Remembering John Lewis

July 18, 2020 - Becky Jensen

Former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard Reflects on the Life of Civil Rights Leader and U.S. Representative John Lewis

(East Lansing, MI) Former Governor of Michigan James Blanchard has issued the following statement on the passing of long-time colleague and friend U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-GA 5th District). 

“John Lewis will be forever remembered as the conscience of the civil rights movement in America. He kept the flame of freedom alive. There were, at times, other prominent leaders in the movement, but as the years went by, John Lewis kept their memories and their hopes and dreams alive as well. The MSU community will always remember the night of October 30, 2017, when John Lewis spoke about his life, his hopes and the power of forgiveness to 900 spellbound students, faculty and community leaders. I interviewed him for over an hour. You could have heard a pin drop. We were honored to have history revealed to us by one the most kind and humble public servants in American history. John Lewis was my friend and he was everyone’s friend. To say he will be missed is an understatement. He will be forever revered, “ said Governor Blanchard.

“Today we mourn the loss of an American icon of the Civil Rights movement in America. Rep. John Lewis truly taught us all about the importance of fostering dignity and respect for every person. As we work to create a more equitable and just world, we will forever look to the work of Rep. Lewis for inspiration,“ said Dr. Mary Finn, Interim Dean, College of Social Science.

Rep. Lewis was featured as a speaker in 2017 (photo below) as part of the Jim Blanchard Public Service Forum, housed in the Department of Political Science, within the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Rep. Lewis lost his battle with cancer and died on Friday July 17, 2020.

Jim Blanchard Talks with John Lewis