Skye Drynan has everything anyone could ever dream of. Surrounded by glitz and glamour and sparkle to whatever occupation she holds, there is more than meets the eye. Behind the physical observation, there is a powerful tour de force that the world will soon recognize as a household name, simply, Skye. From climbing the echelons of Wall Street, to researching mysteries in scientific labs, philanthropic pursuits, struggling with the pen-to-paper tasks of an author and budding song writer, to sharing her life in front of a live camera, and now designing and creating a fashion empire, Skye Drynan tells us exactly why “The Beast in You is the Best in You.”
EMINEM’S MARSHALL MATHERS FOUNDATION TO RELEASE EXCLUSIVE DOWNTOWN BOXING GYM COLLAB ON BLACK FRIDAY
Just in time for Black Friday, the Marshall Mathers Foundation is releasing a limited-edition line of clothing for a good cause. The designs also make a nod to “Stan” and the 20th anniversary of The Marshall Mathers LP.
The Marshall Mathers Foundation x DBG #Stan #MMLP collab on Carhartt gear will raise funds to help the Downtown Boxing Gym (DBG Detroit) knock out COVID-19 related learning loss. DBG is a free academic and athletic program on Detroit’s east side that’s working around the clock to prevent students from falling behind during the pandemic.
“We’re facing a crisis like we’ve never seen and we’re doing everything we can to support our kids and help them make it through,” said Khali Sweeney, DBG’s founder and CEO. “To have Eminem and the Marshall Mathers Foundation step up during this time and help raise much needed funds means the world to us. This is what we do in the D. We take care of each other. And we are truly grateful.”
Royce Da 5’9”, Director of Community Engagement and Social Justice Initiatives for The Marshall Mathers Foundation, said: “I’ve experienced firsthand the discipline, commitment, and focus that boxing training instills in young people. I’m passionate about the sport, and I’m passionate about the role that DBG plays in our community. We need to make sure the important work they do continues.”
The t-shirts and hoodies sell for $30 and $60 and are available online at the Eminem Store (shop.eminem.com) while supplies last. 100% of the proceeds will support DBG’s tutoring, mentorship, enrichment programs, college and career prep, social-emotional skills building, and basic needs support like transportation, meals, and more. Learn more at dbgdetroit.org.
The Marshall Mathers Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to disadvantaged and at-risk youth in Detroit, Michigan and its surrounding communities. Our mission has expanded to stand as an ally in the fight against social injustice and for racial equality nationwide.
At 22 years old, Isabelle Fries has started to make a name for herself in the music industry. Not only is she gifted in her art, she has an extremely large heart.
Born in Sydney, but raised in Denver, Colorado, Fries found her inclination for singing at a young age. “I knew I wanted music to be a part of my life since I was about 7, but as I got older I was able to recognize that it is a labor of love for me,” she expressed. “I have never searched for fame through my music.”
Not long after, she discovered her heart had room for another love, philanthropy. At just 15 years old, Fries became the first youth board member and youth leader for the Global Livingston Institute (GLI) an NGO in Uganda who’s mission is to educate students & community leaders on innovative approaches to international development and empower awareness, collaboration, conversations and personal growth.
Through working with this organization, Isabelle travelled to Uganda to teach, perform and empower. In 2017, Fries performed in front of 20,000 people in Uganda at the annual iKnow HIV Awareness Concert Series along with other musicians from around the world, using music to breakdown barriers, bring people together and provide free medical testing and awareness for HIV for over 8,500 Ugandans.
“I became a part of GLI when I was 15 and fully threw myself into their mission and their work. It is what opened my eyes to one of my passions I am now pursuing in international education. They really focus on young voices and drawing on perspectives from all types of individuals which is why I was asked to be on the board at such a young age. GLI is truly one of the most important things in my life so I could not be more thankful to be a part of it.”
This wasn’t the only organization Fries carried out philanthropic work with. She volunteered in Haiti with The Road to Hope, an International Affairs Intern with Creative Visions in Malibu, California and a community worker with CEPIA in Costa Rica.
