Joseph E. Lowery
In addition to speaking at Coretta Scott King’s funeral and giving the benediction at President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery is most recently noted for winning the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His numerous other awards include: the NAACP award at its 1997 convention for “dean of the civil rights movement,” and Lifetime Achievement Award. He also received the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Peace Award and the National Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. Ebony has named him one of the 15 greatest black preachers.
Lowery has also received several honorary doctorates from colleges and universities. In addition, he was given the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. On his 80th birthday in 2001, the city of Atlanta changed the name of Ashby Street to Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard, Atlanta Public Schools established the Joseph E. Lowery Lecture Series on Civic Engagement and Clark Atlanta University founded the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice & Human Rights.