MELANIE L. CAMPBELL, PRESIDENT & CEO OF THE NATIONAL COALITION ON BLACK CIVIC PARTICIPATION PAYS TRIBUTE TO THE LATE CIVIL RIGHTS ICONS, CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS AND REV. DR. C. T. VIVIAN
WASHINGTON, DC (July 18, 2020) — Today, Melanie L. Campbell, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and National Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), offers her reflections regarding the passing of Civil Rights icons, Rep. John Lewis and Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian:
“Today, my heart is heavy to know and accept that our community, nation and world has lost two leaders, icons and giants of the Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Justice Movements—-Congressman John Lewis and Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian. I was blessed to have known, admired and learned from both of these servant leaders, first, as a student organizer at Clark College (Clark Atlanta University) in the 1980s and also having had the honor to work with them in the fight for civil rights, voting rights, social justice and Black voter empowerment throughout my civil rights leadership journey for over 30 years.
Congressman Lewis and Dr. Vivian risked their lives during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s; and they never stopped fighting for freedom, justice and equality until God called them home on the same day to join the ancestors. I believe that we must honor their legacy by continuing to organize and mobilize our people to vote in record numbers in the 2020 Elections and elevate the fight against systemic racism, the unjust killings of our people by police and vigilantes. We must also continue to protest and fight for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, workers’ rights, economic, education, environmental, health & gender justice and all forms of injustice. Further, we honor their legacy by paying it forward by investing in and supporting a new generation of leaders, activists and organizers.
We express our deepest condolences to the Lewis and Vivian families in the loss of your loved ones. Thank you for sharing them with our nation and world. Thank you, Dr. Vivian and Congressman Lewis, for your unwavering servant leadership. ‘You fought the good fight and finished the race’ and I am sure God said when you arrived in heaven, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ (Matthew 25:23). And although earth is crying, we know heaven is shouting and rejoicing. Rest in peace and power.”