Acclaimed leader Andrew Young returned to Nashville to discuss his experiences during the civil rights movement and challenged attendees of Nashville’s premiere annual MLK Day Breakfast event to continue the push towards peace and justice throughout the world. The Nashville law firm of Bone McAllester Norton PLLC (Bone) held its 16th Annual Fellowship Breakfast honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,with Ambassador Andrew Young as keynote speaker, Monday, January 16, in The Music City Center’s Davidson Ballroom. Nashville Mayor Megan Barry introduced Ambassador Young.
“We are honored to have Ambassador Young share his wealth of knowledge in pushing for a just society through his work with Dr. King, building a city or representing our country’s interests at an international level,” said Stacey Garrett Koju, Bone founding member and chairperson of the board of directors. The event also featured performances by The McCrary Sisters (Ann, Deborah, Regina and Alfreda) who are famous for providing heavy-hitting vocals and perfectly blended harmonies in multiple genres, and by Lawrence David Thomison.
A colleague and friend of Dr. King’s, Ambassador Young chairs the Andrew Young Foundation, is a former two-term mayor of Atlanta, Georgia Congressman, and U.N. Ambassador to the United States. Young is a global statesman and lifelong advocate of building collaborative partnerships across socio-economic lines and using public policy to transform societies for the greater good. Over 500 people attended to hear from Young, among them quite a few local dignitaries and luminaries, including judges, Metro council members, state legislators, clergy, and business academic leaders.
“Our city would not be what it is today without the vision, leadership and commitment of people who came together to create a country where inclusion and acceptance are now the rule and no longer the exception,” said Mayor Megan Barry, the first female Mayor of Nashville, prior to the event.
“We need that commitment again today. I’m grateful to those who came before me, like Ambassador Young, who paved the way for countless people to demand equal human rights and civil liberties in America.”
In her introductory remarks, Mayor Barry commented on a number of topics, and implored the audience members to support the new Metro jobs initiative for youth entitled Opportunity NOW.
Ambassador Young spoke for nearly an hour, touching of a myriad of ideas in a very candid and moving talk to a warm and appreciative group. He echoed Mayor Barry’s youth jobs program at one point, describing how a jobs program in Atlanta helped them to avoid having riots in the 1960’s, and that the 6,000 young interns went on to become business leaders in the community, spurring the city’s growth from 300,000 in 1961 to over 6 million people today.
The former Ambassador ended on a positive note, recalling a favorite saying of his colleague Ralph Abernathy: “I’m not worried about what the future holds, because I know who holds the future.”