Across Cornerstone Schools, we are slowly beginning to deepen our understanding of what it means to live a Complete Life. We cannot share it if we do not first seek to live it ourselves. Last October’s dedication of the Andrew J. Young Cornerstone Center for The Complete Life was an important milestone in our journey. But really, it was only the beginning. Our individual school namesakes, a significant American Founder and a Civil Rights Leader, have taught us so much about the unfolding American Promise, and each day is an opportunity for our own broad and beloved community – students, parents, teachers, administrators, donors, partners – to be part of that unfolding promise.
Ambassador Young meeting with a student from Jefferson-Douglass Academy on his second visit to Cornerstone, December 2021
In March, friends from our community were part of a very special weekend in Atlanta to honor our only living namesake, Ambassador Andrew J. Young, as the City of Atlanta celebrated his 90th birthday.
Cornerstone Schools has an important relationship with Ambassador Young.
“It is such a blessing to have Ambassador Young as part of our community,” said Jefferson-Douglass Principal Monica Thompson. “It’s a game-changer for Cornerstone. He has done so much for African Americans and worked so hard to bring our country together. His visits to Cornerstone make my students feel so special, and so loved. And I’ve never felt more motivated to help my students prepare to live the Complete Life.”
The only living “namesake” of a Cornerstone school (Adams-Young Academy), Ambassador Young serves as a living embodiment of the critical relationships that are the foundation of Cornerstone Schools. He is deeply humbled to be paired with John Adams, and forever grateful to be connected to our Center for The Complete Life, an idea spoken of frequently by his dear friend “Martin”.
Not only have our students and teachers had the opportunity to meet Ambassador Young…he is sharing the Cornerstone story with friends around the world and he is grateful for his relationship over the years with our Cornerstone Co-Founder Clark Durant. The Ambassador and former Atlanta Mayor honored Mr. Durant by personally presenting to him the distinctive 2022 Millennium Candler Justice Prize. The annual award is bestowed for leadership in effecting positive social change. The Millennium Candler Committee wished to honor Mr. Durant’s lifetime as an advocate for the voiceless.
Introducing Durant at the awards gala, Ambassador Young’s son Bo told guests about his recent visit to Cornerstone. “The naming of the schools teaches students that the people who look like them are equally as important as the forefathers of this country.” He expressed his joy at establishing a relationship with Mr. Durant and with the schools, commenting, “Cornerstone should be in every city in this country and around the world educating children.”
The awards ceremony coincided with the grand opening of the Millennium Gate Museum’s extraordinary exhibition: The Many Lives of Andrew Young, which features a replica of the Cornerstone Complete Life mural displayed at Lincoln-King High School in honor of Cornerstone’s namesakes. We are grateful to Delta Air Lines for being the anchor partner of the Center and for Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who personally attended the two-day dedication celebration in October 2021.
(L) Delta CEO Ed Bastian presenting at the dedication of the Andrew J. Young Cornerstone Center for The Complete Life
(R) Cornerstone Founder and CEO Clark Durant and Ambassador Andrew Young following the reveal of Cornerstone’s namesake mural at Lincoln King High School
Lincoln-King High School Principal Andy Anuzis noted “We are here building community and deepening relationships. When people encounter Cornerstone for the first time, they’re amazed and moved by our mission and our students. It was amazing to watch people from around the country hearing the Cornerstone story and nodding their heads. Celebrating wins like this together is how we truly build a community around Cornerstone.”
In his acceptance speech, Durant commented “It’s the people that come around you that make you better; that help you to overcome your own shortcomings…The real justice takes place when we don’t see it. It’s the invisible love that is present in the fabric of our lives.”
Ambassador Young inspired guests with his words “We are the sum total of the investment of love and concern and vision of the people who embrace us. We’ve been brought together to make this world more like God’s kingdom…I want to thank you for giving your lives so that other people might share the kind of life you live, and I live, and that we want our children to live.”
To read an article on Mr. Durant receiving the Justice Award, click here.