Mayor Soglin's Blog

A Continuing Legacy: Jobs, Justice, Freedom:Andrew Young Speaking

January 14, 2014 3:59 PM


29th Annual City of Madison and Dane County
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance
Monday, January 20th-Freedom Songs 5:00 p.m.-Program 6:00 p.m.

It is exciting that the keynote speaker for the 29th Annual City of Madison and Dane County Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance is Ambassador, Pastor, Civil Rights Activist, Former Mayor, and Former Congressman Andrew Young.  I hope you join me at the Capitol Theater in the Overture Center for what is certainly going to be an inspiring, educational, and motivational talk.

The appearance of Ambassador Young is especially significant in Madison as we commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the passing of the Equal Opportunities Ordinance in December 2013 marking one of the key accomplishments locally of the Civil Rights movement in providing protections in employment and housing.  The City signed into law these protections a year before the Federal government passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Ambassador Young is an American politician, diplomat, activist, and pastor from Georgia.  His friendship and work with the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. were instrumental in shaping the Civil Rights movement.  He helped to draft both the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  He served as the Mayor of Atlanta, a Congressman, and the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations.

Ambassador Young has won the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Springarn Medal.  He has written numerous books detailing the civil rights movement and his journey through life.

The opportunity to hear Ambassador Young may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity.  While we all acknowledge we have made great strides in the area of civil rights, we also know we need have much work yet to do.  Reverend King and Reverend Young lit the torch of equality and justice many years ago.  It is our responsibility to keep that torch burning.

The theme for this year's celebration "A Continuing Legacy: Jobs, Justice, Freedom" is relevant given the Race to Equity report released this last year.

There are of course a number of opportunities to honor the legacy of Dr. King.  On Friday, January 17, there is a Free Community Dinner at Gordon Commons.  On Saturday, January 18, Women in Focus are holding the I Have a Dream Scholarship Ball at the Marriott Madison West.  On Sunday, January 19, you can attend the Urban League Youth Recognition Breakfast at Edgewood High School at 7:45 a.m. and the MLK Ecumenical Church Service at 4:00 p.m. at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.  In addition to the evening celebration on Monday the 20, it is Youth Day of Service at Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. 

Details on all of the events can be found at facebook.com/KingCoalition.

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