Civil rights leader and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young was honored for his “distinguished contributions to justice” by the American Society of Criminology (ASC), which concluded its annual meeting over the weekend in Atlanta.
In his remarks to the participants, Young recalled his efforts to promote Atlanta as a “city too busy to hate,” noting that he had been taught by his father that “white supremacy is a sickness.”
Young, who served as the host city’s mayor from 1982 to 1990, said he sent police officers into the city’s housing projects to help young people gain self-confidence through activities like midnight basketball league.
Young, 86, admitted to the academic audience that in college he got a “D” in sociology.
He got a standing ovation with his closing declaration that “peace is practical… it makes sense…and it is possible.”
Young received the Presidential Justice Award from outgoing ASC president Karen Heimer of the University of Iowa.
Young served as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1960s as a senior aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was elected three times to Congress before being appointed by President Jimmy Carter as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977.
This report was prepared by Ted Gest, president of Criminal Justice Journalists and Washington bureau chief of The Crime Report.