Former U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis is the 2021 Hope Award honoree, a distinction given to one notable Atlantan each year during the American Cancer Society’s annual Hope Ball.

From the Atlanta City Council to the halls of Congress as Georgia’s 5th congressional district representative, Lewis dedicated his life to addressing the critical challenges affecting our community, country and world. His work to champion cancer awareness, access to health care for all and the passage of critical cancer patient protection legislation will be recognized at the gala. At the end of his life, Lewis again shined a light on cancer’s burden by courageously sharing his personal experience with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

“Representative Lewis was not only a pillar of the civil rights movement but an ageless example for all advocates and lawmakers on how to live a life of service,” Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, ACS’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, said. “His fierce commitment to racial and social justice, and as part of that work, to making sure access to health care was a basic human right continues to inspire our advocacy efforts to pass public policy measures that address long-standing health inequities in order to move us to a world without cancer.”

The Lewis family has expressed their gratitude in accepting this honor on his behalf.

“The family of the late Congressman John Lewis would like to notably thank the American Cancer Society for choosing to honor him at this year’s Hope Ball,” Lewis’ brother, Grant Lewis said. “One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and we are honored to support ACS’s efforts towards supporting patients and finding a cure.”

“Our family looks forward to joining you in making this event a success,” his nephew Jerrick Lewis said. “Thank you for getting into ‘Good Trouble’ and making a difference in the lives of so many.”

While cancer is a disease that can affect anyone, access to treatment options is too often divided along economic advantages. Hope Ball’s mission moment to raise vital funds for cancer research with a focus on health equity is a fitting tribute to Lewis’ legacy. The ACS believes everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer. That belief guides the ACS to conduct and support research to help understand cancer inequalities and create strategies for overcoming them.

The Hope Ball brings together Atlanta’s business and philanthropic community to raise awareness and funds to support the American Cancer Society’s mission. Presented by Delta Air Lines, Hope Ball will take place Sept. 25, at 6:30 p.m., at The St. Regis, 88 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta.

The evening will feature live and silent auctions, dinner, an inspirational program, and Hope Award tribute. Please contact Celeste Pendarvis at (404) 339-7744, or visit for more information about Hope Ball and sponsorship opportunities.

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