Spelman College announced it will create an endowed scholarship to honor the memory of civil rights icon and longtime Congressman John Lewis who died on Friday.
The scholarship will provide a one-time tuition contribution of $10,000, awarded every year to five Social Justice Fellows.
“We believe that the best way to honor Congressman Lewis is to lift up those who are carrying out his work,” said Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president of Spelman College, in a statement. “As we navigate today’s turbulent waters, we draw inspiration and courage for our challenges from the Congressman’s decades of selfless sacrifice, ardent advocacy and steadfast commitment for not just racial equality, but equity for all. “
Lewis died Friday after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80.
Lewis was revered for his historic participation in civil rights marches and for his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He was beaten and jailed for his activism in the 1960s but remained firm in his avowal of nonviolence. As a U.S. congressman, he was known for his humility but also his bold leadership on issues to do with equity and social justice.