John R. Lewis was a towering figure in the history of this country who dedicated his life to fighting for the ideals that represent the very best of America. A man of unparalleled moral courage, he endured tremendous opposition and physical violence, yet never wavered in the struggle to advance an equal and just society, or in his commitment to remain encouraged. As he famously said, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.” At the end of his life, he led us in the fight for civil rights, he led us in the cause of political unity, and he led us in a spiritual purpose for doing good for all humankind. I join the Brookings community in mourning his passing and working to advance the values he stood for.
Brookings President John R. Allen statement on the passing of John R. Lewis
July 18, 2020