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RIT to Host Civil Rights Activist Andrew Young for Dr. King’s Legacy Celebration

By Staff


Andrew Young

Andrew Young

Andrew Young, a close friend and associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, and a leader in the Civil Rights movement, will be the keynote speaker for the 2016 Expressions of King’s Legacy Celebration at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The event will take place from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 in RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activity Center.

It will be free and open to the public. Tickets are required, and will be available online at

“Andrew Young and Dr. King represent an important historical bridge between the earliest civil rights trials and triumphs, and today’s progress and challenges,” said Kevin McDonald, RIT’s vice president and associate provost for Diversity and Inclusion. “They represent trailblazers whose tireless sacrifices, and relentless dedication, have resulted in justice, equality, opportunity and freedom.”

A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut, Young aligned with King in the areas of education, literacy and leadership, and combined human rights activism, education, and politics in key leadership positions throughout the Civil Rights Movement.

He was also instrumental in organizing voter registration processes and policies to include men and women of color.

“His work alongside King in writing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 remains influential, landmark legislation today,” RIT officials stated.

In 1972, Young was the first African American since reconstruction to be elected to Congress from Georgia, when he won the state’s fifth district seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He was elected to two terms before being appointed by president Jimmy Carter as ambassador to the United Nations, where he would, like King, advocate for human rights, at home and abroad.

Expressions of King’s Legacy has been coordinated by RIT’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and is supported by campus and community partners. According to officials, the school will also release additional information regarding musical performers in the near future.