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Sep 26, 2013

Black Women's Roundtable Statement on the Passing of Beloved Civil Rights Leader Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery

Atlanta, GA - Members of Black Women's Roundtable, the women's initiative of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), issued the following statement on the passing of beloved civil rights leader Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery founder of SCLC/Women's Organizational Movement for Equality Now, Inc.:

Melanie L. Campbell, Convener, Black Women's Roundtable and President & CEO, NCBCP

"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."


Clayola Brown, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. Board Member and President, A. Philip Randolph Institute.

"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."


Rita Jackson Samuels, Founder Georgia Coalition for Black Women (GCBW) and President, Women Flying High LLC

“The GCBW extends our deepest heartfelt condolences to Dr. Joseph E Lowery, the Lowery daughters, family and friends on the passing of our beloved Dr. Evelyn Gibson Lowery. We were fortunate to have Mrs. Lowery’s wise council and loyal support from our inception. She was a consummate SCLC First Lady, ardent advocate for women's rights and founded SCLC WOMEN in 1979. A courageous champion for civil rights, justice and the dignity of all, Mrs. Lowery personified eloquence and grace animated by an unstoppable drive to better the lives of the less fortunate.

“She leaves a tremendous legacy that includes service to youth, the disadvantaged and elderly. Her influence extended to domestic and gun violence , health, education and training. Mrs. Lowery provided leadership on the full range of social justice issues, supplied critical social services and institutionalized civil rights history by erecting monuments memorializing contributors to the Movement. Mrs. Lowery will be missed but her legacy lives on.”


Felicia M. Davis, Director Building Green Initiative at Clark Atlanta University

"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."


Helen Butler, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N. Inc. Advisory Board and Executive Director, The Peoples Agenda

"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."


Edrea Davis, SCLC/W.O.M.E.N., Inc. Advisory Board and Vice President, Jazzmyne PR

"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."


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