Eva Maria Lewis— Chicago-based youth activist, Founder and Executive Director of Free Root Operation, Co-founder of Youth for Black Lives and an award-winning human rights advocate from Illinois, South Side of Chicago.

Eva Lewis Biography

Eva Maria Lewis is a 23-year-old award-winning human rights advocate, youth activist, writer, student protester, community organizer, poet, artist, and a Chicago scholar born and raised in Illinois, South Side of Chicago. Eva Maria Lewis was born and cared for by her single mum Valerie Andrews Lewis, who loved and catered for the good upkeep and well-being of her daughter. Growing up, Eva Lewis’s activism role on human rights issues and social justice has gained global recognition over the years.  Her energetic involvement in youth activism advocating for social justice issues can be traced back to 2015 when she founded a non-profit organization, The Free Root Operation and ‘The I Project’ the same year during her teen days in high school.

Eva Lewis Education

Eva Maria Lewis graduated Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Old Town neighbourhood on the north side of Chicago, Illinois, United States.

She is currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania on a full QuestBridge College Match Scholarship studying Sociology. Eva Lewis is, however, set to graduate in May 2022.

Eva Lewis Inception of Community Activism

Eva Maria Lewis began her advocacy role in high school when she founded The Free Root Operation. The Free Root Operation is a non-profit organization that seeks to combat poverty-induced gun violence through community-focused programs such as educational resources and food-pairing programs, and empowerment of Black and Brown communities across Chicago.

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Having developed her interest to alleviate the challenges of people in her community, in 2015, Eva Lewis created The I Project while in high school, which sort to address educational inequity and broader systems of unequal resources distribution in South Shore Chicago, which had many youths in Black and Brown neighbourhoods resorting to gun violence as the only option to survive under a rising poverty and unemployment rate.

Following this, Eva Lewis project, The I Project, established the Education Emancipation campaign that aimed to provide resources to both the south and west side Chicago Public Schools and elementary schools to make these schools educationally equitable to other schools across the city following the disparity in state investment in resource distribution.

The I Project is primarily based on the premise that equality is not a solution, but equity is and to solve gun violence, there is a need for fair equitable distribution of resources.

Later in 2016 and 2017, Eva Maria Lewis became a writer for Teen Vogue focusing on black women, intersectional feminism, and perceptions and responses to violence in Chicago.

Eva Lewis Community Activism

Eva Lewis’s community activism grew from her high school days to protesting for the first time with her mom on Michigan Avenue after the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin. In 2016, Eva Lewis organized a youth sit-in in Chicago with three other black teen women activists to protest the police shooting of rational minorities and persons of colour, particularly Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which had a crowd of over 1,000 protestors with a march down Michigan Avenue and State Street in Chicago.

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Eva Lewis Biography And Net Worth
Chicago youths in a sit-in protest against police brutality

Eva Lewis together with her three activists mobilized young community members on social media, particularly through Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #BLMCHIYouth, which became a symbolic protest in Chicago. The protest reportedly had no arrests despite Chicago’s history of violence among the youth and the tense relationship between anti-racism activists and the Chicago Police.

After the successful protest, Eva Lewis and the organizers created Youth for Black Lives (Y4BL) to empower young people to speak out against instructional racism.

Following the death of Paul O’Neal, Eva Lewis organized a second protest under the Youth for Black Lives that began in Millennium Park on August 7, 2016, to condemn police brutality.

In November 2016, a subsequent protest was organized by Eva Lewis’s Youth for Black Lives following a fatal shooting on Mount Greenwood, Chicago. However, the protest was abortive and cancelled due to safety concerns.

Eva Lewis Achievements

Being a vibrant youth activist and a speaker at many events, Eva Lewis shared her experiences and thoughts on the need for social justice and advocating human rights among Black and Brown communities. These events built her reputation and recognition in Chicago and other parts of the World.  Here are some of the notable achievements of Eva Lewis.

  • Attended United Nations 60th Annual Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2016 as part of her ten-year involvement with the Girls Scouts of the USA.
  • Performed a spoken word at the event opening of United Nations International Day of the Girl Child in October 2016 and delivered a speech afterwards.
  • Wrote for Teen Vogue in 2016 and 2017 focusing on black women, intersectional feminism, Chicago’s resident’s attitudes and responses to dealing with violence, and social justice predominantly among Black and Brown people in the United States of America.
  • Represented United States of America at the Human Right Defenders Summit in Paris.
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Eva Lewis Awards

Eva Lewis’s robust activism has gained her reputable honours for her supportive contributions towards social justice, advocating human rights and protesting against police brutality. Here are some of her honorary awards.  

  • Pioneer Award, Chicago Foundation for Women, March 2017
  • Princeton Price in Race Relations, April 2017
  • Rising Star Award from DuSable Museum of African American History, June 2017

Eva Lewis Biography And Net Worth
Eva Lewis showcases her Rising Star Award
  • Reebok Human Right Award, 2021
Eva Lewis Biography And Net Worth
Eva Marie with her Reebok Human Right Award Plague
  • Philanthropy Award from African American Legacy
Eva Lewis Biography And Net Worth
Eva Lewis’s mom with her daughter’s first Philanthropy Award from African American Legacy at the Harold Washington Library

Eva Lewis’s Net Worth

Eva Maria Lewis’s net worth is not available at the moment. We will make the update available once it is provided by a reliable source.


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