Statements on the death of Evelyn Lowery - CBS46 News

Statements on the death of Evelyn Lowery

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"On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Rev. Joseph Lowery. Today we remember Mrs. Evelyn Lowery, a remarkable woman in her own right, who dedicated her life to promoting equality, liberty and justice for all people. We are all a direct beneficiary of her sacrifice, service and work as a champion for human rights. Her legacy will continue to encourage many individuals, like me, to live with integrity, pride, courage and faith." - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery. As a longtime community leader and, Founder and Chairwoman of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., INC., she was a powerful force in the civil and human rights movement, giving voice to disenfranchised women, children and families. She was also a devoted mother, and wife to Rev. Joseph Lowery. Through their collective service, they have positively impacted the lives of many people and serve as a wonderful example of a couple dedicated to both service and each other. As we prepare to celebrate her life and her legacy, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to her entire family and those whose lives she touched." – Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell

"Mrs. Lowery was a lady of quality, class and distinction. Her work in the promotion of racial and economic justice, women's rights, and religious freedom has left an indelible mark upon the social, political, educational and moral conscious of our community, our state and our nation. Her level of intelligence, grace and compassion will be difficult to surpass. Atlanta, the nation and the world are a better place by her being in our midst." – Atlanta City Councilmember Felicia A. Moore, District 9

"Mrs. Lowery was a civil rights leader, a courageous woman, community activist and a humanitarian. We know that God knows best and she is now at rest. But while on this earth, she paid her dues to society and built sustainable programs that are meaningful to our community." – Atlanta City Councilmember C.T. Martin, District 10

"I am eternally grateful to Mrs. Lowery for her brave and passionate commitment to achieving equality for all women and men of color. My generation, and those to come, have been forever changed because of her willingness to sacrifice so much of herself, and of her family. Her selfless commitment to the cause of Civil Rights will always be an example of the responsibility we each have to leave this world a better place than we found it. My thoughts and prayers are with the Lowery family." – Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms, District 11

"I extend my deepest condolences to you and your family. I hope that time and remembrances will help to comfort the burden of your sorrow, and that you may receive some measure of comfort knowing that others care and share in your loss. I was honored to join Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery and the Women of SCLC Women Inc. and my After 5 After program students for the Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights- Heritage Tour this past March 2nd and 3rd. The two-day tour from Atlanta to Alabama to see Historic Landmarks and meet the people of the Movement was a once and a lifetime event." – Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce M. Sheperd, District 12

"Mrs. Lowery was a devoted mother, wife and friend who exemplified the strength of purpose that has marked the life that she and Dr. Lowery built and shared throughout their more than 65 years of marriage. Her life's work fighting AIDS, preserving history, protecting the health and welfare of our communities and her tireless efforts strengthening black families is her legacy. America has lost a great patriot for truth and justice. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to Dr. Lowery, their children, and the family." - U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04)

"Our hearts are heavy upon learning of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery today. When you think of Mrs. Lowery, the quote that says behind every successful man, there is a strong, wise and hardworking woman comes to mind. While her husband, Reverend Joseph Lowery is a civil rights icon in his own right, Ms. Lowery was right there by his side in the fight for racial equality as founder of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Lowery and the Lowery family and we express our deepest condolences." - Fulton County Chairman John H. Eaves

"As pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of Martin Luther King, Jr., I join with people across Atlanta, the nation and the world in grieving the loss of a valiant soldier for justice, Evelyn G. Lowery. We hold Rev. Dr. Lowery and the entire Lowery family in our hearts and in our prayers. While we grieve this loss, we are grateful for her life. Mrs. Lowery was born in Memphis, TN, the daughter of an activist preacher and married an activist preacher who would spend years serving on the front lines of a transformative movement led by an activist preacher. Committed to a freedom faith, she, no less than her husband, was an ardent follower of Martin Luther King, Jr., carrying forth the legacy of justice making at deep personal cost and risk. As a woman and warrior in the non-violent struggle for justice, Mrs. Evelyn Lowery boldly confronted the challenges of racism and sexism, never flinching, never failing in her commitment to the best in the American spirit. Recently, as I stood with her and Dr. Lowery at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Mrs. Lowery's dedication to the movement and to her husband was quite evident as she pushed her way through crowds of admirers while literally pushing him in a wheelchair. Her love was unconditional, her legacy is irreversible, her life is an inspiration for all who walk freedom's way." - Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, Senior Pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church

