Lowery Institute Statement on Transition of Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

Our beloved, Rev. Dr. Joseph Echols Lowery, made his transition peacefully at home at 10 p.m., Friday, March 27, at the age of 98. He was surrounded by his daughters.

Born in Huntsville, Ala., on October 6, 1921, his legacy of service and struggle was long and rich. His genesis as a civil rights advocate dates to the early 1950s, when he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association, 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).

Please pray and respect the privacy of the entire Lowery family during this difficult time. The family will not be conducting interviews during this grieving period.

Rev. Joseph Lowery’s 98th Birthday Celebration-Sign the Card & Pledge to Vote

loweryinstitute.org and clicking on “Sign the Card.” People who are able to attend the birthday fundraiser featuring Grammy-winning singer, Regina Belle, and BET’s Sunday Best winner, Y’Anna Crawley, can also purchase tickets on their website. Contributions will be used to fund the Lowery Institute’s 2019-2020 voter education, registration and mobilization activities on the Atlanta University Center (AUC) Campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Lowery Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to training, developing, and empowering leaders to improve their communities for the common good. Housed at Clark Atlanta University, their Change Agent program focuses on civil and human rights, social justice, education and community health and has grown to over 100 Change Agents each year spanning five metro Atlanta college campuses. In 2019, Change Agents were awarded $5,000 for social justice initiatives, $12,000 in stipends, earned five internships and distributed more than 40,000 pounds of food to students in need.
loweryinstitute.org or call 404.524.8406.

Rev. Joseph E. Lowery Statement on the Passing of Dick Gregory


Atlanta, GA – Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, co-founder with Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and former president, issued the following statement on the passing of Dick Gregory:
“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Dick Gregory’s wife, Lillian,  his children, and the entire family. We have lost a true warrior in our long journey towards justice.
“Dick was not just a comedian, author, entrepreneur and a dedicated foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement; he was a friend and will be missed by many. His unique brand of social satire helped opened the eyes of people of all races around the world. Dick’s keen understanding of the need for black people to have a voice led him to run for Mayor, President, and gave him the audacity to make significant sacrifices in his career in order to stand against, and call out hatred and oppression. When the people asked, ‘Who will bell the cat?’ Dick Gregory answered the call.”

Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute Change Agent Tank Inspires Students To Be The Change

PHOTO CREDIT: Damon Thomas Students competing in the Lowery Institute Change Agent Tank tackle tough questions from the panel of leaders judging their pitches. Pictured (L-R) Idil Hussein, Agnes Scott College; Jessie Scott, CAU; Raphael Richardson, Morehouse College; and Alysha Conner, CAU. Not pictured: Noah McQueen, Morehouse College.

Atlanta, GA – Raphael Richardson was 14 the first time a gun was held to his head. When his father was incarcerated Philadelphia street gangs became his family; violence and anger were his friends.  Today, the Morehouse College junior received start-up funds for a business to help students and families impacted by incarceration from the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights second annual Change Agent Tank held at Clark Atlanta University (CAU).
Modeled after the popular TV show, Shark Tank, Change Agent Tank encourages Lowery Institute student change agents that have a social entrepreneurial mindset to combine their social justice interests with critical business skills to create transformational initiatives and movements.

Change agents are thought leaders— the innovators, creators and problem solvers of this generation,” said Cheryl Lowery, executive director of the Lowery Institute. “Bringing together prominent business and civil rights leaders to create an environment that encourages and supports social entrepreneurship is our modern-day approach to passing the torch to Millennials,” Lowery adds.

PHOTO CREDIT: Damon Thomas Participants of the Lowery Institute Change Agent Tank pause for a photo. Pictured (L-R) Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Terrinee L. Gundy; Harriette Watkins, Watkins Group; civil rights leader, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; and Gail Nutt, GNutt Consulting. Standing: Aaron Turpeau, 3 T Unlimited; Kent Matlock, Matlock Advertising & Public Relations; Scott Satterwhite, William-Josef Foundation; Jared Reed, Question Mark to Period; Cheryl Lowery, Lowery Institute.

Clark Atlanta University junior, Jessie Scott, won funding for her project that addresses the duplicity of being both black and scholarly. Scott was placed in the gifted program in high school, which would be a proud accomplishment for many however, due to the anti-intellectual climate prevalent in many black communities, Scott was often humiliated and bullied. The Maple Grove, Minnesota native plans to make studying cool in a newsletter promoting black excellence.
The final project funded was that of CAU senior Alysha Conner, who reminded the judges of the critical role the arts play in disseminating social justice messages. Conner was supported to create an after-school program teaching teens how to use various art forms to send powerful messages. The Los Angeles, CA native aims to add the “a” to STEM to give it STEAM.
“These young people are our future,” said legendary civil rights leader, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. “They were able to reflect upon their life challenges and create viable solutions to help others. By studying the philosophy of the civil rights movement and getting direction from our distinguished business leaders, these change agents are finding ways to create businesses that do good, or integrate good into the business they do.”
The business proposals were judged on how the initiative supports the mission of the Lowery Institute, clarity in the business objectives, and sustainability.

PHOTO CREDIT: Damon Thomas Lowery Institute Change Agent Mike Watson volunteers at Mimi’s Pantry for food drive at Atlanta University Center.

Last year’s winner, Malika Flowers, was present when the Lowery Institute was presented a check by Brenda Reid of Publix Super Markets for continued support of her initiative, Mimi’s Pantry. The Atlanta native’s proposal received funds in 2016 to establish the pantry in response to the growing number of her fellow CAU students who often go without food. Currently Mimi’s Pantry serves over 100 students weekly throughout the Atlanta University Center.
“Publix loves to feed people,” declared Reid. She said the $5000 gift was collected from Publix customers to support the great job Mimi’s Pantry is doing.
Notable local business leaders joining Dr.  Lowery to judge the pitches were: Gail Nutt,    GNutt Consulting; Aaron Turpeau, 3 T Unlimited; Harriette Watkins, Watkins Group; Kent Matlock,  Matlock Advertising & Public Relations; Scott Satterwhite,   William-Josef Foundation; and Mack Wilbourn, Mack II, Inc.  Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Terrinee L. Gundy and Jared Reed of Question Mark to Period served as MCs for the evening.
Also selected from 71 Lowery Institute Change Agents to compete for funding were Noah McQueen, a sophomore at Morehouse College from Washington DC, and Idil Hussein, a junior at Agnes Scott College from Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
The Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization established to ensure the continuity of the advocacy of Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and his late wife Evelyn Gibson Lowery’s lifelong  commitment to non-violent advocacy, and the moral, ethical, and theological imperative of justice and human rights for all people.  Change Agent Tank is currently in development for television. For more information visit www.loweryinstitute.org.