Representatives for Rev. Joseph E. Lowery and the Lowery family announced Friday that singer, comedian and actor Jamie Foxx has been added to the ceremony to honor the 92nd birthday of the dean of the civil rights movement.
While the city of Atlanta and the civil rights community around the nation continue to mourn the untimely passing of Evelyn Lowery, the word from Rev. Joseph Lowery the Lowery family is to carry on with his 92nd birthday celebration, which serves as the primary fundraiser for the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights.
“I’ve Known Rivers,” a musical and theatrical experience in celebration of the life and work of the civil and human rights leader will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive, SW, Atlanta, Ga., 30314. The event will also include a tribute to Mrs. Lowery.
“This evening has a dual purpose,” says Cheryl Lowery, executive director of the Lowery Institute. “While we celebrate my dad’s 92nd birthday and his tireless work for all people, we also seek to raise funds to carry on programs that reflect that dedication to service.”
The event will be hosted by television and radio personality Steve Harvey. A distinguished team has lined up to lead this special celebration. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was selected to serve as Honorary Chairman. Richard Anderson, President and CEO of Delta Air Lines and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed are Honorary Co-Chairmen. There will also be a tribute performance by Foxx.
A special presentation of the inaugural “Joseph E. Lowery Agent of Change Award” will be made to Tyler Perry, President of Tyler Perry Studios for his outstanding contributions to the world of television, film and mankind.
“Tyler Perry serves as the perfect example of someone who has worked tirelessly as a champion for the common good”, said Cheryl Lowery. “Central to the mission of the Lowery Institute is to empower, inspire and train current and future leaders as ‘change agents’ to explore the moral, ethical and theological imperatives for justice and human rights.
“Mr. Perry has persevered in spite of personal and professional challenges and has achieved incredible results in an industry that has historically limited minority participation. As an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer and author, he has used his vast business network to employ hundreds of people in underserved areas of our community. He has been involved in civil rights cases, donates generously to charities, children’s issues, homelessness and feeding the poor. We can think of no one more suited to receive the first Joseph E. Lowery Agent of Change Award than Tyler Perry,” she said.
The theatrical production of I’ve Known Rivers produced by Kenneth Green will celebrate milestones in the movement and Dr. Lowery’s continued mission with performances by Cassi Davis, Terri Vaughn, Rolanda Watts, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Wintley Phipps, Demetria McKinney, Derek “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins, Kenny Leon, Morehouse and Spelman College Glee Clubs and other special guests.
More than 2,000 citizens and community leaders are expected to attend the festivities. Event proceeds will benefit the Lowery Institute. Major Sponsors Include Delta Air Lines and The Coca Cola Company.
Known affectionately as the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement,” Rev. Dr. Lowery has held a diverse series of roles over the course of his nine plus decades, most notably serving as the co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and serving as the organization’s leader for 20 years. In recognition of his lifelong commitment to the nonviolent struggle for the causes of justice, human rights, economic equality, voting rights, peace and human dignity, President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on August 12, 2009.
Tickets for the celebration are available for VIP $100 and VIP Loge $75, seniors $50 and students $20 on-line at www.loweryinstitute.org/lowery92.