Andrew Young, who served as a member of Congress, mayor of Atlanta and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will speak July 21 at a gathering of Bulloch County Democrats.
Young will deliver the keynote speech for the local party organization’s second annual Independence Gala, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center at Georgia Southern University.
“We’re very thankful for the insight that he had to think that we were important enough to come down to take part in our event,” said Jonathan McCollar, the Bulloch County Democratic Party chairman.
McCollar said Young is not charging a speaking fee. This will allow the local party to keep more of the proceeds from the gala, its largest fundraising event of the year.
“That’s just a sign of the measure of the man that’s coming to Bulloch County to aid us and making sure that we can get our message out and begin to move our community forward,” McCollar said.
Young, now 80, rose to national recognition in the 1960s as a leader in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He became an aid to Martin Luther King Jr. and was with King when the civil rights leader was assassinated.
Young’s election by the 5th District in 1972 made him the African-American elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. President Jimmy Carter appointed him as U.N. ambassador in 1977, and he served until August 1979. He was mayor of Atlanta from 1982 until 1990.
“We worked hard on trying to find a speaker that would bring attention to Bulloch County and our area,” said Shontelle Childress, the Bulloch County Democrats’ event coordinator.
A member of the local party’s executive committee, Alvie Coe, met Young at an Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity event, which led to the speaking engagement, Childress said.
In addition to its fundraising aspect and Young’s speech, the gala will serve as an awards ceremony as Democratic Party officers honor five local people for service to the community or the party.
General admission tickets to the gala, including the banquet, cost $50. Special tickets, including a 6 p.m. reception with Young as well as the 7 p.m. banquet, are $75. Ticket requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.