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NASW Mourns the Death of Social Justice Champion Rep. Elijah Cummings


WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) mourns the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), a social justice champion who advocated on behalf of many issues important to social workers, including civil rights, quality health care for all, voting rights, sensible gun laws and the humane treatment of migrant children and families.

Congressman Cummings, who served Maryland’s 7th district since 1996, died on October 17 at age 68. His body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on October 24th and his funeral will be held the next day in his district, which includes a large part of Baltimore City, much of Howard County and parts of Baltimore County.

NASW offers its heartfelt condolences to Congressman Cummings’ family, including his wife Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and three children. The death of Congressman Cummings is a profound loss for his congressional district, NASW and other organizations that promote equality and social justice.

He was a steadfast ally in our push to make our nation a better place for all people, no matter their gender, religious affiliation, sexual identity or economic status. Congressman Cummings was also stalwart national leader who always prioritized the needs of the most vulnerable people in our society.

He stood by NASW and other organizations in our call for laws to end the epidemic of gun violence in our nation. For Congressman Cummings this issue was personal. His nephew died as a result of gun violence.

Congressman Cummings stood by NASW and other organizations in our call for the Trump Administration to end the forced separation of migrant children from their families and the deplorable, traumatizing conditions these children continue to experience while in detention.

Congressman Cummings stood by NASW and other organizations in our call for the end of a proliferation of insidious laws that make it more difficult for our nation’s citizens to exercise their right to vote.

And Congressman Cummings stood by NASW and other organizations in our push for the preservation and expansion of health care for all, including people who are homeless.

Congressman Cummings is now at rest after a distinguished career as a social justice warrior. We hope our nation will honor his legacy by continuing to work on the issues he supported and end the current atmosphere of divisiveness in our nation that he decried.

NASW will miss this champion of civil rights and hope we all honor his legacy by coming together to make our nation a better place for all.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.

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