For twelve years, she swam competitively breaking records, winning State Championships and being a leader on her teams until complications from several autoimmune disorders forced her out of the water. This was never a part of her plan, but she was able to alter her life’s path and kept pushing through
“It is not something that I let control my life or hold me back from living. I take care of myself in every way I can and find strength in what I am able to do and learn new ways to improve my way of life,” she expressed.
One of Fries’ missions with both GLI and BCF is to raise awareness for water safety on Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda by teaching swimming to prevent drownings. By working closely with GLI and the headmaster of the Kazi Primary School, Fries has been able to carry out this initiative, as well as implementing academic, music and sports curriculum.
She said that the community of Lake Bunyonyi changed her life by seeing how they are such powerful and driven people. “I don’t go for my own benefit or to be a ‘white savior’ ,” she asserted. “When I work in Uganda, I give the individuals I work with support and resources and they truly do the rest.”
Isabelle was fortunate enough to meet one of her long time role models, Michael Phelps. Fostering a relationship with someone who has shaped her life in so many ways in and out of the water has been such a blessing, says Fries. This lead to her working with the Michael Phelps Foudation (MPF), where she took the opportunity to become certified in their “IM Water Safety Program” which is implemented in The Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
When given the opportunity again to combine her music and philanthropy through the MPF, she couldn’t resist. Isabelle was asked to open for country singer, Eric Church, at a MPF benefit concert in Chicago at the iconic Arcada Theater. “Swimming is an incredibly big part of my life as I was a serious competitive swimmer from the ages of 5 to 18, therefor having the chance to combine my music with my love and passion for swimming and water safety was very special and meaningful.”
Now a recent graduate of The University of Southern California, Fries splits her time living between Denver and Los Angeles, continuing to pursue her passions: music and philanthropy, while working in Denver at a non-profit dedicated to mentoring students. Isabelle holds a degree in International Relations with minors in Spanish as well as Non-Profits, Philanthropy and Volunteerism.
While studying at USC, Isabelle was fortunate enough to catch the eye of Grammy-winning, multi-platinum producer/mixer Rob Chiarelli, who she’s fostered an incredibly close relationship with.
She began releasing music signed with Chiarelli’s label Streetlamp records this year, already finding a widespread and loyal audience across all music platforms using her rich, soulful vocal that could be compared to the sound of Lauren Daigle or Adele. She recently released her 6th single, a raw piano ballad called “All We Had. When people listen to her music, Fries always wants to make them truly feel – whatever that feeling may be. Through channeling lyrics with her songwriters from her own life experiences, the emotions she is able to elicit are special to her.
While the music may be interpreted differently for each unique individual, her raw style is something she hopes help guide those listeners on whatever journey they want to take. “I’ve always said, I love music because it lets you feel something you didn’t think you could.”
This is definitely something she mirrors artistically with one of her musical inspirations, Amy Winehouse. Growing up performing jazz music, Fries describes this genre as a big part of her musical identity, so she was instantly drawn to Winehouse’s style which she catalogs as “authentic, raw and groundbreaking. Amy created music unapologetically.”
But Fries’ number one music icon is Sir Elton John. “His music was always around me when I was growing up. My parents loved all music from that time and exposed me to it at a very young age which is one of the reasons it is the type of music I love the most.
However, Elton John’s music was different for me, it felt like poetry and real emotion. His sound and songs are like stories that you never want to end. When I began to listen to him more I realized this is the type of music I want to sing and be a part of.”
Feeling very blessed to have found such a supportive team, guiding her in finally being able to put her own original songs out there into the world, she is excited to evolve using her music to help create change, perform live again, and continue to build upon her body of work. While she’s away in the studio recording, we’ll be out here patiently waiting for more music, while she continues to use her voice to make the world a better place.
