Conversations with American Legends: Civil Rights Leader Amb. Andrew Young


Free Virtual Event: On-Demand




Click here to watch the broadcast on-demand:


Amb. Andrew Young, 88, an early leader of the Civil Rights movement, who served as friend and confidante to Martin Luther King Jr., will discuss the alarming new era of racism in the US in an exclusive interview Aug 21. He will be interviewed by PR leader Richard Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK, communications scholar and historian Prof. Denise Hill, PhD, Elon University and Bill Ide, III, Partner, Corporate GovernanceAkerman at 2 pm over the CommPRO network.

Young, who served as the nation’s first Black ambassador to the UN, will also offer views on America’s declining reputation and influence on the world stage, and what that portends for the U.S. in the years ahead.

In this historic discussion, Amb. Young will also provide perspectives on the upcoming presidential election, including the emerging new “birtherism” and the impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.

Special Guest

Ambassador Andrew Young

Andrew J. Young has earned worldwide recognition as a pioneer in and champion of civil and human rights. Ambassador Young’s lifelong dedication to service is illustrated by his extensive leadership experience of over sixty-five years, serving as a member of Congress, African American U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, mayor of Atlanta, and ordained minister, among other positions. 

During the 1960s, Young was a key strategist and negotiator during civil rights campaigns that led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Appointed as an ambassador to the United Nations in 1977, Young negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought President Carter’s emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy efforts. As two-term mayor of Atlanta, Young brought in over 1,100 businesses, over 70 billion in foreign direct investments and generated over a million jobs.

Ambassador Young has received honorary degrees from more than 100 universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad and has received various awards, including an Emmy Lifetime Achievement award in 2011 and the Dan Sweat Award in 2017. His portrait also became part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Ambassador Young also serves on a number of boards, including, but not limited to, the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Morehouse College, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State and Americas Mart. In 2003, he and his wife Carolyn McClain Young founded the Andrew J. Young Foundation to support and promote education, health, leadership and human rights in the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean. Young currently serves as the a chairman of the Andrew J. Young Foundation.

In 2012, Young retired from GoodWorks International, LLC, after well over a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development in the business sectors of the Caribbean and Africa. Young was born in 1932 in New Orleans, and he currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Carolyn McClain. He is also a father of three daughters and one son, a grandfather of nine and a great grandfather of one.


Richard Levick, Esq., Chairman & CEO, LEVICK

Richard Levick, Esq., is chairman & CEO of LEVICK, representing countries and companies in the highest-stakes global communications matters: the Venezuelan crisis; Qatar; the Chinese trade war; the Gulf oil spill; Guantanamo Bay, the Catholic Church, and many others.

Mr. Levick was honored multiple times on the prestigious list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the Boardroom” and has been named to multiple professional Halls of Fame for lifetime achievement.

He is the co-author of four books and is a regular commentator on television and in print. Mr. Levick speaks all over the world—at West Point, The Army War College, and teaches at Fordham Law School


Denise Hill, Ph.D., APR Assistant Professor Elon University School of Communications

Denise Hill is an assistant professor at Elon University’s School of Communications, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in strategic communications. Dr. Hill is a former chief communications officer with more than 30 years of corporate communications and public relations agency experience. 

Before joining Elon University, Dr. Hill was vice president of corporate communications and public relations at Delhaize America, the U.S. operation of global Fortune 500 grocery retailer Delhaize Group. She previously held chief communication officer positions at Quest Diagnostics and a business unit of Wyndham Worldwide. In addition, she served as a vice president of communication at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Cigna. She started her career at a Carl Byoir/Hill+Knowlton public relations agency in Philadelphia. 

In addition to her Elon University teaching experience, Dr. Hill was an adjunct instructor of corporate communications and public relations at New York University. She also taught communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in communications from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her academic research focuses on public relations and social change, how public relations was used to help marginalized groups in the United States gain civil rights, and African American public relations pioneers. 

Dr. Hill is a member of the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, she is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, where she serves on the new member liaison subcommittee. Dr. Hill is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the American Journalism Historians Association, and an advisory board member of The Museum of Public Relations. She also serves on APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council as a member of its Corporate Communications Strategies subgroup. Dr. Hill serves on the board of directors of Easterseals of North Carolina and Virginia, and she chairs the organization’s development and communications committee. She is a former member of The Seminar, the premier organization of chief communication officers. She also is a former member of The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent organization of African American business executives.


Bill Ide, III, Partner, Corporate Governance, Akerman

A veteran corporate strategist and trusted advisor to public and private companies, nonprofits, and public sector agencies, clients turn to William “Bill” Ide for counsel on crisis response, corporate stewardship, reputation and risk management strategy and corporate governance.

With an extensive history of representing boards and senior leadership in crisis and risk situations, Bill’s practice focuses on providing independent counsel to clients by investigating facts, providing critical legal guidance and, when appropriate, objective remediation recommendations. A leader in the business and legal communities, Bill previously served as senior vice president and general counsel at Monsanto Company, counsel to the United States Olympic Committee and president of the American Bar Association.

Within the business community, he serves on the boards of MetaJure and Rimidi Diabetes, and previously served as a member of the board of directors of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE, ALB) where he chaired the Governance Committee and served on the Audit and Compensation Committees. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. (NASDAQ: PLKI), where he chaired the Executive and Governance Committees, while also serving on the Audit Committee.

Committed to thought leadership and education, Bill is co-chair of the Advisory Board to the Conference Board’s Governance Center and Program Chair for the Conference Board Chief Legal Officers Council. Bill was a senior fellow and co-founder of Emory University’s Directors Institute. He currently serves on the Audit and Governance Committees of the Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees and is general counsel and secretary of the EastWest Institute, where he also is chair of the Executive Committee.




  1. Frank Gomez on at 6:54 PM

    In 1977, I was the First Secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti, and interpreted for Ambassador Young at a press conference at the Embassy Residence. He responded to one question, “When the ship of state fails to adjust its sails to changing winds, it risks becoming shipwrecked.” This, of course, was during the Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier dictatorship. It was a rare, courageous statement — a warning — and I will not forget it.

    • fays on at 8:48 PM


      Thank you for sharing your wonderful memory of working with Ambassador Young. We hope to see you Friday afternoon.
      Warm regards

Leave a Comment