2018 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage Recipient: Ambassador Andrew J. Young
Andrew J. Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneering champion for civil and human rights. Ambassador Young has dedicated more than 65 years to leadership and service, as a member of Congress, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, mayor of Atlanta, and ordained minister, among other roles.
During the 1960s, Young was a major figure in the civil rights campaigns and negotiations that culminated in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Appointed ambassador to the United Nations in 1977, he negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Carter's emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy efforts. Under his leadership as a two-term mayor, Atlanta gained more than 1,100 new businesses, $70 billion in foreign investments, and a million new jobs.
Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad as well as numerous awards, including an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award in 2011 and the Dan Sweat Award in 2017. His portrait is part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.
Ambassador Young has also served tirelessly on a number of boards, among them the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Morehouse College, the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, and AmericasMart Atlanta. In 2003, he and his wife, Carolyn McClain Young, founded the Andrew J. Young Foundation to support and promote education, health, leadership, and human rights in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean. He currently serves as chairman of the foundation.
In 2012, Young retired from GoodWorks International LLC, after more than a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development in the business sectors of the Caribbean and Africa. Born in 1932 in New Orleans, he currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Carolyn, who have three daughters and one son, and eight grandchildren.