Andrew Young to speak at Reinhardt in celebration of Black History Month

Andrew YoungAs part of Reinhardt’s celebration of February 2012 as Black History Month, Ambassador Andrew Young will speak at the University on Feb 7, 2012, from 2- 4 p.m. in the Bannister Glasshouse of the Hasty Student Life Center on Reinhardt’s campus in Waleska, Ga. This Civil Rights symposium will include a lecture on “Civil Rights and Humanities,” and a reception and meet-and-greet will immediately follow. The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by Reinhardt’s Office of Student Activities and the Student Government Association.

“For a university, such as Reinhardt, that prides itself on creating a culture and environment that encourages a healthy exchange of ideas on the most critical questions confronting society and seeks to instill in its students and alumni a drive to serve the broader public good, the chance to host a Civil Rights icon and statesman such as Ambassador Andrew Young is incredible!” said Dr. Walter May, assistant dean of students and director of student activities. “I am elated to have the opportunity to bring to the University someone who as a young leader marched side-by-side with Dr. King and rose through the ranks of the social justice and civil rights movements and who has gone to be a tremendously successful leader for the State of Georgia, the United States and beyond. I am excited that Ambassador Young will be able to share his experiences and unique perspective formed by his knowledge in national and global leadership with the Reinhardt community.”

Young Background

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 public purpose capitalism through Goodworks International, and the establishment of the Andrew J. Young foundation are all a response to his call to serve.

“A wealth of experience in national and global leadership.”

He 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.

Elected to the U.S. Congress in 1972 and having served on the Banking and Urban Affairs and Rules Committees, Young sponsored 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 U.S. 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.

Leadership as Mayor of Atlanta

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. 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.

Honors and Recognition

He has received honorary degrees from more than 60 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. 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 and the Andrew Young School for Policy Studies at Georgia State University.

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 90 American markets and around the world through the Armed Services Network. He is the author of two books: A Way Out of No Way and An Easy Burden.

Young and his wife, the educator and civic leader Carolyn McClain Young, live in Atlanta. He is the father of four and grandfather of six.

For more information about the Civil Rights Symposium at Reinhardt, please contact May at 770-720-5540 or