CHICAGO, IL–On Tuesday, the Chicago Teachers Union released the following statement commemorating the life and legacy of former CTU President and Chicago educator Karen Lewis, NBCT:

“Two years ago today, students and families of this city lost a champion; educators lost a fierce leader, and the labor movement lost a friend and a true trade unionist.

Through her many decades of service and dedication, Karen Lewis taught us the importance of fighting for equity and educational justice. She pushed us to demand what was necessary for our students and their families even when the odds seemed impossible. And thanks to her legacy and leadership, we have made gains for our students, their classrooms, and the entire city of Chicago.

Karen was convinced that educators should play a significant role in our city’s democracy, because classrooms and school buildings are a vital part of it. And in Karen’s final days with us, she reminded us that. And thus, we march on building a just, equitable movement that centers the needs of our students and their classrooms where learning becomes alive.”

Karen GJ Lewis, NBCT