A message from President & CEO Jeff Mortensen
U.S. Representative John Lewis
On July 17, 2020, U.S. Representative John Lewis died at the age of 80 after a six-month battle with cancer.
Representative Lewis was a civil rights icon who fearlessly fought for human rights and racial equity. He labored to create a society where all people have access to resources and opportunities. Many revered him as an individual who stepped boldly into an issue and forged ahead, even in the face of adversity and risk to his life. His legacy stands as a reminder of the uncommon courage and determination it takes to affect change and progress.
Minnesota State Senator B. Robert Lewis
On April 25, 1979, another Lewis, Minnesota State Senator B. Robert Lewis, died in office of a heart attack at the age of 47. B. Robert Lewis was the first African American to serve in the Minnesota Senate. He sponsored legislation to help victims of family violence. Because of this, 360 Communities named its Lewis House emergency domestic and sexual violence shelters after him.
Both of these men were driven by a fierce determination to elevate the well-being of people affected by inequities in society. They used courage with action to make system changes and provide opportunities that have a lasting impact. It was a lifetime of work, not a quick fix.