Return to Headlines

In Honor of John Lewis' Legacy

Good Afternoon Students, Staff and Families, 

Like Americans across the nation, Asheville City Schools is mourning the loss of legendary leader John Lewis.  A towering figure of the Civil Rights Era, he was a racial equity advocate and champion of nonviolence.  From coordinating lunch counter sit-ins and organizing the March on Washington to demonstrating against racially segregated restrooms, hotels, restaurants, public parks and swimming pools to leading the march in Selma, Alabama, his life was a beacon for Black Lives Matter, way before the term was coined.  While Mr. Lewis represented Atlanta from 1987 until his death, his supporters span our country.  With his passing, Asheville City Schools stands committed to turning our mourning into a movement.  We stand committed to continuing the uncomfortable and unpopular work of racial equity.  We know there is still so much to be done within our district, city and state; however, as Mr. Lewis himself stated, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime.”  We know our students are watching and ready for our actions to match our words.  Please know that every decision we make is and will be rooted in doing what's best for our children. 


Dr. Gene Freeman, Superintendent of Asheville City Schools