Indiana State University Newsroom

Civil rights figure Andrew Young to speak at ISU Feb. 4

January 22, 2010

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- A former ambassador and civil rights figure will appear at Indiana State University to discuss the civil rights movement and how it transformed America.

Andrew Young will speak at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in Tilson Auditorium. Ambassador, congressman, mayor, humanitarian, ordained minister, international businessman and sports enthusiast, Young has been serving and shaping America for almost 50 years.

Young had a significant role in the civil rights movement. He worked on drives to register black voters and in 1960 he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He was jailed for his participation in civil rights demonstrations, in Selma, Ala., and in St. Augustine, Fla.

Young played a key role in the events in Birmingham, Ala., serving as a mediator between the white and black communities. In 1964 he was named executive director of the SCLC, becoming one of Martin Luther King Jr's principal lieutenants. As a colleague and friend to King, he was a key strategist and negotiator during the civil rights campaigns in Birmingham (1963) and Selma (1965) that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Young was with King in Memphis when King was assassinated in 1968.

Young began his first of three terms as a U.S. Congressman in 1973. In 1977, he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

From 1982 to 1989, Young served as mayor of Atlanta and played an instrumental role in bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to the city.

As co-founding principal and chairman of GoodWorks International, he executes his life-long mission of energizing the private sector to advance economic development in Africa and the Caribbean by putting corporate executives in contact with leaders and key influences in the regions' emerging markets, facilitating the formation of successful business partnerships.

Young remains active in numerous charitable activities and organizations, including serving as National Spokesperson for Operation HOPE, a national non-profit self-help organization that seeks to bring economic self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America's inner city communities.

Young is a distinguished executive fellow and honorary professor of public policy at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. He is the former president of the National Council of Churches.

He serves on the National Security Council Advisory Board and is on the Board of Directors of numerous businesses and organizations, as well as the advisory boards for the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and The United Nations Foundation.

Young is the author of two books: "A Way Out of No Way" and "An Easy Burden." He is currently writing a memoir on Africa. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the French Legion of Honor and the Bishop Walker Humanitarian Award.

Young's presentation in sponsored by the University Speaker Series and the Indianapolis Recorder and held in conjunction with the University's Black Leadership Conference. A book signing and reception will follow Young's presentation. All events are free and open to the public.


Media contact and writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or  


Story Highlights

A former ambassador and civil rights figure will appear at Indiana State University to discuss the civil rights movement and how it transformed America.

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