Nyack College CRR Director Perez on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis

Rep. Lewis at the 50th anniversary of the 2015 Selma March to Montgomery, Alabama.

In the wake of Nyack College announcing its new Center for Racial Reconciliation (CRR), the campus community remembers the life of U.S. Congressman John Lewis, a proponent of racial reconciliation and social justice who died yesterday at 80 years old. Congressman Lewis was a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Civil Rights Movement and served as a representative for more than three decades.

Dr. Nathaniel Perez

On the passing of Mr. Lewis, Director of Nyack’s Center for Racial Reconciliation Dr. Nathaniel Perez remarked, “The life and legacy of Rep. John Lewis is one that very few can rival. He modeled impeccable strength and courageousness until the very end. Mr. Lewis was a man chosen by God and lived a life worthy of the calling he received. Our world will truly miss his leadership and we are left with the charge and moral obligation to fight against all that is unjust.”

Another Civil Rights activist and comrade of Dr. King, Rev. C.T. Vivian also died yesterday at 95 years of age. Rev. Vivian was an author and founder of the C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. in Atlanta, GA. A third Civil Rights leader, Rev. Joseph Lowery, a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. King, passed away in March at the age of 98.

These three iconic servant leaders are each the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom—Rev. Lowery, in 2009; Rep. Lewis, in 2011 and Rev. Vivian, in 2013.

Photo credit: marybphoto.com