Dr. C. T. Vivian (1924-2020) was born in Missouri, and as a young boy he moved with his mother to Illinois. It was there, in 1947, that he participated in his first efforts for justice: organizing and demonstrating to successfully integrate a cafeteria in Peoria, Illinois.
Vivian is best known for his work with Martin Luther King, Jr., and was the National Director of Affiliates and Strategist for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference organization.
Vivian also developed and launched VISION, an education program that assisted over 700 Alabama students to attend college on scholarship.
In November 2013, President Barack Obama honored Dr. C. T. Vivian for his vision and leadership in the fight for justice by awarding him with the nation's highest civilian honor—the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
In 1970, Vivian authored the first book written by a member of King's staff entitled Black Power and the American Myth.
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