WASHINGTON – Today, the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to create the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship within the Fulbright Scholarship Program was advanced out of markup by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In August, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced the legislation which now awaits a vote by the full House of Representatives.
The John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship will support scholars who want to study nonviolent civil rights movements abroad. Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-1) is co-leading introduction of the bill in the House of Representatives. Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tim Scott (R-SC) will introduce 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. He was also a hero across the globe with his message of nonviolent social change inspiring people to get into Good Trouble in countless countries. Congressman Lewis also knew that America is the world’s moral leader. 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 resonates two years after his passing. I look forward to members of both chambers of Congress channeling our inner John 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. As the ranking member on the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, 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 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.”
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.”
Linda Earley Chastang Esq., President and CEO of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation said:
“There is no more fitting a tribute to Congressman Lewis’ legacy or memorial to his impact on social and political change around the world. People all over the world have been inspired by the tactics of the Civil Rights Movement in our country to bring change in their own countries. Congressman Lewis observed that: ‘They were not convinced by our bombs, by our missiles or by our guns. They were inspired by the ability of non-violent direct action to bring peaceful change, dramatic change in the most powerful nation on Earth.’ The bill introduced by you in the House and John Hickenlooper in the Senate does exactly what we would envision: bring together and train the next generation of activists and advocates around the world on the history and use of nonviolence as the tool for change.”
Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.