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Civil Rights Leader To Speak Thursday

By Richard Kavesh

When people think of the heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the names that invariably come to mind include Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, the Little Rock Nine, the Freedom Riders, and Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘€“ giants all.

Another giant of the civil rights movement will be speaking this Thursday evening at the annual dinner of the Nyack branch of the NAACP: Georgia Congressman John R. Lewis. Congressman Lewis is still fighting for liberty and justice for all Americans and voted in favor of the healthcare reform legislation that just squeaked through Congress.

On that same day as the House of Representatives cast that historic vote, Americans were reminded that racism is in our country is far from dead: a protestor shouted the ‘€œn’€ word at Lewis as he climbed the steps of the ‘€œpeoples’ house,’€ the United States Capitol.

In honor of Congressman Lewis and his decades at the forefront of the civil rights movement, the Nyack Village Board designated this Thursday as John Lewis Day in our village. The following resolution highlights just some of Congressman Lewis’ most important accomplishments.

Unanimous resolution adopted by the Nyack Village Board on March 25th, 2010

WHEREAS U.S. Congressman John R. Lewis has been a leader in the American civil rights movement and a former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and

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WHEREAS Congressman Lewis has played a key role in the struggles for racial equality since the 1960’s and has represented the people of the State of Georgia’s 5th Congressional district since 1987, and

WHEREAS Congressman Lewis participated in the Freedom Rides to desegregate the South in the 1960’s, organized bus boycotts and non-violent protests in the fight for voter and racial equality, and even suffered a fractured skull at the hands of Alabama State police as he led a march of 600 people in Selma, Alabama in 1965, and

WHEREAS, Congressman Lewis was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington and worked in the Carter administration running its Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Foster Grandparent Program, and.

WHEREAS upon his election to Congress in 1986 Congressman Lewis was only the second African-American to represent the State of Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction and has been re-elected 10 times and

WHEREAS Congressman Lewis helped to welcome the Dalai Lama of Tibet to Atlanta and Emory University in 2007 and

WHEREAS Congressman Lewis is the speaker of honor at the 2010 annual dinner of the Nyack branch of the NAACP

NOW THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Nyack Village Board declares Thursday, April 8th, 2010 as John R. Lewis day in the Village of Nyack and commends and honors Congressman Lewis for his lifelong commitment to liberty and justice for all Americans, with no exceptions.

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See also: Journal News, 3/18/2010, NAACP Legal Defense Fund


Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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