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COE Mourns the Loss of Two Icons in the Civil Rights Movement


July 20, 2020

The Council for Opportunity in Education and the entire TRIO community mourns the loss of two civil rights giants who pushed for equality for Black Americans — Congressman John Lewis and Reverend C.T. Vivian. Without their sacrifices to ensuring a more just future, there would be no TRIO programs.

Congressman Lewis, one of the thirteen original Freedom Riders who also led the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., committed his entire 33-year Congressional career to seeing the promise of the Civil Rights Movement realized. President Barack Obama honored Rev. Vivian with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, acknowledging Vivian's efforts to inspire the next generation.

May we take this moment to reaffirm our roots in the civil rights movement and to recommit ourselves to fighting for expanded educational opportunities for to the past and future children of the movement — individuals from every race and background.