How do you say goodbye to the legend that was Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian? A man whose advocacy work spans and embodies the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Vivian’s voice never stopped speaking truth to power and his efforts to bring about change, related to global human rights, continued until today. Dr. Vivian was the only person unconcerned about his age, since he was often heard saying there was still work that needed to be done. He just did not stop working for social justice in America and around the world. Advocating for causes to improve the lives of African Americans, along with causes that positively impact the lives of youth (the next generation of leaders), was in the DNA of this remarkable man.
If you ever had the fortune of meeting, working, listening to a discussion, engaging in any way with this giant, it would have immediately impacted you. He was indeed a change agent and a disrupter before such terms became a part of the social media lexicon. The transformative change was in the hearts and minds of people. His disruption was the dismantling of systems and the changing of policies. Whenever the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. called, Dr. Vivian’s response was always YES! Whether it was a symposium with living legends from the Civil Rights Movement, a workshop on civic engagement, a fireside chat on advocacy or a tele town hall to encourage young people to register and regularly vote, the request for his participation was immediate and affirmative. He showed up with enthusiasm and a gentle smile that turned into passion and vigor when he took the microphone. Dr. Vivian showed his 100 brothers and people of all ages, genders and races, that age truly was just a number.
History books may never tell the totality of his contributions and his impact on our lives. In honor of his dedication to making life better for others, take a moment today and search Dr. C.T. Vivian online or visit the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute.Share what you learn with a young person in your life along with these C.T. Vivian notable accomplishments:
- Provided civil rights counsel to five (5) different U.S. Presidential Administrations (Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama).
- Served as part of a team of religious advisors to President Barack Obama during his successful 2008 campaign.
- Addressed the World Baptist Alliance as a keynote speaker during their conference on racism in the world community. Shared the platform with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
- Was Director of what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called "The best non-violent movement in the nation".
- Served on an independent UN Committee on Human Rights Education.
- In one year alone he was highlighted in three books, two of which were authored by Pulitzer Prize winners and the other by a U.S. Congressman: The Children, David Habersham; Pillars of Fire, Taylor Branch; and Walking With The Wind, Congressman John Lewis.
- Highly respected across the racial spectrum.
- He organized street gangs in Chicago, turning gang members away from violence, and developed a program that earned them jobs.
- He was National Deputy Director of Clergy for Jesse Jackson's 1984 Presidential bid.
- Made several human rights assistance visits to Cuba and met with President Fidel Castro.
Reprinted from the website of the 100 Black Men of America