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Statement by Arthur M. Blank on the loss of two legendary civil rights leaders

It’s a tough day for our country and for me personally in losing the influential voices of Rev. C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis. Both were legendary trailblazers during the 1960s civil rights movement, bravely confronting injustice without violence. Both courageously worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to create a transformative legacy of justice and fairness. Both were men of faith who received our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom – being at Congressman Lewis’ side in 2011 when he received his medal was one of the great honors of my life.

As I said last month to all our Associates during a virtual town hall, Congressman Lewis and Rev. Vivian were leaders of conscience who carried the baton of freedom knowing that the journey to equality is not finished. I encourage a new generation to take the baton while running harder and faster than they ever have before.

On behalf of the Blank Family of Businesses and our Associates, we send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Rev. C.T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis.

- Arthur M. Blank, Chairman, Blank Family of Businesses and the Blank Family Foundation