New Jersey Institute for Social Justice President Ryan Haygood released the following statement on the death of Lieutenant Gov. Sheila Oliver:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Lt. Gov. Oliver.
Lt. Gov. Oliver was a true public servant and a trailblazer, becoming New Jersey’s first Black female Assembly Speaker, the second Black woman in the country’s history to lead a state legislative house and the state’s first Black Lt. Governor.
Born and raised in Newark, Lt. Gov. Oliver understood the racial justice challenges facing our state and was a strong advocate for uplifting Black and other communities of color in New Jersey. She had the courage to speak up about social justice issues that are crucial to our state but that don’t always get the attention they require.
Lt. Gov. Oliver was a friend to the Institute and we will miss her dearly. We send our heartfelt condolences and love to her family, friends and colleagues as they mourn the loss of a special woman and a dedicated champion for all New Jerseyans.”