The National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal was awarded to United States Representative John Lewis during the 28th Annual Liberty Medal Ceremony on Monday, September 19, 2016 at 7 p.m. Representative Lewis, who, along with Hosea Williams, led the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on “Bloody Sunday,” will be recognized for his courageous dedication to civil rights and the Constitution. The event will also be broadcast on local ABC affiliate, WPVI-TV/6abc.
The National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal, established in 1988, annually honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe.
The selection of Representative Lewis comes as the National Constitution Center commemorates the 150th anniversaries of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, a series of constitutional amendments known as the Reconstruction Amendments.
“Through his heroic leadership on behalf of civil rights and the Constitution, Representative Lewis has helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans. Under his leadership, the Civil Rights Movement helped this nation move toward the creation of the ‘more perfect union’ promised by President Lincoln at Gettysburg,” said Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, adding, “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees the equal protection of the laws, the National Constitution Center is thrilled to honor Representative Lewis with the 2016 Liberty Medal.”
“Representative Lewis is an inspiration to people all over the world,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “On behalf of the City of Philadelphia, I am thrilled to welcome him back to our city and to help showcase his achievements with the Liberty Medal.”
Representative Lewis is the only surviving “Big Six” leader of the Civil Rights Movement, a group of prominent civil rights leaders which included Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young.