Fisk University names institute after Alumnus Rep. John Lewis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —The legacy of U.S. Representative John Lewis will continue to live on in Nashville in hopes of inspiring change.

Lewis attended Fisk University in the early 1960s. While a student, he organized sit-in demonstrations at lunch counters in Nashville and participated in freedom rides.

Fisk has announced it has renamed the Social Justice Institute after the late congressman and Fisk alumnus. The school says with the John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice, Fisk will continue shaping the next era of change-makers.

In 2016, FOX 17 News spoke with Lewis at an event with former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry. Lewis' arrest photos from the Nashville protests were on display as he spoke to a crowd about his arrests, a move he later coined as "good trouble."

"We've come so far and we've made so much progress, we don't want to go back," he said then. "We want to go forward. I think we must come together as a people and preach in a way of tolerance the way of love and peace and lay down the burden of hate and division."

His sentiments and early action paved the way for activism today, including in part the Black Lives Matter movement.

Lewis will lie in State in the Georgia Capitol for one last memorial service before he is buried in a private service on Thursday. Lewis was the first black lawmaker to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol rotunda earlier this week.