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Resolution RS2020-476

A Resolution honoring the memory of Reverend C.T. Vivian.

WHEREAS, on July 17, 2020, Civil Rights leader Reverend Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian died at the age of 95; and

WHEREAS, Vivian was born in Boonville, Missouri, on July 30, 1924. He moved to Illinois as a child and studied at Western Illinois University. It was in Peoria, Illinois in 1947 that he joined his first protest to help desegregate a cafeteria; and

WHEREAS, Vivian studied ministry at the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville. In Nashville in 1957, Vivian first heard Dr. Martin Luther King speak on nonviolence; and

WHEREAS, in 1959, Vivian met Rev. James Lawson, who was teaching nonviolent strategies to members of the Nashville Student Movement, including Diane Nash, John Lewis, and other individuals who became prominent civil rights organizers; and

WHEREAS, in 1960, the Nashville Student Movement led a three-month sit-in campaign which culminated in a march on Nashville City Hall where Vivian and Diane Nash confronted Mayor Ben West, who acknowledge that racial discrimination was morally wrong and agreed to desegregate the lunch counters in the city; and

WHEREAS, after the sit-ins, Vivian joined the Congress of Racial Equality on the Freedom Ride to Mississippi, where he suffered beatings in response to his nonviolent protests. He later became a pastor in Chattanooga and then helped organize Tennessee’s contingent for the 1963 March on Washington. He was then invited to join Dr. King’s staff as part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and

WHEREAS, he fought for civil rights for the rest of his life, becoming director of the Urban Training Center for Christian Mission in Chicago, the dean of Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, and founder of the Black Action Strategies and Information Center in Atlanta and the National Anti-Klan Network, later renamed the Center for Democratic Renewal; and

WHEREAS, Vivian received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama in 2013; and

WHEREAS, Vivian left an indelible mark on Nashville and on the United States. It is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognize his work during the Civil Rights Movement and beyond and honor his memory.


Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as honoring the memory of Reverend C.T. Vivian, a Civil Rights Movement leader who left a lasting mark on Nashville and across the United States.

Section 2. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Delishia Porterfield, Zulfat Suara, Burkley Allen, Russ Bradford, Bob Mendes, Sharon Hurt, Steve Glover, Jonathan Hall, Kyonzté Toombs, Jennifer Gamble, Robert Swope, Sean Parker, Brett Withers, Emily Benedict, Nancy VanReece, Tonya Hancock, Zachary Young, Larry Hagar, Erin Evans, Kevin Rhoten, Jeff Syracuse, Ginny Welsch, Colby Sledge, Thomas Cash, Freddie O'Connell, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Brandon Taylor, Gloria Hausser, Thom Druffel, Kathleen Murphy, Russ Pulley, Courtney Johnston, Bob Nash, Tanaka Vercher, Sandra Sepulveda, John Rutherford, Joy Styles, Antoniette Lee, Angie Henderson, Dave Rosenberg

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedJuly 21, 2020

AdoptedJuly 21, 2020

ApprovedJuly 22, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 08/03/2020 2:09 PM