Statements from Atlanta City Council Members on the Passing of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery

ATLANTA — Several members of the Atlanta City Council have issued statements following the passing of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery:

“One of the greatest benefits of public service is the exposure it brings to mighty, selfless human beings who are determined to leave the world better than they found it. Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery was such an individual – a treasure to both the city of Atlanta and beyond. A deeply spiritual man whose faith was his foundation and motivation, Dr. Lowery was fiercely committed to the furtherance of civil rights for all. Though serious about his mission, he also possessed a great sense of humor which he was never hesitant to share with those around him. Dr. Lowery was both an exceptional leader and a great human being. Let us all remember that the opportunity we experience in Atlanta today is due in large part to his lifetime of work. May his legacy continue to be carried forth, as we each strive to do our part of the work that remains. I extend my condolences to the Lowery Family during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing Dr. Lowery and his vision with the rest of the world.” – Council President Felicia A. Moore

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“It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing of civil rights icon and an American hero Rev. Joseph Lowery. I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Lowery family and all those who love freedom and justice in our nation. I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man of whom I considered a spiritual leader, mentor, and friend. Rev. Lowery was more than just an American hero, activist, civil rights leader, fiery pastor, and servant of his fellow man, he was a participating witness of historic change in America. His life stretched from the heyday of Jim Crow segregation to the progressive dawn of a new century which saw the election of the first African American President of the United States. In his life he overcame tremendous obstacles and oppression, faced down giants, walked amongst kings, fought and won freedoms for his fellow man, yet never failed to humbly wash the feet of others in our society. Our nation’s great champion has passed from us to his well-deserved heavenly reward. Though the great echo of his roar remains, the great lion has gone.”

– Post 1 At-Large Council member Michael Julian Bond

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“We are all saddened by the passing, and grateful for the incredible life, of Reverend Joseph Lowery. A life spent building and leading coalitions to advance the people’s agenda — from integration to voting rights to economic empowerment. His eloquent words, filled with wit and rhyme, will live on in our minds. And his always standing for what was right, even when controversial, is a powerful example and reminder to all of us. Atlanta was truly blessed to have this Dean of the movement as a hometown hero.”

– Post 2 At-Large Council member Matt Westmoreland

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“Wisdom and courage. Rev. Joseph Lowery spoke truth to power. He was unapologetic about his words because his words came from a fully developed understanding of the relationship between God and man. He led the movement for justice and equality tirelessly and I’m proud that he used Atlanta as his pulpit to the world. I would marvel at his balance of power and grace when in his presence. Rest well Rev. Lowery from your life well lived. Farewell, until we meet again.”

– Post 3 At-Large Council member Andre Dickens

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“Today we mourn the passing of one of Atlanta’s beloved heroes of the civil rights movement and community. Rev. Joseph E. Lowery dedicated his life to fighting social injustice and his legacy will live on. He played a pivotal and critical role in our nation’s history and was a true champion for freedom. I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the Lowery family for their loss.”

– District 1 Council member Carla Smith

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“Rare is it that the residents of a city get to live among the giants who shaped it and the world. Current Atlantans are blessed to not only to have lived alongside the grace, wisdom, and strength of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, but also to find comfort and protection in his long and inspiring shadow. We mourn the loss of Dr. Lowery with a heavy but full heart. May we all live our lives in reflection of his legacy.”  – District 2 Council member Amir Farokhi

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“Dr. Joseph E. Lowery was one of the giants in the civil rights movement. Throughout his life, he continuously fought for the rights of others and mentored so many of us here in the city of Atlanta. I fondly remember the day we renamed Ashby Street to Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard. We had a wonderful celebration on that day that included city, state and national leaders. As city leaders, we were all proud just to stand with him on renaming this street in his honor. That was a glorious day and he was such a sharp witted, intelligent and humble person. He had an infectious personality. I was blessed to have had an opportunity to have known him.”

– District 4 Council member Cleta Winslow

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Although we are currently living in very uncertain times, the passing of Dr. Lowery makes this also a time for reflection and remembrance. Dr. Lowery was a national treasure, but we proudly claimed him as our own.  Our city, and indeed our nation, were made better by the important contributions Dr. Lowery made through his leadership, his courage under fire, and his tireless commitment to walk out his faith through a ministry dedicated to love, mercy and justice.  Dr. Lowery’s body of work casts a deep and indelible shadow that will serve as a guiding star for many, many years to come.

– District 5 Council member Natalyn M. Archibong

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“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery. His lifetime of dedication to the civil rights movement and his fight for justice made him an icon in the city of Atlanta. On behalf of the Ide family and the residents of District 6 that acknowledge his legacy and unwavering devotion to social equality, we send our condolences and prayers to the family of Rev. Lowery and the people that knew him well.” – District 6 Council member Jennifer Ide

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“My family and I are saddened by the passing of Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery.  As an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, a co-founder of the SCLC, and a champion for Atlanta, Dr. Lowery’s passion for service was boundless.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family, as our nation reflects upon his leadership and dedication to equal rights.” – District 8 Council member J.P. Matzigkeit

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“The passing of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery is truly a deep loss for the city of Atlanta and our nation, and for those who, like me and my family, that had the opportunity to know him as a friend. Rev. Lowery and my father Rev. Joseph E. Boone were colleagues that devoted their lives to the service of others and were leaders in the civil rights movement. As we reflect on the legacy of Rev. Lowery, we also take this time to extend our prayers and condolences to the Lowery family. May his dedication to the community and justice for all live on.”

– District 10 Council member Andrea Boone

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“Heavenly Father, thank you for sending us this noble servant that has guided us, advocated for us, loved on us, cheered for us and shared with us. I am forever grateful for all that Rev. Joseph Echols Lowery has done to protect and advance our communities and families. He will be sorely missed. I also pray that his family is comforted and strengthened during this time. He is gone but never ever will he be forgotten.”

– District 11 Council member Marci Collier Overstreet

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“My heart and condolences go out to the Lowery family. Dr. Lowery was an amazing leader and hero in our community. I will forever hold him and his family in deep respect for their contribution to the world.” – District 12 Council member Joyce Sheperd

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