On Thursday night, ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young was honored as the recipient of the Roses for Roe Elaine B. Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed on community leaders furthering reproductive rights here in Atlanta.
Young was selected for the award because of her lifelong advocacy for women’s and marginalized communities’ rights. She was also recognized for reinvigorating the work of the ACLU of Georgia.
Andrea Young before giving her acceptance speech at Roses for Roe, Jan. 26, 2023.
“Andrea is dedicated and always has been dedicated to fighting for reproductive rights. I have loved this child since the first time I met her … It gives me unbelievable pleasure and pride to know that this award is going to her,” Alexander said.
Young told the crowd the fight is far from over.
“I accept this award in honor of my mentor Margie Hames, who argued Doe v. Bolton [a state lawsuit concerning restrictions on sites where abortions could be performed, which ran parallel to Roe v. Wade]; my mother, Jean Childs Young, who tried to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed in Georgia; my grandmother, Daisy Fuller Young, who was forced to quit her teaching job when she became pregnant with my father; and all of our daughters and granddaughters. The rights we had will be restored to the women and girls of tomorrow,” Young said to resounding applause.
(Andrea Young before giving her acceptance speech at Roses for Roe, Jan. 26, 2023.)
Roses for Roe is an annual event put on for the benefit of Planned Parenthood Southeast, and to recognize all allies who passionately strive to protect reproductive rights. Organizers celebrated the 50 years that Roe v. Wade was law, and highlighted stories made possible because of organizations like Planned Parenthood.
The inaugural Roses for Rose lifetime achievement award was given to Alexander, who served on numerous civic and Jewish boards and commissions during her decades as an Atlantan, including the Georgia Commission on the Status of Women and the Atlanta Women’s Foundation. She has long been an avid and vocal supporter of abortion rights. Young is the second recipient of the award, which has now been named for Alexander.
As part of the event, Young also took part in a panel discussion, during which she spoke about the history of reproductive rights advocacy, the legal impact of Roe v. Wade being struck down, and provided insight into the fight ahead.
(Young with ACLU of Georgia staff members.)
Young was joined on the panel by event host Mara Davis, long-time Atlanta radio and TV host; Rep. Dr. Jasmine Clark, currently serving Georgia’s 108th District; and Megan Cohen, Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Southeast and Assistant Professor in Complex Family Planning at Emory University.
Jerzy Shedlock (he/him) is a communications strategist at the ACLU of Georgia.