From Staff Reports

NASHVILLE, TN — Fisk University’s recently launched institute for social justice is being named to honor the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Fisk alumni.

“Congressman John R. Lewis embodied the very best of humanity — his kindness, perseverance and unwavering commitment to fighting for those in need set an example for all the young people who are looking to create a better world,” Fisk University President Kevin D. Rome said as the name was announced.

The John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice is a continuation of the university’s Fisk Race Relations Institute, which shaped so many of the conversations and policies during the 1960s and ’70s. The institute will include a master’s program in social justice, several certificate programs as well as various undergraduate projects, research, and forums.

“Nothing could be more appropriate given the congressman’s extraordinary impact on civil rights in this country and across the world,” University Provost Vann Newkirk said.

As a student, Lewis served as president of the Nashville Student Non-Violent Movement and stood at the forefront of sit-in protests in Nashville.

Leaders of the 154-year-old university said in their announcement on July 27 that Lewis repeatedly expressed the importance of Nashville and Fisk in helping shape his mission of non-violence and the importance of getting in what he called “good trouble” and “necessary trouble.” Lewis was an inspiration to generations of Fisk students and with the John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice, Fisk will continue its leadership role in shaping the next era of change makers.

The beloved national leader “will forever be a part of Fisk University’s fabric, the university said. The Fisk University Family mourns the loss of a “Son Ever on the Altar.”