TOCCI Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day


The Legacy of John Lewis

Today, to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we want to celebrate the legacy of John Lewis, a lesser known but tireless advocate for American civil rights.

Lewis was most active in the epicenter of change – the American South.

Notable achievements include spearheading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the 1960s and being a driving force behind pivotal events like the March on Washington in 1963. However, his most significant contribution came on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, during the march for voting rights in 1965. Lewis, along with fellow activists, faced violence from state troopers in what became known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’ This seminal event galvanized public opinion and ultimately led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.

Lewis’s journey was fraught with challenges. Born into segregation, he faced a thoroughly racist culture, enduring physical and emotional hardships to challenge injustice. From his early activism as a Freedom Rider to his later years in Congress, Lewis consistently overcame adversity with unwavering commitment to justice and equality.

Much like Dr. King, Lewis championed the idea of a ‘Beloved Community’ – a society built on empathy, solidarity, and shared responsibility. His call for collective action resonates strongly today.

At TOCCI, we believe nurturing our communities is not just a choice; it’s a responsibility we inherit from trailblazers like Lewis. The challenges he faced are a testament to the enduring power of perseverance in the face of adversity, a reminder that change is possible when we stand together against injustice.

Let’s shift our focus from individual concerns to community well-being, echoing Lewis’s enduring message that ‘we’ must come before ‘me.’