American Patriot of Character Award
“The life of John Lewis exemplifies the civic virtues essential for sustaining and expanding the American belief in ‘liberty and justice for all,’” said Charles Haynes, Character.org’s board chair. “A man of unparalleled courage, compassion and integrity, John Lewis embodies what it means to be an American patriot of character.”
As a child Congressman Lewis experienced injustice for the first time when he was denied access to a local library. Deeply impacted by his experiences and inspired by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Lewis joined the Civil Rights Movement. He helped organize sit-ins and joined the Freedom Rides in 1961. Lewis became known as one of the ‘Big Six’ of the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 23, Lewis was named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); and spoke alongside Dr. King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington.
Lewis is currently serving his 15th term with the Congressional District of Atlanta, Georgia; amounting to nearly 30-years of service to the area.
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