Chicago, Illinois (September 26, 2013) – Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund lament the passing of Evelyn Lowery, a pioneer in civil rights and women’s empowerment and the wife of the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a past President of The Southern Leadership Conference. Mrs. Lowery was 88.
Mrs. Lowery founded SCLC Women, Inc., the sister organization to SCLC in 1979. SCLC Women, Inc. produced the much-anticipated Drum Major for Justice Awards held every April in Atlanta. She also created the Bridging the Gap-Girls to Women mentoring group in 1995.
Evelyn Lowery was born February 16, 1925 in Memphis to the Rev. and Mrs. Harry Gibson. Her father was a civic leader and major presence as President of the local chapter of the NAACP. Before the age of 18, young Evelyn began a life of service. She married Joseph Lowery on May 5, 1946 and the two began a long, loving and fruitful marriage committed to civil rights.
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. lamented the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Lowery:
“In many ways Mrs. Lowery was ahead of her time. She recognized the scourge of HIV as a moral issue long before the black church embraced it. She insisted on honoring the history of the civil rights rebellion when few understood its significance. But for me she was a woman out of time. Or beyond time. She achieved something many women find elusive - a successful marriage and the freedom to chart her own course and speak with her own voice. She is a role model for my generation and for the ages”.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.