The "Conscience of the US Congress,” Representative John Lewis, takes Up MMIW Initiatives.
Known as the “conscience of the US Congress,” Representative Lewis has committed to move forward with the MMIW legislative proposals submitted to members of the House and Senate by the alliance of the Global Indigenous Council, Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association. It is widely believed that these proposals will provide the basis to achieve meaningful, comprehensive legislation. Congressman Lewis has also backed the GIC's national MMIW billboard campaign and the forthcoming MMIW documentary, Somebody’s Daughter.
“When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have a moral obligation to do something, to say something. Dr. King inspired us to do just that,” says Congressman John Lewis (D-GA). Before his recent stage IV pancreatic cancer diagnosis, Congressman Lewis applied that moral code to the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis.
In late November, Congressman Lewis committed to introducing what has been described as “meaningful and comprehensive legislation” to address the MMIW tragedy based upon the recommendations of the Global Indigenous Council (GIC), Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (RMTLC) and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association (GPTCA).
“I will return to Washington in the coming days to continue our work and begin my treatment plan, which will occur over the next several weeks. I may miss a few votes during this period, but with God’s grace I will be back on the front lines soon,” Congressman Lewis said in a statement on his prognosis.
An icon of the civil rights movement, Congressman Lewis was one of the original Freedom Riders. On August 28, 1963, he was the youngest speaker at the culmination of the March on Washington that saw Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his “I have a dream” speech. In 1965, John Lewis and Hosea Williams led the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, the images from which continue to symbolize the struggle for civil rights.
In 2010, President Barack Obama awarded Congressman Lewis with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. He is the last surviving member of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders. “Good trouble,” is how John Lewis describes principled, non-violent activism. “Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary. Sometimes you have to make a way out of no way,” he has taught.
Georgina Lightning, award-winning actress and director.
Congressman Lewis has backed the “good trouble” of the Global Indigenous Council, RMTLC and GPTCA to raise national awareness for the MMIW tragedy through the alliance’s lobbying and high-profile headline making, including its national billboard campaign. Continuing to elevate the urgency of the MMIW crisis among lawmakers, the alliance has produced Somebody’s Daughter, an MMIW documentary, to which Congressman Lewis offered his full support.
Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) holding a Global Indigenous Council billboard