House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) recently served as the keynote speaker during the 12th annual Joseph Lowery Lecture Series on Civic Engagement at Therrell High School delivering a memorable message to students.
This yearly lecture series, held during the week of Rev. Lowery’s birthday, allows students the opportunity to hear from key local, state and national leaders while also asking and receiving answers to questions about politics, human rights issues and education topics.
More than 500 individuals – mostly seniors from every APS high school – the event. This year’s event marked Rev. Lowery’s 91st birthday. Students and adults alike were inspired by the living legend’s quick wit and frank talk. Both leaders answered questions about the persistence of civil rights activists, the 2012 presidential election, and students’ responsibility to be aware and engaged civically. Joining the celebration were Superintendent Erroll Davis, Chair Reuben McDaniel, Vice Chair Byron Amos, and board members Cecily Harsch-Kinnane and Brenda Muhammad.
Abrams serves as the House Minority Leader for the Georgia General Assembly and as State Representative for Georgia House District 84 – soon to be District 89. Her district currently includes the communities of Candler Park, Columbia, Druid Hills, East Lake, Highland Park, Kelley Lake, Kirkwood, Lake Claire, Oakhurst, South DeKalb, Toney Valley and Tilson. Beginning in January, District 89 will add East Atlanta in DeKalb.
Lowery, a native of Huntsville, Ala., served as one of the chief organizers of the Selma, Montgomery marches in 1965 that led to passage of the Voting Rights Act. A longtime president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Lowery created the SCLC with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph David Abernathy, Sr. and Fred Shuttlesworth, who died last October. At ninety, Lowery is the oldest surviving leader of the non-violent civil rights demonstrations of the 1950s and 1960s.
In 2009 Lowery delivered the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration. Later that year, the nation’s first African-American president awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom—the country’s highest civilian award—to honor Lowery’s service to the nation.