MLK Jr. Day Speaker - Andrew Young
Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Andrew Young was a US Ambassador to the United Nations (1977-1979); US Congressman (1973-1977); Mayor of Atlanta (1982-1990); Chairman of the Andrew Young Foundation.
Andrew Young has always viewed his career through the lens of his first career- that of ordained minister. His work for civil and human rights, his many years in public office as Congressman, United Nations Ambassador and Mayor, his leadership of the Atlanta Olympic Games, his advocacy of investment in Africa through GoodWorks International, and the establishment of the Andrew J. Young Foundation are all a response to his call to serve.
Ambassador Young brings a unique perspective formed by his wealth of experience in national and global leadership to his focus on the challenges of this era. He confronted segregation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and galvanized a movement that transformed a nation through non-violence. Young was a key strategist and negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1972, the first African-American elected from the deep South since Reconstruction. He served on the Banking and Urban Affairs and Rules Committees, sponsoring legislation that established a U.S. Institute for Peace, The African Development Bank and the Chattahoochee River National Park, while negotiating federal funds for MARTA, the Atlanta highway system and a new international airport for Atlanta. His support for Jimmy Carter helped to win the Democratic Party nomination and election to the Presidency. In 1977, President Carter appointed him to serve as the nation's first African-American Ambassador to the United Nations, where he negotiated an end to white minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought Carter’s emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy.
Ambassador Young’s leadership as Mayor of Atlanta took place during a recession and a reduction in federal funds for cities. He turned to international markets for investments in Atlanta attracting 1100 new businesses, $70 billion in investment adding 1 million jobs to the region. He developed public-private partnerships to leverage public dollars for the preservation of Zoo Atlanta.
Ambassador Young led the effort to bring the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta and as Co-Chair of the Atlanta Olympic Committee, he oversaw the largest Olympic Games in history- in the number of countries, the number of athletes and the number of spectators. He was awarded the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic Movement.
Ambassador Young retired from GoodWorks International, LLC, in 2012 after well over a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development in the Caribbean and in Africa to the business sector.
Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. The President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and France awarded him the Legion d’Honneur, the greatest civilian honor in each nation. He recently received an EMMY for Lifetime Achievement and in 2011, his portrait will become part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. President William J. Clinton appointed him the founding chair of the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund. He serves on a number of boards, including: the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Barrick Gold, the United Nations Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons, the Andrew Young School for Policy Studies at Georgia State University and Morehouse College.
Andrew Young Presents, the Emmy-nominated, nationally syndicated series of specials produced by Ambassador Young through the Andrew J. Young Foundation, Inc. is seen in nearly 100 American markets and around the world through the Armed Services Network. The Andrew Young Foundation is engaged in documenting, preserving and interpreting Ambassador Young’s legacy of servant leadership toward ending racism, war and poverty for current and future leaders.
Ambassador Young is the author of three books: A Way Out of No Way, An Easy Burden and Walk in My Shoes. He is the father of 4 and the grandfather of 8. Ambassador Young and his wife, the educator and civic leader, Carolyn McClain Young reside in Atlanta.
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