About 10 years ago, someone asked me what was on my “bucket list.” I began to think about great tasks, divine mandates, that remain unfinished: ending hunger, healing the sick. The Andrew J. Young Foundation is not about keeping my name alive; it is about changing the world. As you can see from the programs described here, we are doing it. Thank you for supporting our work to share the blessings we have received and to bless the world with the work of our hearts, heads, and hands.
— Ambassador Andrew J. Young
Public Policy and Advocacy
As a Member of Congress and Mayor of Atlanta, Andrew Young championed policies that would address poverty and build more prosperous and inclusive communities through broadly shared educational and economic opportunities. He was respected for a principled but not doctrinaire approach to politics, using his negotiating skills to work across the partisan aisle to provide effective representation for all his constituents. He helped enact legislation to establish the U.S. Institute on Peace and supported economic and infrastructure development, including mass transit.
Mississippi River Revitalization
The Mississippi River flows through the American heartland and plays a crucial role in sustaining the nation’s agricultural sector. Its annual economic impact exceeds $400 billion. Much of the river’s infrastructure needed to support transportation and tourist and recreational uses, including levees, locks and dams, is at or beyond its functional lifespan, a situation that threatens local communities and the nation’s economic vitality. There is no viable source of public funds sufficient to meet the massive need for infrastructure investment. The Andrew J. Young Foundation, building on Ambassador Young’s successful recruitment of private investment to help turn Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport into the world’s busiest, is partnering with river advocates to seek private and direct foreign investment to tackle the long-term needs of communities along the river. The Foundation is partnering with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, a coalition of 75 cities in ten states working to promote economic and environmental security and stability along the Mississippi River Corridor. The MRCTI’s five major programs are Clean Water, Sustainable Economies, Disaster Resilience and Adaptation, International Food and Water Security, and Heritage. Investing in this crucial national recourse will allow local officials to rebuild infrastructure that is efficient, sustainable, and promotes multiple uses of the river.
The Making of Modern Atlanta Program
At a time when racial violence was common across the South, Atlanta set a standard for cross-racial cooperation among city leaders. The Making of Modern Atlanta Program (MMAP), carried out in partnership with the Andrew Young Public Policy School at Georgia State University, is a multi-disciplinary initiative that documents the transformation of the city through the development and application of a model termed The Atlanta Way. MMAP is grounded in a governing philosophy and policies that support a public-private framework and promote broadly shared growth and opportunity. Atlanta offers other cities an important political, cultural and economic model for building better, more vibrant and inclusive communities that serve the common good.
Among the products of the program are: Ambassador Young’s memoir, Andrew Young: The Making of Modern Atlanta; a documentary film bearing the same title; a digital archive comprised of interviews with influential Atlanta natives; and an educational and leadership training program about the Atlanta model.