Whitney M. Young’s Lifelong Fight for Social Justice

Whitney M. Young Jr. was a civil rights leader who dedicated his career to ending employment discrimination in the South. Young successfully transformed the National Urban League into an active and aggressive civil rights organization aimed at fighting for justice. He later served as president of the Urban League’s Omaha, Nebraska, branch and was dean of the School of Social Work at Atlanta University where he supported alumni in their boycott of the Georgia Conference on Social Welfare. At 40, he became president of the National Urban League and expanded it from 38 employees to 1,600. President Lyndon Johnson honored Young with the Medal of Freedom in 1968. Young died an untimely death at age 50 when he drowned during a visit to Nigeria.

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