Ambassador Andrew Young, Jr.
Pastor, Diplomat, Mayor, Civil Rights Activist, U.S. Representative, Educator
Thursday, February 14, 2019
7:00 p.m. in Loretta Spencer Hall
Members: $35/ Non-members: $55
Save the date! Ticket information will be coming soon.
Andrew Young, Jr. was an activist for the Civil Rights Movement. He became a member of Congress, mayor of Atlanta and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Working as a pastor in Georgia, Young first became part of the Civil Rights Movement when he organized voter registration drives. In 1964, Young became the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) executive director and helped draw up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He was with Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, the day of King’s assassination. Following King’s death, Young became executive vice president of the SCLC.
In 1970, Young left the SCLC to make a run for Congress, but was defeated at the polls. Two years later, he ran again, and this time was elected to the House of Representatives. Young was the first African American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. In his time as a legislator, he supported programs for the poor, educational initiatives and human rights.
During Jimmy Carter’s run for the presidency, Young offered key political support; when Carter was in office, he chose Young to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Young left his seat in Congress to take the position. While Ambassador, he advocated for human rights on a global scale, such as sanctions to oppose rule by apartheid in South Africa.
Young was elected as Atlanta’s mayor in 1981. After two terms as mayor, he failed in his attempt to secure the Democratic nomination to run for governor of Georgia. However, Young was successful in his campaign for Atlanta to host the Olympic Games in 1996.
Young wrote about his role in the fight for civil rights in two books: A Way Out of No Way (1994) and An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America (1996). He has also written Walk in My Shoes: Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead (2010). He continues to fight for equality and economic justice with a consulting firm, Good Works International, that supports development initiatives, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean.
As an esteemed civil rights activist, Young has received accolades that include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Springarn Medal. Morehouse College named the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership in his honor, and Young has taught at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
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