LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After a battle with pancreatic cancer, Congressman John Lewis passed away at 80 years-old on July 17.
At the time of his death, he was serving his 17th term representing the 5th Congressional District of Georgia.
Long before he was a political leader though he was a civil rights activist. Lewis was the last surviving member of the “Big Six,” a group instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tates Creek graduate Nakia Ridgeway did an internship with the prominent Civil Rights leader in 2016. She says that the internship shaped her entire future.
“I learned the importance of persistence and using your voice," said Ridgeway.
Ridgeway is now pursuing a career in politics and says she thinks Lewis would be proud of the younger generation standing up for civil injustice.
“One of his philosophies was encouraging people to get in good trouble, in necessary trouble. And I would think the work that is being done after the death of George Floyd is that, calling out what is wrong and making sure our voices are heard to make sure that change happens after that," said Ridgeway.