July 20, 2020—On behalf of the staff of Vital Strategies, President and CEO José Luis Castro issued the following statement on the death of American civil rights icon John Lewis.
“The U.S. has lost a model of hope and bravery. The passing of John Lewis marks the end of an era led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with Congressman Lewis by his side, heroes who fought for progress on civil rights. His tireless commitment to the fight for equality and justice is one we honor today and will carry forward in our commitment to equity and a world where every person everywhere is protected by a strong public health system.
“Congressman Lewis fought for the right to vote, for desegregation and for Black Americans to be treated equally. He spoke out against bigotry, police brutality and the abuse of power. His body literally bears the scars of beatings and burnings from those who opposed integration. John Lewis’ legacy shows us that change is possible, but not inevitable—that we must commit to bold action and the effort that it takes to bring about a more just society.
“Congressman Lewis remarked of this moment that there will be no turning back from the global uprising against racial inequality in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Lewis’ life is an inspiration to a new generation of activists, legislators and citizens to bear his torch, ensuring that the demand for greater equity is matched by the resolve to bring about concrete action.”
About Vital Strategies
Vital Strategies is a global health organization that believes every person should be protected by a strong public health system. We work with governments and civil society in more than 70 countries to design and implement evidence-based strategies that tackle their most pressing public health problems. Our goal is to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as rapidly as possible.