UNION MEDAL TO BE AWARDED TO VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AND LGBT ACTIVIST MANDY CARTER AT UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S 177TH COMMENCEMENT
Gore and Carter’s lifetime of faithful activism beautifully exemplifies the spirit of Union
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK, NY — Former Vice President Al Gore and LGBT activist Mandy Carter will receive the Union Medal, the highest honor awarded by Union Theological Seminary, at the school’s 177th Commencement Ceremony on May 15th at 4:00pm. The ceremony will be streamed live at https://utsnyc.edu/commencement-live/
“Union Theological Seminary is a unique and truly extraordinary institution that educates, inspires and empowers leaders uniquely suited to help humanity embrace and successfully deal with the greatest moral challenges of our time,” said Gore. “I am deeply honored and genuinely humbled to receive the Union Medal.”
The Union Medal was established in 1991 to recognize people engaged in works of ministry in congregations, public service, government, business, education, and the arts. It is the equivalent of an honorary degree. Previous medalists include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, William Sloane Coffin, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, and Judith and Bill Moyers.
“I am constantly reminded that changing ‘hearts and minds,’ the work of spiritual renewal and transformation, is always central to social justice movements whether based on race, gender, class, culture, ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” said Carter. “That’s why I am honored to receive the Union Medal from an institution committed to this crucial work.”
Gore and Carter’s remarks at Union will conclude a year marked by the creation of a ‘Protest Hub’ in response to the tragic deaths of unarmed black people by police officers, a “Religions for the Earth” gathering of two hundred top global faith leaders during the U.N. Climate Week, and lectures from Charles Blow, Michelle Alexander, William Barber, and others.
“I’m thrilled to honor two people who so beautifully and consistently exemplify the spirit of Union’s mission,” said Serene Jones, president of the seminary. “At a school with a rich tradition of faithful activism rooted in bold scholarship, I can’t imagine having two people who more fully encapsulate who we are at Union than Al Gore and Mandy Carter.”
Bios of Gore and Carter follow this release.
Former Vice President Al Gore is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. He is a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a member of Apple, Inc.’s board of directors. Gore spends the majority of his time as chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization he founded that is focused on solutions for the global climate crisis.
Mandy Carter is a southern African-American lesbian social justice activist with a 47-year movement history of social, racial and LGBT justice organizing since 1968. Ms. Carter helped co-found two ground-breaking organizations. Southerners On New Ground (SONG) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). SONG, founded in 1993, is about building progressive movement across the South by creating transformative models of organizing that connects race, class, culture, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. Specifically, SONG integrates work against homophobia into freedom struggles in the South. She served as its Executive Director from 2003-2005.