Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Andrew Young next at podium

Former ambassador will deliver Freedom Center lecture

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young will deliver the third National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Theodore Berry Lecture: A Series on Public Policy and Human Rights, the center announced Tuesday.

        The lecture will be Oct. 11.

        “If you look at Cincinnati where we are today and what we need, this is the right man to come here and at the right time,” Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken said during a press conference at the Westin Hotel. “Andy Young is a man of tremendous insight.”

        Mr. Young, co-chair of the Freedom Center's capital campaign, is a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, congressman and former mayor of Atlanta. He currently serves as president of the National Council of Churches and chairman of GoodWorks International, a specialty-consulting group that provides strategic services to corporations and governments.

        “Ambassador Young's generation made great strides in dealing with racial-justice issues in this country, with his career exemplifying the conviction for freedom and human rights to which Mr. Berry dedicated his life,” said Ed Rigaud, president and CEO of the Freedom Center. “He has a message that today's generation needs to hear.”

        The center created the lecture series to honor Mr. Berry, Cincinnati's first black mayor and former head of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. About 2,000 people attended last year's lecture.

        The lecture is free, but a ticket is required. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will be available at multiple locations, including the Music Hall box office and Cincinnati Bell store locations.

        Freedom Center officials also made two additional announcements.

        • Beginning July 6, the center will host a six-month series of public dialogues and presentations on contemporary freedom issues titled “Freedom Fridays.”

        Mr. Rigaud said the series will be presented in cooperation with Cincinnati churches — both white and African-American. He encouraged any churches interested in participating to call the Freedom Center

        “Our goal is to bring people together using the lessons of history to understand today's journey,” Mr. Rigaud said. He said Freedom Fridays will have two sessions per day — one at lunchtime in a downtown location and another in the evening at the address of a church partner. Exact times and locations will be announced later.

        • The center also invited Cincinnatians — black and white — to share their own family stories and lessons from the Underground Railroad period. The center has already begun videotaping family stories of Cincinnatians.

        The freedom center, designed to celebrate the courage and cooperation of the Underground Railroad, is scheduled to open on Cincinnati's riverfront in 2004.


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