WHEREAS, Reverend Cordy Tindell "C.T" Vivian was born on July 30, 1024 in Boonville, MO. and died at age 95 on July 20, 2020 in Atlanta, GA; and
WHEREAS, Rev. Vivian, who studied for the ministry at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee, was in the words of his close friend Rev. Dr. Martin L. King Jr. "the greatest preacher to ever live"; and
WHEREAS, C. T. Vivian is a distinguished leader in the non-violent struggle for civil and human rights and was one of Dr. King's closest confidants and field generals; and
WHEREAS, Rev. Vivian was the national director of at least 85 local affiliate chapters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.) from 1963 to 1966, directing protest activities and training in nonviolence as well as coordinating voter registration and community development projects throughout the Southern United States; and
WHEREAS, although he was on the "front lines" of the struggle for civil rights in the 1960's, Rev. Vivian refused to give up the struggle as long as ethnic and racial inequities persisted; and
WHEREAS, Rosa Parks said of Rev. Vivian that "even when we supposedly had our rights he was still out there, inspiring the next generation"; and
WHEREAS, in addition to non-violent work on behalf of racial equality in the 1960's, Rev. Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal; and
WHEREAS, in 2011, recounting his numerous trips to jail and the numerous beatings he endured at the hands of segregationist law officers and others, he said "In no way would we allow nonviolence to be destroyed by violence"; and
WHEREAS, included in his many honors and awards, Rev, C.T. Vivian earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. During his acceptance speech, Rev. Vivian said ""Do what you can do and do it well. But always ask your question: Is it serving people?"
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP celebrates the life and mourns the passing of Reverend Cordy Tindell "C.T." Vivian.