Rep. Brenda Lawrence
Rep. Brenda Lawrence. (Photo: Jacqueline Elliott)

Rep. Lawrence will replace the council seat held by the late Rep. John Lewis.

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) was appointed March 4 by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Lawrence, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, will replace the council seat held by the late civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis.

The council was established by Congress in 1980 to lead the nation in commemorating the Holocaust and to raise private funds to construct the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Once the Museum opened in 1993, the council became the governing board of trustees of the museum, an independent establishment of the government operating as a public-private partnership that receives some federal funding to support operations of the museum building.

“Given that I represent the only Holocaust memorial museum in the state of Michigan, this appointment to serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council is an honor and carries a lot of significance for me,” Lawrence told the Jewish News. “My district is home to one of the largest Jewish populations in the state, and I’m proud to fight for them in the halls of Congress every day.”

“Remembering the lives lost during the Holocaust as well as the families that were torn apart is critical to ensuring that such atrocities and evil never happen again,” she continued. “As the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Black-Jewish Relations, and the second vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I know that the Black and Jewish communities have a shared history. In the face of bigotry and hate, our communities have always been champions for justice, truth and equality. I look forward to working with the council to support the mission and efforts of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

The Council meets twice a year and consists of 55 members appointed by the president, five members each from the Senate and House of Representatives and three members from the Departments of Education, Interior and State.

Ron Weiser, University of Michigan Regent and former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party, is also a member of the council.