August 16, 2013

Civil Rights icon Andrew Young to speak at UAB

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Andrew Young, a civil rights legend and former ambassador to the United Nations, will give a lecture at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013. The free, public event will take at 7 p.m. at Bartow Arena, 617 13th St. South.

Young_Andrew_sThis lecture is one of several events in the yearlong UAB and City of Birmingham partnership, 50 Years Forward, an ongoing commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

As a young, ordained minister, Andrew Young worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to fight for civil and human rights. He 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.

In 1972, Young was elected to the U.S. Congress, the first African-American from the Deep South since Reconstruction. While in office, 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 the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), the Atlanta highway system, as well as a new international airport for Atlanta.

In 1977, he was appointed the nation’s first African-American ambassador to the United Nations. In that role, he negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Jimmy Carter’s emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy.

Young was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1981 and is credited with attracting 1,100 new businesses and $70 billion in investment, as well as adding one million jobs to the region. He also led the effort to bring the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta and was awarded the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic Movement.

Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. He has also been awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and France’s Legion d’Honneur, both are the highest civilian award for their nation.

He founded The Andrew Young Foundation, which documents, preserves and interprets his legacy of servant leadership in ending racism, war and poverty for current and future leaders. Young is the author of three books: “A Way Out of No Way,” “An Easy Burden” and “Walk in My Shoes.”

This event is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Student & Faculty Success and the Freshman Discussion Committee.

For details on this and other 50 Years Forward events, visit

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