Subaru of America, the famed brand and subsidiary of the Subaru Corporation of Japan, is hosting an event to fundraise for the HIV/AIDS community across the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced dramatic changes to all lives and brought devastating challenges to the restaurant community, as well as to the healthcare organizations who support people in need. Subaru’s annual restaurant-based fundraiser, Dining Out For Life hosted by Subaru, sends crucially needed funds to HIV/AIDS organizations in cities across North America. This aide represents Subaru’s commitment to extending beyond the automobile realm to be an active and ethical member of communities.
Chopped! host Ted Allen joins with Subaru of America, Inc. in their continuing support for Dining Out For Life, and invites the public to join Allen and guests on Instagram Live on Thursday, September 24, 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT, for a spicy, clean-food, cooking demonstration. The event will also be hosted by New York-based, award-winning Chef Ric Orlando, as well as conversation with Designer/HIV Activist Mondo Guerra, and actor/author, Pam Grier.
To join the event, go to @Subaru_USA. The nearly 3,000 restaurants that participate in Dining Out For Life need support now more than ever. On September 24, dining out and take-out events will be happening in several cities across the country: Oakland, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; Louisville, Kentucky; Alaska; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Seattle, Washington. Many more regions will hold in-person and virtual events in October and through December. Visit your community’s page on diningoutforlife to find participating restaurants and to support your community. Another way an individual can help is to reach out to the HIV/AIDS Service Organization that produces Dining Out For Life in your community to see how one can help the people they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, with support from Subaru of America, Inc., more than $4.2 million dollars was raised from a single day of dining in 60 cities coast to coast, the most funds raised since the event began in 1991. “A commitment to caring for the people in our communities is integral to our Subaru Love Promise, and our longstanding partnership with Dining Out for Life is a shining example of the importance of supporting causes that matter,” said Alan Bethke, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Subaru of America, Inc. “We are proud to help raise awareness and funds to fight against HIV/AIDS and benefit those who are impacted in our local communities.”
Funds raised through a city’s Dining Out For Life event stay in that region to provide HIV care, prevention, education, testing, counseling and other essential services to people living with or impacted by HIV/AIDS. This event, hosted by Subaru, truly represents the best of both worlds in supporting local communities in more ways than one.
The ability to quickly adapt to change is a key aspect of running any successful organization. However, in times of crisis, that change can often come quicker than the organization and its stakeholders could imagine. Unfortunately, for nonprofit organizations and their beneficiaries, the COVID-19 global crisis has drastically changed the world. The need in our communities is greater. However, the opportunities for raising much needed funds have been hampered by social restrictions. So how does a nonprofit organization keep their donors engaged in times of crisis?
Communicating with our stakeholders is an integral part of telling our story. In a normal operating environment, we share with people who know us and those who don’t, who we are and what we do. We explain our challenges and needs, and we celebrate our successes with thanks to donors for their collective support.
But our story, much like the operating environment, has now morphed. We have quickly recognized the need to change how and what we communicate. We understand that donors are being bombarded with information about all the current needs in our society. So rather than get lost in the noise, we are finding a balance of increasing communication without being overwhelming, through impactful storytelling – where donors can clearly see the need and the impact of their donation. And, we are adjusting the way we raise funds, while continuing to lend support to the organizations that have been a part of our flagship program.
We also understand that there are many who will undoubtedly rise to the occasion, even before we can ask for a helping hand. And for that, we are grateful.
Our focus at the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation is simple and globally unifying – help bring nutrition to children and families in underserved communities around the globe. So, with donors spread throughout the world, engaging with them can sometimes be a challenge, but that is something we’ve adapted to, and now relish in that global reach.
The challenge we are facing today as a result of COVID-19 is that we are an event-driven organization that raises 90% of funds from events, to one where events have been eliminated. So, since we are limited on the ability to host events and gatherings, and failing our communities is not an option, we must adapt and move forward.
Thanks to technology, we found a way to offer peer-to-peer fundraising tools that allow those who want to help, to create their own fundraisers. Donors can share heartwarming videos about why the cause means so much to them. They can inspire others by snapping photos of their outreach. Without social media, it would be much more difficult to bring a global audience together, to share in our collective work and our reach, helping so many along the way.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
English poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” These words are evident in the way people have come together to support each other in these critical times, and the way organizations have stepped up or partnered with others to lend a hand to those in need.
