Save the Date!
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
Member Tickets: $35 | Non-member Tickets: $55
Tickets available to members on January 3 | Tickets available to non-members January 31
This event will be an interview with Ambassador Young hosted by Professor Jim Ralph.
Ambassador Young’s Abbreviated Biography:
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.
Professor Jim Ralph Biography:
Jim Ralph is the Rehnquist Professor of American History and Culture at Middlebury College and has taught in the History Department since 1989. He specializes in American History, particularly the Civil Rights Movement. Jim has also served recently as the Dean for Faculty Development and Research, the Dean of the Faculty, and the director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research. He earned his B.A. at Middlebury College, and received my M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.
Jim is the author of Northern Protest: Martin Luther King, Jr., Chicago, and the Civil Rights Movement (Harvard University Press, 1993).
He is a co-editor of, and contributor to, The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North (University Press of Kentucky, 2016). This book has recently been released in paperback. Read this recent story about the Chicago Freedom Movement and this book.
Jim is also at work on a history of the struggle for racial equality from the 1840s to the present in Peoria and central Illinois. Click this link for a story on this project.
His most recent publications include a foreword to Robert McKersie’s memoir of his involvement in the Chicago civil rights movement, A Decisive Decade: An Insider’s View of the Chicago Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s (2013), a chapter “Black Church Divisions and Civil Rights Activism in Chicago,” in R. Drew Smith, ed., From Every Mountainside: Black Churches and the Broad Terrain of Civil Rights (2013), and a foreword to Martin Deppe’s Operation Breadbasket: An Untold Story of Civil Rights in Chicago, 1966-1971 (2017).
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