On November 13, 2009, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) will honor Mrs. Evelyn Lowery during its Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Awards Dinner. Lowery is to receive the 17th Anniversary Civil Rights Distinguished Service Award at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel Ballroom. She joins her husband, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery recipient of the 2009 Human Rights Award, and local organizations as an honoree. The 7 p.m. dinner will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. Retired Federal Judge U.W. Clemon is slated to serve as the Awards Dinner Chair.
Evelyn G. Lowery served as First Lady of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) from 1977-1998 when her husband, Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, was national president. In 1979, she founded SCLC/Women's Organizational Movement For Equality Now, Inc. to champion the rights of women, children and families. The group also responded to the problems of the poor and disenfranchised. Lowery received funding for National HIV/AIDS Education Training in five cities in 1985. She coordinated a booklet of sermons from ministers around the country to be used as a guide for ministers on behalf of the Dionne Warwick Foundation on AIDS Education. She created the two-day motor coach tour, the Evelyn Gibson Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour, in 1987 taking thousands to Alabama—tracing steps of the Civil Rights Movement. Lowery has erected 13 monuments of icons of the Movement throughout Alabama including tributes to Viola Liuzzo, Jimmie Lee Jackson, Albert Turner, Sr., Rev. James Orange and many others. On September 8, 2007, she unveiled a bust of Mrs. Coretta Scott King on the grounds of Mrs. King's home church, Mt. Tabor AME Zion Church in Perry County, Alabama. She is presently leading the effort to erect the fourteenth monument—one of Dr. Martin Luther king, Jr.—at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery.
BCRI is also slated to honor a number of local civil and human rights organizations. As one of the organizations celebrates it 100th Anniversary this year, BCRI is taking the opportunity to recognize several groups that have championed the rights of the underprivileged and sought ways to connect us all. Organizations to be recognized with 17th Anniversary Civil Rights Distinguished Service Awards include the Birmingham Metro Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP—celebrating its 100th Anniversary), the Birmingham Metro Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the Birmingham Urban League, Inc. and the Civil Rights Activist Committee. The 17th Anniversary Appreciation Award will go to the Birmingham Pledge Foundation.
Tickets to the Awards Dinner can be purchased by calling the Institute at (205) 328-9696, ext. 236. Tables for eight cost $1250 and single tickets are $125 per person. Event sponsorships, along with corporate and organizational tables, are also available. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's mission is to promote civil and human rights worldwide through education. Please visit our Web site at www.bcri.org for more information