Our partner organizations around the world are doing amazing work and setting examples of how adaptation in times of crisis can be done right – from changing the way they operate daily, to offering services to more than children. For example, SOS’s Children’s Villages is working to educate and reduce the spread of COVID-19, offering psychosocial support and alternative childcare in developing countries. Other organizations like Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), are helping provide meals to children and families who otherwise would go without, while also working to provide adequate technology to students who are now studying from home.
This is who we are and what we do. We adapt and we overcome. We use technology to help us tell our story. And our story will be shared again and again, helping us not only to raise awareness, but allowing us to collect funds that will make an impact in the lives of children and families, all around the globe.
In Greenwich Village near where Stonewall Inn resides, a monument will be built to honor the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, trailblazers and history-makers for the LGBTQ+ community. Marsha P. Johnson was a black transgender woman and drag queen, whose outspoken activism and radical vision during the Gay Liberation Movement continues to inspire people today.
A monument isn’t the only place bearing her memory. Marsha’s House- operated by the nonprofit Project Renewal- opened on February 15, 2017 to continue to serve the community as Marsha did, by taking in homeless LGBTQ+ young adults. With the added risks and discrimination that they face, Marsha’s House seeks to provide valuable resources and shelter to these LGBTQ+ youth.
According to a report done by the National Institutes of Health, around 62% of homeless LGBTQ+ youth have faced discrimination from their families. Jazmine Pérez, Program Director of Marsha’s House, stressed the importance of having a “safe space dedicated to [LGBTQ+ homeless youth]” as “New York City had never had housing tailored to their needs.”
These youth face particular adversities that are further complicated when alternative housing options do not have the facilities to aid them, or are outright discriminatory towards them. A study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that 41% of homeless and runaway LGBTQ+ adolescents they interviewed have major depression, in comparison to 28% of homeless heterosexual adolescents interviewed.
Marsha’s House boasts a variety of programs catered towards some of the issues that LGBTQ+ individuals face. Pérez outlines services which include “referrals to legal supportive services, education, healthcare, and employment programs.”
Additionally, clients that come to Marsha’s House are assured personalized living arrangements that assist each individual in finding employment and housing. “Our Case Managers and Peer Counselors meet with clients to ensure compliance with their individual living plan. They work closely with our Job Developer, Vocational Counselor, and Housing Coordinator to secure employment and housing.”
Concerns over Covid-19 pandemic are ever prevalent in the context of shared living facilities, like homeless shelters. However, Marsha’s House eases some of this concern by screening potential clients for the virus, enforcing social distancing, and cutting down accommodation from 81 beds to 60 in its 5-floor-walk-up facility. The facility maintains 20 rooms of various sizes, from single rooms to larger rooms that accommodate up to 6 people.
But Covid-19 hasn’t been the only adversity Marsha’s House has faced in recent years. The Trump administration has continued to be a source of disparaging policies and remarks against the LGBTQ+ community. On July 23, 2020, the Department of Housing and Urban Development formally announced a proposal that would reverse the 2012 Equal Access Rule, which warrants protection for homeless transgender people against discrimination by homeless shelters and other federally funded alternative housing.
This comes as a setback and large blow to the transgender community. A 2015 survey done by The National Center for Transgender Equality shows that “70% of respondents who stayed in a shelter in the past year reported some form of mistreatment, including being harassed, sexually or physically assaulted, or kicked out because of being transgender.” The HUD’s rollback on the Equal Access Rule would only serve to undo the progress that has been made to make homeless shelters more safe to the marginalized people that need them.
“The rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration have disregarded the very identities of our clients and staff, especially when it comes to the intersectionality of our existence,” said Pérez. “Speaking personally, as a woman of color with trans experience, I feel like I have three strikes against me in the eyes of this administration.”
