Civil rights leader Congressman John Lewis was honored with the 16th Louis Stokes Community Visionary Award Friday in Cleveland. He led the march in Selma to secure equal voting rights, as well as many other peaceful civil rights demonstrations in history.
The award was established by the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation in honor of Congressman Louis Stokes in 1996.
According to the FRDC, it is meant to honor and recognize individuals who are committed to community development and demonstrated: an ability to provide leadership and vision that promotes community development and strong community life; a lifelong personal and professional commitment to improve the quality of life for those who live and work in communities such as Fairfax; and a proven track record of working together with residents/stakeholders to build partnerships.
The individuals will have promoted the initiatives of urban communities like Fairfax to a broader constituency, according to the FRDC.
The Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation was incorporated in early 1992 and is a nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to "strengthen neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio through comprehensive community development."
The FDRC first gave the award in 1996 to Stokes to honor him for his work in helping Cleveland become designated as an "Empowerment Zone" and Stokes' assistance to the FRDC to help it complete the Bicentennial Project, the only legacy project for Cleveland's Bicentennial.