“John was a giant of a man with a humble heart, he met no strangers and he truly was a man who loved the people and who loved his country, which he represented very well,” DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson said in a news release. “He deserves this honor.”
Davis Johnson led the creation of the “John Lewis Commemorative Task Force,” which is chaired by Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett and former DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis. Approximately 25 civic and community leaders from Lewis’ 5th Congressional District — which includes parts of Atlanta, Clayton County and western DeKalb, including the Decatur area — are on the task force.
In a joint statement provided to the AJC, Garrett and Ellis said they hoped to raise $400,000 in private funds to fuel the project.
The final project will “provide a symbol of inclusivity and justice in honor of Congressman Lewis’ pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and his lifelong fight for human rights, dignity and equality for all people,” a press release said. A finalist has not been announced, but officials said in April that about two dozen artists from around the world responded to a call for proposals.
The memorial will go up outside the historic DeKalb County Courthouse, in the same spot where a Confederate monument stood for more than a century before it was removed last summer.
Visit johnlewistribute.com for more information or to make a donation. Contributions are made through Legacy Decatur, a 501(c)3 charitable organization.