Despite these incredible challenges they face, Marsha’s House continues to receive equally incredible help- from the support coming from their progressive state of New York, to the generous donors that help fund Project Renewal, to the operations staff that help run things every single day. “Our Marsha’s House Heroes are our operations staff. As essential workers, they have not skipped a beat with reporting to work and providing the support our clients needed. Being that we are a shelter, we operate 24/7/365, and our operations staff members are always here for their full 8-hour shifts.”
A global pandemic. Racial injustice. Extreme political polarization. In an incredibly challenged moment for the country, extraordinary people in communities across America are working tirelessly to light the way forward. Community-based organizations have become essential lifelines, which is why five nonprofits that represent the brightest lights were chosen as recipients of this year’s Renewal Awards.
The Renewal Awards, presented by The Atlantic and Allstate, is a national competition recognizing organizations that use innovative solutions to create lasting change in their communities. This year’s winners are the 5th class of award recipients and were selected from more than 13,000 nominations. Each winner receives a $40,000 grant to amplify their mission of helping others, along with national recognition that elevates their profile and awareness for their work.
Despite facing significant funding and staffing challenges in this unprecedented year, the winning organizations continue to stay relentlessly focused on the most pervasive and systemic challenges affecting society—homelessness, educational equity, skills and job training, and children and families in need. Each organization serves different needs, but all are united by a core belief that defines our times—no matter who we are, we can lift each other up in times of need.
Choose 180 (Burien, WA):Engages youth in critical moments and empowers them to make positive changes in their lives, especially when facing jail time or school expulsion. *Allstate Youth Empowerment Award Winner.
College to Congress (Washington, D.C.): Levels the playing field and fosters bipartisanship for congressional interns, providing both financial support and mentorship across the aisle.
Facing Homelessness (The BLOCK Project) (Seattle, WA): Integrates 125-square-foot detached accessory dwelling units in residential backyards to reduce homelessness.
Hello Neighbor (Pittsburgh, PA): Supports recently resettled refugees with mentorship, educational training, and community events.
More Than Words (Waltham, MA): Empowers youth who are in foster care, court-involved, homeless, or out of school by helping to run a bookstore.
The Atlantic’s Ron Brownstein writes about the work of this year’s winners, and the larger story they tell about the country, in a piece published today: “Real Reform Comes From Civic Stamina”. “We are proud to continue this critical partnership with Allstate, especially during the unprecedented events dramatically affecting all communities across the country,” said Hayley Romer, The Atlantic’s Publisher and CRO. “The generous spirit and relentless work modeled by these community leaders is inspiring and driving the progress we need.”
“2020 has changed our way of life, yet these five organizations continue to find ways to serve others despite the enormous challenges they face,” explained Stacy Sharpe, Allstate’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Brand. “These amazing community leaders should remind us all that anything is possible when you know your purpose and have the passion to create a lasting impact.”
Finalists were selected by The Atlantic’s editors and writers. Winners were evaluated by a panel of judges who include former Mayors Rahm Emanuel (Chicago) and Karen Freeman-Wilson (Gary, IN); Anne Marie Burgoyne, managing director of social innovation at Emerson Collective; Kate Nack, director of The Allstate Foundation; former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (Florida); and two past Renewal Award winners, Juedy Mom, director of The Compton Initiative, and Pamela Urquieta, CEO and Executive director of Let’s Innovate Through Education. Allstate selected the Youth Empowerment Award winner.
Started in 2015, The Renewal Awards spotlight grassroots solutions to challenges faced by communities around the country and the people making a positive difference. The awards are the flagship initiative of The Renewal Project, The Atlantic and Allstate’s broader partnership that covers innovation and celebrates change-makers in local communities. With this year’s award, 31 organizations have received more than $800,000 in funding from The Atlantic and Allstate to further their work. To learn more about the awards, and read about past winners, please visit TheRenewalProject.com.
Def Jam Recordings artist Jadakiss– the New York hip-hop icon whose career spans two decades and millions of albums sold – takes it back to the community this week, as he teams up with Slice Out Hunger and Slice’s “Pizza Vs Pandemic” campaign, to deliver pizza to New York and Los Angeles-area hospitals. The ongoing campaign supports both small businesses and healthcare workers by purchasing pizza for frontline workers fighting COVID-19.
