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Lewis, Marzette, 1940-


Marzette Lewis was born November 29, 1940 in Quitman, Mississippi. Her father, Alex Ray, was murdered at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. She moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1953 and in 1964, she became the first black seamstress at Desert Inn Casino and an executive housekeeper. As a young mother, Lewis also became involved in the education of her school-aged son. She became a vocal proponent for ending the bussing of children from their neighborhood schools and started WAAK-UP [Westside Action Alliance Corps Uplifting People] as a part of her mission to improve local education. Since the 1970s, Lewis has been an outspoken leader with the ultimate goal to provide equal and quality education for the children of Las Vegas, especially those under-served, poorer neighborhoods.