Joseph Lowery's accomplishments through the SCLC include extending the Voter Rights Act, increasing awareness of the threat of AIDS to the African-American community, and challenging urban youth to assume responsibility in their communities.
He has also served as a spiritual guide in the community of Mobile, Alabama for over forty years. Lowery was a founder of the Black Leadership Forum and served as a leader in the Coordinating Council of Black Farm Groups, helping to win justice for farmers who lost their land due to the discriminatory politics of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since leaving SCLC in 1997, Lowery has established himself as one of the nation's leading advocates for affirmative action.
The 13th annual Athenaeum lecture commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is cosponsored by the Kravis Leadership Institute as part of the series Grass Roots Leadership.