Celebs turn out for Joseph Lowery birthday fundraiser

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Just days after attending his beloved wife’s funeral, civil rights icon Joseph Lowery found the strength to celebrate his 92nd birthday at a star-studded fundraiser at King Chapel on Morehouse’s campus in Atlanta.

The “I’ve Known Rivers” gala, which was hosted by comedian Chris Tucker, attracted a host of high-profile personalities like Rev. Bernice King, director Kenny Leon and Ambassador Andrew Young.

The tickets for the Sunday night event cost between $20 and $100, with proceeds going to the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights.

The theatrical celebration included a tribute performance by actor/singer Jamie Foxx and a special presentation to media mogul Tyler Perry for his contribution to film and television. Other highlights were performances by Kathleen Bertrand, Cassi Davis, Terri Vaughn, Rolanda Watts, Malcolm Jamal Warner and Demetria McKinney.

The event included a tribute to Rev. Dr. Lowery’s late wife, Mrs. Evelyn Gibson Lowery, who died at the age of 88 on September 26, 2013.

“This evening has a dual purpose,” said Cheryl Lowery, executive director of the Lowery Institute. “While we celebrate my dad’s 92nd birthday and his tireless work for all people, we also seek to raise funds to carry on programs that reflect that dedication to service.”

The Institute was established in 2001 on the campus of Clark Atlanta University to continue the legacy of Dr. Lowery, whose life work has been nonviolent advocacy.

Known as the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement,” Lowery has held a diverse series of roles over the course of his nine plus decades, most notably serving as the co-founder and leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

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