October 28, 2019 – The NAACP has lost a life-long friend, and the nation has lost a fervent champion for equal justice with the passing of former Congressman John Conyers.

A pioneering member of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and the longest-serving African American House member in congressional history, Rep. Conyers was an unmovable force when it came to advancing equality and civil rights. Rep. Conyers shepherded many seminal civil rights laws through the House of Representatives, including the Voting Rights Act and its reauthorizations, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and numerous other racial justice protections and safeguards. In 2007, he received the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the highest honor, for his tireless dedication in the fight for justice. His life-long career of pushing this nation toward justice, fairness, and liberty left an indelible impression on the world.

“From co-founding the Congressional Black Caucus, to advocating for the creation of Martin Luther King Day, some of the most important civil rights victories of the last half-century would not have been possible without the enduring leadership of Rep. Conyers in Washington,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “As a Detroit native, I can attest to what John Conyers meant to his beloved Detroit community, and we are eternally grateful that he fought for justice on behalf of the entire nation with the same commitment and perseverance he showed his beloved hometown. Today we have lost a trailblazer for justice, a titan of the movement, and a true friend and ally to the NAACP.”

“I am moved by the dedication of John Conyers’ to the fight for social good and his fearless pursuit to tear down barriers of injustice and racism,” said Leon W. Russell, Chairman, NAACP Board of Directors. “He will forever be remembered as a giant that gave his life to advance democracy.”

The NAACP extends our sincere condolences to his family and sends prayers of comfort and strength for the days to come.