As the nation mourns the loss of a civil rights giant, Congressman John Lewis, we are also reflecting on his prodigious life. Every day this week, we’ll share insight from some of our affiliated CEOs in Georgia who had the honor of meeting and working with Congressman Lewis.
Born on February 21, 1940, in Troy, Ala., Lewis was third of 10 children. By 1961, the congressman became one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Seven white men and six Black men joined together, determined to ride from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, La., to show Americans that being a united nation was possible.
Lewis won his bid to represent the people of Georgia’s 5th congressional district in 1987. He faithfully served the citizens of Georgia and the nation until his death, July 17, 2020.
“Congressman Lewis was the personification of the pursuit of the credit union mantra of people helping people, but more importantly, of the ideals of equality and love, to which we all should aspire, now more than ever. He was the consciousness that we all need to awaken to as we continue to move towards racial equity in America. John consistently sought ‘good trouble’ his entire life, and I’m encouraged, by his influence on youth organizations such as those that encourage voting and the continuation of the legacy of passive resistance, that his presence will always be felt as we continue the peaceful but urgent fight for equality for all.”
-Allen Upchurch, President/CEO – Credit Union of Atlanta