Andrew Jackson Young Jr., known as Andrew Young Jr., was born in New Orleans, La on March 12, 1932. After graduating from Howard University, Young chose to study at Connecticut’s Hartford Theological Seminary and became an ordained minister in 1955. A colleague and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Young coordinated desegregation efforts throughout the South, eventually becoming the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s executive director and later executive vice president. During this time, he helped draw up the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Young was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972, the first African American to represent Georgia in Congress since Reconstruction. When President Jimmy Carter was in office, he chose Young to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. While ambassador, Young advocated for human rights on a global scale, such as sanctions to oppose rule by apartheid in South Africa. Young was elected as Atlanta’s mayor in 1981 and was successful in his campaign for Atlanta to host the Olympic Games in 1996.
The author of multiple books and the leader of the equality and economic justice consulting firm Good Works International, Young remains an esteemed civil rights activist. He has received accolades that include the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Springarn Medal. Morehouse College named the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership in his honor, and Young has taught at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
About the Dan Sweat Award:
This prestigious award is given in memory of Dan Sweat, past CAP President, who led the organization and Downtown Atlanta through very tumultuous times in the business and political environment of this City’s growth. Known for his ability to rise above and go beyond his position, Sweat was a dogged competitor to foes and friends alike when it came to the issue of “doing the right thing” for Downtown.