Civil Rights in Columbia

September 6, 2013

Civil rights activist to appear at USC Sept. 11

Former UN ambassador Andrew Young is among those who will help USC mark 50th anniversary of desegregation.

Columbia is hosting several prominent speakers, including former UN ambassador Andrew Young. 

Young will be the keynote speaker Wednesday night as USC commemorates the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the flagship university. Young, a former Atlanta mayor and confidante to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights struggle, will talk about the movement of the 1960s and its application to today’s issues.

Young replaces Freedom Rider Diane Nash, who was scheduled to open the year-long commemoration. Nash, a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was unable to attend because of a family illness. The event is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Koger Center for the Arts.

At 10 a.m. Wednesday, two of the three students who integrated USC, Henrie Monteith Treadwell and James L. Solomon Jr., will retrace their steps at the Osborne administration building in a public ceremony that will also include groundbreaking for a commemorative garden in honor of the trailblazers. The third student, Robert G. Anderson, died in 2009 but he is remembered for a generous spirit in a long career in social work and at the Veterans Administration in New York.

This past weekend, Lord George Carey of Clifton, a former archbishop of Canterbury who has been outspoken in his opposition to institutionalizing gay marriage in Great Britain,  appeared at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. 

Carey served as archbishop from 1991-2001, during the time when the Anglican Church began to ordain women to the priesthood. Since his retirement, he has been a prolific speaker and writer, promoting dialogue between different faiths in Great Britain as well as between the western and Islamic worlds.  He is now the 103rd archbishop and a member of the upper chamber of Parliament. 

Earlier this year, Carey took issue with Prime Minister David Cameron’s effort to legalize same-sex marriage in the UK, suggesting it would ignite division rather than move the country toward Cameron’s notion of a unified “Big Society.” He has said he is innately conservative on the issue but laments the polarizing division in the Anglican Communion over the ordination of gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex marriages.

Carey has come to the defense of conservative Christians in Great Britain who have lost their jobs over their refusal to endorse gay marriage.


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