"When I heard that Mrs. Evelyn Lowery had passed, I was actually chairing a Whip meeting for the Democratic Caucus in the U.S. Capitol. I asked all the members to stop for a moment of silence in her honor. Mrs. Lowery was a pillar of our community, a valuable participant in the struggle for civil rights, and an admired role model to the young people she mentored. She was supported her husband in all his work, but she was a leader in her own right, born into the struggle through the activism of her parents in Memphis, Tennessee. A few years ago, she organized a campaign, called the Drum Major for Justice Award, which commemorates some of the participants in the Civil Rights Movement by placing markers that help to tell their stories. Among the awardees were the Rev. James Orange, the Rev. Hosea Williams, Viola Liuzzo and other non-violent soldiers who sacrificed a great deal for the cause of civil rights and social justice. Her steadfast devotion to her husband was admirable, and her unwavering commitment to the issues of social justice will be hard to replace. Mrs. Lowery will be deeply missed." - Rep. John Lewis

"I am deeply saddened by the death of Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, and my heart goes out to her husband, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and their three daughters, Yvonne Kennedy, Karen Lowery and Cheryl Lowery-Osborne. We are never prepared to say "goodbye" to a loved one. Evelyn Lowery was not only the beloved wife and active partner of one of America's greatest civil rights leaders, but one of the most admired and respected veterans of the American Civil Rights Movement. She was a dedicated and energetic leader in her own right. As founder and chair of SCLC/Women, Mrs. Lowery provided tireless leadership to empower women, protect and educate children and nurture families. She further led the way to making a difference in the world by establishing the Drum Major for Justice Awards Dinner, the Evelyn G. Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour, and the Bridging the Gap –Girls to Women Mentoring Program. The King Center joins the civil rights community in mourning the loss of our dear sister, Mrs. Evelyn G. Lowery. But we celebrate her life as a good and faithful servant of God and humanity, whose indelible contributions will continue to inspire us as we carry forward the struggle into the future." - The King Center's chief executive officer, Bernice A. King

"Our hearts are heavy in learning of the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery. Mrs. Lowery was a visionary founder and leader of the SCLC W.O.M.E.N., devoted wife and partner of Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, mother and a mentor to countless women and girls across the country. We send our deepest condolences to the Lowery family during this time of bereavement. The nation has lost a great leader and advocate for civil rights, women's rights, human rights and social justice for all people. We know that our world is a better place because of the life's work of Mrs. Lowery and SCLC W.O.M.E.N. So many of our unsung Heroes and Sheroes of the Civil Rights Movement would not have been recognized for their sacrifices if it was not for her work in organizing her annual Civil Rights Heritage Educational Tour that traced the steps of the Civil Rights Movement through Alabama. We will 'never forget to remember' Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery's legacy by continuing to do the work every day fighting for the empowerment of women and girls to achieve equal rights economically, educationally and politically now and for future generations."- Melanie L. Campbell, Convener, Black Women's Roundtable and President & CEO, NCBCP

"Sister Evelyn Lowery, our Matriarch of the Movement, was always there-supporting her loving husband Joe, sustaining her "sisters in the struggle", and serving an untold number of disenfranchised women, children and families across all boundaries of ethnicity, gender, age or religion. From voting rights, to civil rights, to women's rights, to human rights - Sister Lowery was one of the original, authentic Freedom Fighters.  As I reflect on the many years that I served alongside her as a member on the SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., INC. board of directors, I can recall her gentle smile, the twinkle in her eye that spoke to her approachableness, but also the slight turn of the head that would signal the strong determination in her words that would be so clearly articulated that they would stop a room. Her dedication and determination was so solid, so firmly fixed, that her every action spoke to her nurturing spirit to uphold the tenets of the civil rights movement, but also to lift the women's rights within the movement. She was responsible for honoring civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, with a monument along the Freedom trail. She was a foot soldier whose shoes will take many of us to fill, we will miss her dearly."- Clayola Brown, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. Board Member and President, A. Philip Randolph Institute