As a native of Yonkers, NY, Jadakiss is sustaining his hometown community by sponsoring a massive delivery of his favorite food to heroes on the front lines, in this case, hospitals in the New York and Los Angeles-area.
“In this time of tragedy and confusion in the world, I would like to say thank you to the Healthcare Workers on the frontline in both New York and Los Angeles for all their efforts to help those suffering from Covid-19. I am partnering with @sliceoutthehunger, @slice & @deliciouspizzahq to deliver boxes of pizza to hospitals on 5/15/20.”
Since the nation-wide “Pizza Vs Pandemic” campaign was first launched by Slice Out Hunger and Slice in March, it has raised over $400k to fund its pizza deliveries. The nonprofit is 100% volunteer-run, so every dollar they receive directly impacts the communities they serve. Fans can go to Jada’s direct donation page at https://sliceouthunger.org/allcrust
As an added bonus, the donations funded by Jadakiss and his fans will be delivered in limited edition pizza boxes featuring the artist’s “All Crust” mantra. The box design is of particular interest to Slice Out Hunger’s founder Scott Wiener, who holds a Guinness World Record for his collection of over 1,500 unique pizza boxes from around the world. All of the boxes will also have a QR code linked here: https://Stream.lnk.to/AllCrustPizzaFP
“We will provide pizzas for Covid only departments, as well as Health clinics and community centers, working directly with underserved communities across Los Angeles.”
On March 6th, Jadakiss dropped his fifth studio album IGNATIUS, whose tracks include “ME,” “Kisses To the Sky” featuring Rick Ross and Emanny, and the brand new single “Huntin Season” featuring Pusha T. The album is named for Jada’s dear friend, Ignatius ‘Ice Pick Jay’ Jackson, who passed away in 2017, due to Colon Cancer. Jadakiss is an active supporter of the City Of Hope Colon Cancer treatment & research hospital based in Los Angeles. For more info, as well as exclusive merch offers, visit Jada’s online store at https://shop.jadakiss.com/.
As previously communicated to the company’s employees from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) CEO Mike Manley, the company is in the process of converting its first plant to produce face masks for donation to first responders and health care workers. The first machinery has been delivered and installed with supply and donation coming on stream in the coming weeks.
FCA is expanding its program of measures to support coronavirus relief efforts, focused on two principal areas: charities providing food services to children and support for a range of technical, logistical and manufacturing programs, such as face mask production.
“There has never been a more important moment to help children and their families with vital needs in our communities than during this time of great uncertainty,” said FCA CEO Mike Manley.
Food programs for children in our communities FCA will work in partnership with non-profit organizations and foundations that are providing food to children until schools return to session. Starting immediately, FCA will help provide more than 1 million meals to school-age children in the communities around our principal manufacturing plants in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. The program will then be extended nationwide in the U.S. and to Canada and Mexico, supporting similar relief efforts for kids who would normally access school meal services.
Mobilizing company resources Following the first actions taken to start face mask production, the company is now investing technical, logistical and manufacturing resources at medical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE). With the donation of face masks produced by the company starting in the coming weeks, the company will invest to extend that production capacity to other plants and ultimately donate masks to first responders and health care workers across the world. Drawing on experience from the company’s engineering and logistics team in Italy who are assisting a local ventilator manufacturer, FCA is engaged with other companies producing ventilators and other much needed medical equipment and PPE.
“In this time of need, we’ve focused our resources on those actions we can implement quickly and that will have the greatest impact, as we did in Italy as soon as the emergency started,” added Manley.
FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is a global automaker that designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles in a portfolio of exciting brands, including Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep®, Lancia, Ram and Maserati. It also sells parts and services under the Mopar name and operates in the components and production systems sectors under the Comau and Teksid brands. FCA employs nearly 200,000 people around the globe. For more details regarding FCA (NYSE: FCAU/ MTA: FCA), please visit www.fcagroup.com.
