed by all who knew him, all who looked up to him and all who, in him, recognize what it takes to truly create real, lasting change in America. John Lewis will be remembered as one of the greatest American heroes.”

Born in 1940 to rural sharecroppers, Mr. Lewis was often the youngest organizer and participant in lunch counter sit-ins and bus boycotts across the South. At 23, he addressed the same crowd that would later hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have A Dream speech during the March on Washington. In 1986, he was elected to the House of Representatives in Georgia’s 5th district and would go on to be reelected 16 times. John Lewis was a champion of all peoples, classes, and creeds. His determination to build a country that treats all equally and with dignity will be carried on. 

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Voto Latino is a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. Through innovative digital campaigns, culturally relevant programs and authentic voices, we shepherd the Latinx community towards the full realization of its political power.