Andrew Young graduated from high school at the age of 15 and spent a year at Dillard University before following in his father's footsteps and going to Howard University. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Spingarn Medal, which is awarded for the highest or noblest achievement by a living African American during the preceding year or years in any honorable field. He is a preacher. A Civil Rights leader. Friend and close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a man of Alpha Phi Alpha like Dr. King too. He was the first Black person elected to Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction, and the first Black U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
Ambassador Young used his platform to speak up for those jailed during the Civil Rights Movement, calling them "political prisons" of the U.S. After his time as an ambasador came to an end, he ran for mayor of Atlanta, at the urging of many, including Coretta Scott King. He has been a champion for voting rights, an outspoken advocate for the eradication of poverty, an advisor to presidents, and most recently a social entreprenuer. He continues to focus on expanding educational opportunity and working to alleviating hunger and poverty in the U.S. and abroad.
Young Students (K3-2nd Grade)
Andrew Young suffered from both dyslexia and attention deficit disorder (ADD). "I still read with a highlighter, but I've always loved to read," he said. Think of a time you had to do something that seemed difficult for you to do, or that others said you couldn't. How did you overcome the perceived limitations?
Middle Students (Grades 3-8)
Andrew Young said he never wanted to be mayor of Atlanta, or an ambassador, or work for Dr. Martin Luther King. He just wanted to be a writer who wrote about the movement, but he felt led to do something more. Can you think about a time when you felt led to do more than you'd planned? What did you do?
High School Students (Grades 9-12)
As an ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew Young was responsible for helping to resolve conflicts between people with different backgrounds, experiences, and interests -- and he always said that's a skill that has to be developed early in life. How do you work to resolve conflict with people who are different than you? How can you do more to develop these skills?
Throughout his time in school, Andrew Young "wasn't predicted to be anything." In fact, he said his 4th grade teacher was the only one who ever said anything nice about him -- she complimented his penmanship, and he says she is the reason why he still writes well to this day. What words are you delivering to your students? How might they be impacted by the little things you do or don't say to them? Are you coupling emotional support with academic instruction?
About the Series
A Black Child Can was founded to create a better world for students by empowering the adults around them with the knowledge they need to advocate on their behalf. The 2022 blog series builds on this foundation, encouraging educators to participate in the discussion and reflect on the ways they're showing up for their students.