Atlanta Daily World Powered by Real Times Media LIVING ADW WELL SPECIAL EDITION October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month www.adwnews.com Look inside for all your health-related news on page 7 Volume 86 • Issue 8 Sept. 26 - Oct. 2, 2013 Musical Tribute Celebrates Joseph E. Lowery’s 92 Years By M. Alexis Scott ADW Staff All Clear For New Atlanta Falcons Stadium City Announces Deals to Buy Mount Vernon, Friendship Churches By ADW Staff The Atlanta Falcons cleared the last major obstacle to securing the preferred site for their new $1 billion retractable roof stadium. Both Friendship Baptist and Mount Vernon Baptist churches voted to sell their properties last week, and this paves the way for the new stadium to be built on the preferred south site, at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Northside drives. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference on Sept. 13 with Mount Vernon leaders, who joined him for the announcement. The congregation subsequently voted on Sept. 19 to accept the new $14.5 million offer, down from their original asking price of $20.4 million. The Falcons agreed to pay the difference between the $6.2 million state officials originally offered, Reed said. “We really think we’ve accomplished what we have accomplished today in the Atlanta way,” the mayor said. “Folks are here because they want to be here.” The announcement came just days after the mayor told the Daily World exclusively that there was a 70 percent chance the two sides would come to an agreement and four days after he told reporters the deal would be closed one way or another within “five to seven business days.” While Mount Vernon put the vote before its congregation on Sept. 19, Friendship, which announced an agreement with the city in August, had its vote on Sept. 22. “I think any time you do a situation like this, you’re gonna have opinions on the entire spectrum of those for and against,” said Lloyd Hawk, chairman of the board of trustees for Friendship Baptist. “But we believe that we would not have come together [on] this point if we did not have a proposal that the church is going to be able to embrace and move forward with.” Pastor Rodney Turner, head of Mount Vernon, said that he was pleased with the current proposal and that the additional money made a difference in negotiations. “We’ve been in prayer (over the decisions),” he said. “We’re a church, not a business.” Reed had stepped into negotiations and enlisted the help of former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young after the Georgia World Congress Center Association failed to come to an agreement with Mount Vernon by an Aug. 1 deadline set by the parties. The mayor has been one of the stadium’s most active supporters since the plan’s inception. There are six other parcels of land that will still remain to be purchased even if the churches agree to sell their land, but Reed said that, unlike the churches, none of those pieces is essential. Building the stadium without any of those parcels would be more difficult but not impossible, he said, according to the Associated Press. With his wife Evelyn Lowery in critical condition, Dr. Joseph Lowery issued a statement that he will “carry on” with plans for a benefit for the institute named in his honor. Mrs. Lowery, founder of the SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality, suffered a stroke last week that caused irreversible damage, the family said. “I Have Known Rivers,” a musical and theatrical production ,which celebrates the work of Dr. Lowery, is scheduled for Oct. 6 at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College. The event is the major source of funding for the Joseph E. Lowery Institute at Clark Atlanta University. Steve Harvey will host the popular benefit and Tyler Perry will receive the first Agent of Change Award. “Tyler Perry serves as the voice for the voiceless and has been working tirelessly as a champion of the common good,” said Cheryl Lowery-Osborne, executive director of the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights. “Central to the mission of the Lowery Institute is to empower, inspire and train current and future leaders as ‘change agents’ to explore the moral, ethical and theological imperatives for justice and human rights.” The Institute was established in 2001 on the campus of Clark Atlanta University to continue the legacy of Dr. Lowery, whose life’s work has been nonviolent advocacy. Two examples of the work of the institute are the anti-violence and conflict resolution programs at Perkinson Elementary School and Sylvan Middle School, as well as a race and reconciliation program with college students. “Mr. Perry has persevered in spite of personal and professional challenges and has achieved incredible results in an industry that has historically limited minority participation,” Lowery-Osborne said. “As an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer and author, he has used his vast business network to employ hundreds of people in underserved areas of our community.” Known as the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement,” Dr. Lowery has held a diverse series of roles over the course of his nine-plus decades, most notably serving as the co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and serving as the organization’s leader for 20 years. In recognition of his lifelong commitment to the nonviolent struggle for the causes of justice, human rights, economic equality, voting rights, peace and human dignity, President Barack Obama awarded him the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on Aug. 12, 2009. Tickets for the celebration are available for VIP $100 and VIP loge $75, seniors $50 and students $25 on line at www. loweryinstitute.org/92 or by calling 404-524-8406. For additional information and sponsorship opportunities, contact Blake Osborne at email@example.com.