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Two-dozen proposals submitted for John Lewis commemorative project


Two-dozen proposals submitted for John Lewis commemorative project

The John Lewis mural painted by Sean Schwab in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood of Atlanta, ,July 29, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — The John Lewis Commemorative Task Force is reviewing 24 proposals from artists interested in creating a John Lewis memorial in the Decatur Square.

The memorial will inhabit the space previously occupied by a Confederate monument that was a removed in June.

On Jan. 26, DeKalb County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution to memorialize the late Congressman John Lewis who served the 5th district for 33 years. Lewis died in July after a battle with cancer at age 80.  The Legacy Decatur Project, the nonprofit organization that manages Decatur’s Legacy Park, will also serve as the fundraising arm of the cooperative effort to construct the tribute to Lewis.

A Civil Right activist, Lewis is known for marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in March 1965 with storied politician Hosea L. Williams. It’s the famous image from Bloody Sunday of young John Lewis donning a trench coat and backpack that is being considered for a statue in Decatur.

Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett in August formed the task force in charge of the project.

Johnson provided an update about the project this week.

“The task force has launched its website and is now accepting donations for this monumental project honoring Congressman Lewis,” Commissioner Davis Johnson said.

Members of the public who wish to support the commemorative project honoring Congressman Lewis can visit www.johnlewistribute.com to make their tax-deductible contribution, a press release from Johnson’s office said.

According to the press release, Michael Collins, a senior advisor to Vice President Kamala Harris and Congressman  Lewis’ former chief of staff, joined the task force as an advisor in March.

“After serving Congressman John Lewis as his chief of staff for over 20 years, it is now an honor to advise the Commemorative Task Force on the most fitting way to honor his legacy,” Collins said.

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