"SCLC Women across the nation grieve the loss of our leader and Shero, Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery. First to address HIV/AIDS within the Black community, Mrs. Lowery was a fearless champion for human rights and her work dramatically improved the lives of the less fortunate. She erected monuments to unsung civil rights heroes throughout Alabama and made certain that youth learned this history on the annual Evelyn G. Lowery Heritage Tour commemorating Blood Sunday. Mrs. Lowery personally touched the lives of thousands of youth with her mentoring program; seniors with her annual Christmas dinner; and recognized the contributions of other leaders with her prestigious Drum Major for Justice Awards. We knew her as a loving wife, mother, grandmother and matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement. Our love, prayers and support is extended to the Lowery family who so generously shared Mrs. Lowery with the entire community."- Felicia M. Davis, Director Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University

"Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery was a prophetic voice for issues of women and girls. She developed and implemented sever solutions for issues negatively impacting the African American community - whether it was Pampering for Peace for women of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS awareness, or a computer technology training center for girls. Her mighty voice will be missed but we pledge to honor her legacy by continuing these programs uplift and empower the community. We lift Dr. Joseph Lowery and the Lowery family up in prayer."- Helen Butler, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. Advisory Board and Executive Director, The Peoples Agenda

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of civil rights leader, our leader, Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery. Our generation and beyond are the beneficiaries of her courageous, selfless, consistent contributions to the civil rights movement. Mrs. Lowery worked tirelessly to empower women and families in her community through the programs of SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. Her HIV/AIDS program, domestic violence program, the annual toy drive, and the annual Christmas party uplift the community; and the erection of monuments along the route of the Evelyn G. Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Educational Tour helps to educate young people and preserve the history of the civil rights movement. Mrs. Lowery was a quiet warrior who fought for equality with strength, perseverance, dignity and class. She will be missed, but her legacy will live on SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., Inc. footsoldiers continue her work. We pray that God wraps his arms around Dr. Lowery and the family in this difficult time."- Edrea Davis, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., Inc. Advisory Board and Vice President, Jazzmyne PR

"Our thoughts and prayers goes out to Dr. Joseph Lowery and family as they mourn the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery. We join countless others in expressing our deepest sympathy on behalf of the Georgia State Conference NAACP. Mrs. Lowery's stalwart contributions to humanity and the Civil Rights Movement are truly remarkable and noteworthy of praise. Her trailblazing efforts in working to obtain Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Women rights are a few of her signature efforts. As the founder of the SCLC Women, Inc., she helped to place Women issues on a National Scale and galvanized a movement for action. In light of those signature achievements, the Georgia State Conference will acknowledge her life and legacy to Civil Rights during its Game Changers Religious Affairs Community Mass Meeting and Memorial Service at its 71st Annual Convention and Civil Rights Conference in Columbus, GA on October 3-6, 2013. Additionally, at this same Convention, a resolution will be submitted for approval and then submission to the National Office of the NAACP in order to obtain a National Resolution honoring the Life and Legacy of such a graceful Warrior in the struggle for Civil and Human Rights. For we know that she fought a good fight, she finished her course, now may her crown up in glory await her presence. God Bless the Lowery family and the Georgia State Conference NAACP extends its support during this time of transition." - Georgia State Conference NAACP

"It is with a heavy heart that I pause and reflect on the tremendous contributions of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery. Her passing leaves a huge void in the lives of so many of us who knew her personally. Growing up in Atlanta as a child of the civil rights era, Mrs. Lowery was more than a powerful solider in the movement, she was also like family. Her extraordinary contributions to SCLC/Women was just one of her many roles in the struggle for equality. My family and I spent countless hours working, planning and praying together with the Lowery's. This early relationship helped shape my life and played a crucial role in my desire to pursue a life as a public servant. Words are inadequate to express the deep regret we all have in her passing. Her impact on the lives of so many throughout the nation can never be adequately measured." - Atlanta City Councilmember Michael Julian Bond, Post 1 At-Large


U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) released the following statement on news of the death of Evelyn Lowery, the wife of civil rights leader Joseph E. Lowery:


"Mrs. Lowery was a devoted mother, wife and friend who exemplified the strength of purpose that has marked the life that she and Dr. Lowery built and shared throughout their more than 65 years of marriage. Her life's work fighting AIDS, preserving history, protecting the health and welfare of our communities and her tireless efforts strengthening black families is her legacy. America has lost a great patriot for truth and justice. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to Dr. Lowery, their children, and the family."