Evelyn Lowery | Civil rights pioneer, 88
Evelyn Lowery, 88, a pioneer in civil rights and women's empowerment and the wife of the Rev. Joseph Lowery, died Thursday at her home in Georgia, family spokeswoman Diane Larche. She had been hospitalized since Sept. 18 after a stroke and returned home Wednesday night, after medical experts said the stroke had caused irreversible damage.
"My beloved Evelyn was a special woman, whose life was committed to service, especially around the issues of empowering women," Lowery, a former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said in a statement to the Associated Press.
Evelyn Lowery founded SCLC/WOMEN Inc. in 1979. The group works to empower women, girls, and families. She also created the Drum Major for Justice Awards, held annually in April in Atlanta.
"As a woman and warrior in the nonviolent struggle for justice, Mrs. Evelyn Lowery boldly confronted the challenges of racism and sexism, never flinching, never failing in her commitment to the best in the American spirit," said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his father once preached.
Rep. John Lewis (D. Ga.) said he was chairing a Democratic Caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol when he learned of Mrs. Lowery's death and asked members to observe a moment of silence in her honor.
"Mrs. Lowery was a pillar of our community, a valuable participant in the struggle for civil rights, and an admired role model to the young people she mentored," Lewis said in a statement. - AP