Congresswoman Nikema Williams Advances Legislation to Promote Congressman John Lewis’ Legacy Globally

WASHINGTON Today, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) advanced the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The legislation now heads to a vote by the full House of Representatives. The John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act is bipartisan, bicameral legislation to create the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship within the Fulbright Scholarship Program. The fellowship will support scholars who want to study nonviolent civil rights movements abroad.

The John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act was introduced earlier this year on what would have been Congressman Lewis’ 83rd birthday. The bill has 82 bipartisan cosponsors, including HFAC Ranking Member Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn (SC-6), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (NV-04) and Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (CA-43). Similar legislation was led by Congresswoman Williams in the 117th Congress and passed the House of Representatives. Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-1) is co-leading introduction of the bill in the House of Representatives. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Click here for the text of The John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act

Congresswoman Williams (GA-05) said:

“Congressman Lewis was my friend, mentor, and predecessor. His message of nonviolent social change inspires people to get into Good Trouble in countless countries. By creating the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act, we are helping future generations spread Congressman Lewis’ moral clarity well beyond our borders. Having bipartisan, bicameral support for the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act demonstrates that Congressman Lewis’ message continues to resonate. I look forward to members of both chambers of Congress channeling our inner Congressman Lewis and quickly passing the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act.” 

Congresswoman Mace (SC-1) said: 

“Congressman Lewis was a true trailblazer and fighter for civil rights in our country. His dedication to nonviolent civil protest is something we can all learn from in our contentious times. I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than the creation of a scholarship program to study the work he devoted his life to.”

Senator Ossoff (D-GA) said: 

“Congressman Lewis’ life-long commitment to civil rights, nonviolence, and universal human dignity remain essential to local, national, and global progress. No one’s ideas or approach to public life have had more of an impact on me than Congressman Lewis’. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the Congressman’s vision for a better world remains an inspiration for future generations.”

Senator Hickenlooper (D-CO) said: 

“There’s no better way to honor the giant that John Lewis was than to support young people following in his trailblazing footsteps.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District on the exclusive Financial Services Committee. She is a champion of voting rights and builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams is committed to closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of your ZIP code or bank account.

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