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Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on the Passing of Civil Rights Icons John Lewis and C. T. Vivian

July 18, 2020

Lansing, MI—Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, has issued the following statement on behalf of the Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights on the passing of John Lewis and C. T. Vivian.

"The loss of civil rights icons Congressman John Lewis and C. T. Vivian on the same day is almost more than a heartbroken nation can bear. But the lesson of these men’s lives is that no matter what obstacles we face, we must never stop striving to build a better tomorrow. Both men dedicated their lives to the cause of civil rights, working side-by-side with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act – laws that gave Black Americans some measure of hope for a more equitable future, and assured them they would now have a voice in the life of the nation. For their lifetime of service to others and the cause of justice, both men were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - fittingly from President Barack Obama, this nation’s first Black President. The best way we can honor the sacrifice and service of these two distinguished warriors is to carry forward their fight, as John Lewis said, to redeem the soul of America."

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.


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