One year after the death of Rep. John Lewis, the Faith & Politics Institute announced Wednesday the launch of a fellowship program in honor of the venerable lawmaker and civil rights icon.

The John Robert Lewis Scholars and Fellows Program, which enables students to learn from change-makers of history, contemporary nonviolence practitioners and civil rights leaders, also helps them connect with representatives from national, state and local government, businesses and nonprofits engaged in social impact work, the institute said.

Participating students, who will receive a $2,000 stipend, will also join members of Congress on the institute’s annual Civil Rights Pilgrimage, which was founded by the Georgia Democrat, and complete an oral history project through a range of applications.

“In every generation, young leaders like John Lewis have been at the forefront of social movements that promoted freedom of all peoples, across the country and the world. The John Robert Lewis Scholars & Fellows Programs will build and maintain a national and international network of rising leaders to create lasting, positive change based on the civil rights movement’s revolutionary nonviolent social impact,” said Joan Mooney, president of the Faith & Politics Institute. “The same nonviolent philosophy that shaped the work of John Lewis and his contemporaries that defined their advocacy for civil rights will be shared in our curriculum. The program’s objectives are to help rising leaders in a variety of fields better engage in dialogue to advocate for positive change while reconciling conflict in our society and between individuals.”

From 1998 to 2020, Lewis led FPI’s annual nonpartisan Congressional Pilgrimages to places in the American South with a wide variety of current and future leaders, including hundreds of his congressional colleagues, state and local officials, youths, members of the diplomatic corps and three U.S. presidents.

The application process for the inaugural round is open from Sept. 1 through Oct. 1.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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