Joseph Echols Lowery was called the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement.” He was an American minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the civil rights movement. He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, serving as its vice president, later chairman of the board, and from 1977 to 1997 its president. Lowery participated in most of the major activities of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and continued his civil rights work into the 21st century. Mr. Lowery marched in countless demonstrations, was repeatedly arrested, and was once shot at by the Ku Klux Klan. As head of the S.C.L.C., he promoted economic empowerment for black Americans, saying they must control the cash registers of the lunch counters they integrated. He also supported gay rights, including marriage equality, and campaigned to end capital punishment by lethal injection. In 2009, Lowery received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama.
Rev. Joseph E. Lowery
October 6, 1921 – March 27, 2020
“We've got nearly 50 million people in America with no health insurance. That's a weapon of mass destruction.” - Joseph E. Lowery
Submitted by our members in 2020.