NASW mourns the Death of Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis

Jul 18, 2020


Oh my, what a life of service to others.

Oh my, he fought his whole life so others could live free.

Oh my, he stood ten feet tall.

Oh my, what a tremendous loss for us all.

I remember June 20, 2018, 11:00 am EST.  On that day and at that hour, like so many others days in his life, Congressman John Lewis stood tall for others.

This time he was standing tall for immigrant children and demanding that president Trump rescind the Zero Tolerance Executive order…not next month…not next week…not tomorrow…but right now!  By 2:00 pm EST, President Trump had rescinded the order.

I remember the children, at the Zero Tolerance press conference, gathering around Congressman Lewis when he cried and shed tears because he was so upset that immigrant children and families were being treated with so much disrespect.  The children hugged and comforted him, not knowing how much this great man had done over his lifetime for millions and millions of others.

When I first met Congressman Lewis, he was so excited to learn that I was a social worker.  He looked deep within me with so much admiration for the profession I represented.  I felt so humbled to be in his presence, so humbled as he shared personal stories about his work with civil rights leader Whitney M. Young (probably his favorite social worker).

Oh my, I feel his loss greatly.

Oh my, what a life.

Oh my, what a man.

Oh my, millions of us must now step up.

Angelo McClain