Civil rights icon to be part of the Struggle for Justice Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
On April 30, 2011, The Andrew J. Young Foundation and members of the Young family will join hundreds of dignitaries from across the United States for the presentation of a portrait of civil rights icon and national political leader, Andrew J. Young, as part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, a component of the Smithsonian that serves to tell the story of America through the people who have influenced its history and culture.
Made possible by a gift from Jack Watson, Jr., current chairman of the National Portrait Gallery Commission, Young’s portrait will be part of the “Struggle for Justice” exhibition which showcases major cultural and political figures—from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders—who struggled to achieve civil rights for disenfranchised or marginalized groups. The painting was created by Ross R. Rossin; the prominent artist immigrated to the United States from Bulgaria in 2001.
Commenting on the honor, Ambassador Young says, “This exhibit serves as a reminder of the commitment and sacrifices of so many, I am humbled to be included. Through this medium, thousands will continue to learn of our various journeys to serve the disenfranchised and the least of these, God’s children.”
Young’s wife, Carolyn McClain Young is elated and says, “Though this particular honor focuses on his civil rights work, it easily encompasses my husband’s varied leadership roles, all of them stemming from his higher calling to serve and make a difference in our global community. He has always viewed his work through the lens of his first career, an ordained minister”.
Andrea Young, Executive Director of the Andrew J. Young Foundation and his eldest child added, “We are so proud of him for so many reasons and are pleased to have the opportunity through the Foundation to continue to carry on his work”. Key programs such as the award –winning Andrew Young Presents documentary series which provides an effective medium to communicate knowledge of the world, especially Africa and our civil rights history with youth and young adults; and the Morehouse College: Gift of Leadership Series conducted in partnership with the Leadership Center at Morehouse College serve as the cornerstones of the Foundations’ work.
In addition to the 6:30 p.m. unveiling at the National Portrait Gallery, Ambassador Young will also participate in a 2:00 p.m. discussion.
Long-term activities scheduled to inform the public about the life and work of Ambassador Young include:
Audio broadcast – the conversation with Andrew J. Young available for free download on iTunes U.
Face to Face Portrait Talks – as part of the “Struggle for Justice” exhibition, several Face to Face talks will feature Ambassador Young.
Research, writing, and illustrations – to accompany a digital profile of Andrew J. Young’s portrait and the others featured in “Struggle for Justice” will be available through the Portrait Gallery’s website, www.npg.si.edu
Andrew J. Young Foundation, Inc – Ambassador Young established the Foundation in 2003 to advance his vision of equality, justice and peace for “all of God’s children”. The Foundation has documented important milestones in the history of the civil rights movement, City of Atlanta and the world through the Andrew Young Presents documentary series. Through its’ work with schools and organizations, the Foundation is challenging, encouraging and educating young people to become ethical leaders in a global world, a lasting legacy.
Andrew J. Young – Ambassador Young brings a unique perspective to life formed by his wealth of experience in national and global leadership. 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.
Andrew Young was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1972, the first African-American from the Deep South since Reconstruction. In 1977, President Carter appointed Young the first African-American to serve as U.S.
Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 60 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. France awarded him the Legion d’honneur, the nation’s greatest honor. President William J. Clinton appointed him the founding chair of the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund. He is the author of two books, A Way Out of No Way and An Easy Burden, Civil Rights and the Transformation of America.
Carolyn M. Young is an executive with Atlanta-based GoodWorks International, LLC, a leading global advisory firm offering international market access and political risk analysis in key emerging markets within Africa and the Caribbean.
Young sits on the Governor’s Reform Commission for Education and the Georgia Human Relations Commission. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, Fernbank Museum, the Starlight Foundation and Literacy Action, Inc
A graduate of Clark College and Georgia State University, Young retired from teaching after a 30year career.