Former Congressman, U.N. Ambassador to speak in Wilmington

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A prominent African-American politician and diplomat will be speaking at the Wilmington Convention Center on August 29.

Andrew Young became the first black representative to the United States Congress from Georgia since Reconstruction when he was elected to the House of Representatives in 1972. He was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977 during Jimmy Carter’s presidency and served in that capacity until 1979. After returning to Georgia, he was elected mayor of Atlanta from 1981 and led the city from 1982 – 1990.

Young will be speaking at the LBJ Legacy Awards Dinner and Gala on Saturday night, capping off a two-day weekend celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Eva Clayton, the first African-American woman to represent North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives, will also be honored. She served five terms from 1992 – 2003. Other black elected officials from the Wilmington area will also be recognized.

The weekend celebration, hosted by the Countrywide Community Development Corporation, kicks off Friday with an all-day job fair, a business luncheon and a town hall meeting. The Southeastern Opportunity Expo and Job Fair runs from 10:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is free and open to the public. The Socio-Economic Summit and Innovators Business Luncheon, during which Clayton and others will speak, will be from 10:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The topic for the town hall meeting, which starts at 7 p.m., is “Voting Rights: Where do we go from here?”

Tickets are $15 for the town hall meeting and $50 for both the luncheon and the meeting. The dinner and awards gala, which starts at 6 p.m., costs $75 per person. All events will be held at the Wilmington Convention Center, and all tickets must be purchased by Monday, August 24. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.celebratingthedream.org or call Countrywide Community Development Corporation at (910) 383-1724 or (910) 619-6295.