CHICAGO, September 21, 2017 — Oral Health America (OHA) is proud to present Congressman John Lewis with the 2017 Marvin Goldstein Outstanding Public Service Award at its annual Capitol Hill Reception during Advocacy Week.
To be awarded October 3, the Marvin Goldstein Outstanding Public Service Award celebrates individuals whose leadership in improving public health in the U.S. has broken new ground and created a changed environment. Congressman Lewis is a pioneer in helping to shape our nation.
First elected to represent Georgia’s 5th Congressional District in 1986, Congressman Lewis has spent his career seeking solutions to eliminate disparities and create an equitable playing field for our nation’s families.
Growing up, Congressman Lewis was inspired by the activism of the Montgomery bus boycotts and progressive social movements taking place during the Civil Rights Movement. He organized sit-ins, participated in the Freedom Rides and risked his life on numerous occasions challenging the injustices of the Jim Crow laws. By 1963, he was named one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights movements.
Congressman Lewis demonstrated his leadership skills and commitment to nonviolent civil rights demonstrations in his role as architect and keynote speaker in the historic March on Washington and, in 1965, his leading of 600 peaceful protestors in the Selma to Montgomery marches.
“Congressman John Lewis has been the face of civil rights and is to be commended for his commitment,” explained Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. “The organization is honored to present the Marvin Goldstein Outstanding Public Service Award to Congressman Lewis, one of today’s most iconic figures in the fight for social equity.”
Advocacy Week, to be held October 2-6, is a major advocacy effort within Oral Health America’s Fall for Smiles campaign, which focuses on the oral health of families. This year’s theme, Our Families, Our Future: Achieving Oral Health Equity, seeks to confront oral health disparities by highlighting the dilemma between having equal access to oral healthcare versus having access to what is needed to ensure an equal opportunity to achieve good oral health outcomes. While the Fall for Smiles campaign provides messaging and resources that support maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home, Advocacy Week encourages people to learn and speak out about policies that impact their oral health.