[Editor’s note: The following statement was issued by JACL Executive Director David Inoue and Public Affairs VP Sarah Baker.]
The Japanese American Citizens League joins the rest of the nation in deep sadness at the passing of Congressman John Robert Lewis.
Congressman Lewis first rose to prominence through his leadership during the civil rights movement of the 1960s as a coordinator for the 1963 March on Washington and 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. JACL is proud to have joined the congressman in both these seminal events in our nation’s history.
In addition to these amazing accomplishments, Lewis was a visionary leader in advocating for the rights of so many in this country: He was a leader in advocacy for education and healthcare rights, and for communities that face discrimination such as immigrants and the LGBTQIA+ community. He could be counted on as a reliable ally in any fight for social justice.
Congressman Lewis once said, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something.” May we all follow his example and continue to meet our moral obligations as Americans and live up to the ideals that he represented.