ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System has reopened its Southwest Atlanta branch and dedicated it to the late Evelyn Gibson Lowery, renown Civil Rights activist, STEM advocate and Clark College alumna (class of 1946). Members of the Joseph & Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights, including Cheryl Lowery and Rev. Joseph E. Lowery were present at the ribbon cutting event.
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is engaged in a $275 million capital improvement program, funded by a library bond referendum approved by Fulton County voters in 2008. The Southwest Atlanta branch is one of the locations allocated for expansion and refurbishment in phase II of the campaign.
Evelyn Gibson Lowery, wife of Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, served as an early proponent of the Civil Rights Movement alongside her husband, Reverend Joseph E. Lowery. Lowery graduated from Clark College with her degree in social work in 1946. In 1979, Evelyn Lowery founded the SCLC’s sister organization–SCLC/Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now Inc. (SCLC/W.O.M.E.N.).
Lowery continuously championed STEM initiatives and empowerment for girls and women: She founded the Women’s Empowerment Training Center for GED/computer training in 1988 and the Bridging the Gap mentoring program for girls in 1995. In the 1980s, Lowery also founded a number of public initiatives to commemorate past struggles and honor present fights for human rights, including the Drum Major for Justice Award, the Evelyn Lowery Civil Rights Heritage Tour, & the Civil Rights Freedom Wall in Perry County, Alabama. In 2004, Lowery was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.