Congresswoman Nikema Williams Introduces Bipartisan Legislation Honoring John Lewis

WASHINGTON On Tuesday, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced two bills to honor Congressman John Lewis. The legislation was introduced on what would have been Congressman Lewis’ 83rd birthday. 

The John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship Act is bipartisan, bicameral legislation to create the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship within the Fulbright Scholarship Program. Similar legislation was led by Congresswoman Williams in the 117th Congress. The 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 Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) 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. 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 on what would have been his 83rd birthday. 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 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 Williams also introduced a resolution to honor Congressman Lewis’ life and career. The resolution has 57 original co-sponsors including: Assistant Democratic Leader Clyburn (SC-6), Ranking Member Maxine Waters, and Ranking Member Gregory Meeks (NY-05). Click here for the text of the resolution. 

The resolution reads in part: 

“Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives honors the life and legacy of John Robert Lewis, an American hero and civil rights leader who faced brutality and suffered grievous injuries while remaining steadfastly committed to the nonviolent struggle for civil rights;  dedicated his life to defending the dignity of all people and building the ‘Beloved Community’; and spent more than 3 decades as a Member of Congress defending and strengthening civil rights; and commends John Robert Lewis for his towering achievements in the nonviolent struggle for civil rights.” 


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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