Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. joins the nation in mourning the passing of Congressman John Lewis, a civil rights icon and member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. The entire Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. family extends our condolences to the family, friends and staff of Congressman John Lewis  

Born in Troy, Alabama in 1940, John Lewis saw and experienced the effects of the segregated South.  As a teenager, he was inspired by the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the outcome of Montgomery Bus Boycott. Whenever and wherever John Lewis saw an injustice he confronted it.

As a student at Fisk University, John Lewis helped organize sit-ins with the Nashville Student Movement to end segregation of the lunch counters in downtown Nashville. John Lewis was also an original Freedom Rider, a group of 13 integrated individuals, that rode from Washington, DC to New Orleans, fighting against racism and other injustices.  On August 28, 1963 as the chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), John Lewis joined Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others as the youngest speaker to address thousands in our nation's capital regarding jobs and freedom.  In 1965, he suffered a fractured skull on "Bloody Sunday" in an attempt to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge fighting for the right of Black people to register and vote.  He was not afraid to sacrifice himself for our freedom.

As a Congressman for 34 years, John Lewis served Georgia's 5th district and our country with the same passion and desire to ensure that America's promise of "justice for all" included "justice" regarding jobs, voting, health care, safety and opportunity for all Americans.

In his memory, Sigma Gamma Rho will continue to fight against voter suppression, for police reform, equal access to healthcare and education and economic empowerment.  We will keep our eyes on the prize.
Continuing in the Struggle,

Deborah Catchings-Smith
24th International Grand Basileus
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.