Civil Rights Icon John Lewis to Receive 2016 Liberty Medal

U.S. Representative and icon of the Civil Rights Movement, John Lewis, will be awarded The National Constitution Center's Liberty Medal at the 28th Annual Ceremony on September 19.

In announcing the award Thursday, National Constitution Center CEO Jeffrey Rosen says Lewis's leadership "helped to extend the blessings of liberty and equality to all Americans.''

Rep. Lewis is the last surviving "Big Six" leader of the Civil Rights movement, which included activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and James Farmer. He was named chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1963, and was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington. He also participated in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins and Freedom Rides. 

"Representative Lewis is an inspiration to people all over the world," said Philadelphia 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."

Lewis currently serves as a U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District.

The medal is given annually to those who strive to secure liberty for people worldwide. Previous Liberty Medal winners include the Dalai Lama, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and rock singer Bono.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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