“When black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.” – Joseph Lowery
Former Co-Founder/President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, transitioned on Friday, March 27, 2020 at 10pm at the age of 98. He was one of the last remaining leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
Dr. Lowery has assumed and executed a broad and diverse series of roles over the span of his eight decades: leader, pastor/preacher, servant, father, husband, freedom fighter and advocate. FOX 5 Atlanta pays tribute to Lowery HERE.
In 1997,he was dubbed the ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ upon receipt of the NAACP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. On January 20, 2009, in his inimitable style; Dr. Lowery delivered the Benediction on the occasion of President Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States. On August 12, 2009 when President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor: The Presidential Medal of Freedom, in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the nonviolent struggle for the causes of justice, human rights, economic equality, voting rights, peace and human dignity.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama, on October 6th, 1921, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s legacy of service and struggle is long and rich. His genesis as a Civil Rights advocate dates to the early 1950s where, in Mobile, Alabama he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association; the organization which led the movement to desegregate buses and public accommodations. In 1957, with friend and colleague, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. he was a Co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), where served in an array of leadership positions, including: Vice President (1957-67); Chairman of the Board (1967-77); and as President and Chief Executive Officer from (1977-1998).
In 1961, he was one of four Alabama pastors whose property was seized by the Alabama Courts in an historic, precedent setting libel suit, Sullivan v. NY Times, Abernathy, Lowery, Shuttlesworth, & Seay, because of their civil rights work.The United States Supreme Court vindicated the ministers in a landmark ruling which remains an important element in the protections afforded the free speech rights of the press, and of citizens advocating and protesting for justice and societal change.
In March of 1965, he was chosen by Dr. King to chair the Delegation delivering the demands of the Selma-to-Montgomery March George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama. As the world witnessed, Wallace ordered the marchers beaten in the incident that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday”, which ultimately led to enactment of the Voting Rights Act.
Throughout his career, Rev. Dr. Lowery’s commitment to human rights and social justice exists on a global scale. His work resulted in the desegregation of Nashville, Tennessee schools, presenting Nelson Mandela with the Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Award following his release from prison in 1990, leading a peace delegation to Lebanon and nations in Central America to seek justice by nonviolent means, and securing millions of dollars in contracts for minority businesses in the Southern region of the United States.
His efforts also emphasize the need to uplift and empower historically disenfranchised communities. Ranging from supporting the families affected by the Atlanta “Missing and Murdered Children Crisis” through setting up funds with Citizen Trust Bank, demanding election reform and economic justice as Convener of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda (GCPA), to advocating for the rights of Black farmers discriminated against by the Department of Agriculture – Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery remains committed to cultivating the Beloved Community and reminds us to “turn TO each other not ON each other!” Ebony Magazine, in recognizing Rev. Dr. Lowery as one of the nation’s “15 Greatest BlackPreachers,” described him as the “consummate voice of biblical social relevancy, a focused prophetic voice, speaking truth to power,” and his strong dedication to faith and inclusion is evident in all of his work.
•Joseph Lowery had 5 children from 2 separate marriages.
Official Statement from The Family of Reverend Doctor Joseph E. Lowery
Our entire family is humbled and blessed by the overwhelming outpouring of love and support that has come from around the globe. We thank you for loving our father, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and for your continuous prayers during this time.
In lieu of flowers, cards or food, donations may be made to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights. Dr. Lowery’s life was driven by a sense of obligation to our global community and desire to champion love over hate; inclusion over exclusion. The Lowery Institute was founded in 2002 to further Dr. Lowery’s legacy of promoting non-violent advocacy among future generations.
Donations can be sent to The Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute, P.O. Box 92801, Atlanta, GA 30314, or made on-line by clicking here.
Aligning with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines on COVID-19 prevention and social distancing, plans are underway for a private family service. A public memorial will be held in late summer or early fall.
The Lowery Family
email@example.com box 361566los angeles, ca 90036213.841.1841
firstname.lastname@example.org box 361566los angeles, ca 90036213.841.1841