National Association of Health Services Executives somberly acknowledges the death of Rev. C. T. Vivian, a minister and early civil rights organizer and activist. Rev. Vivian was also the founder of the C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute, Inc. and a 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient.
Rev. Vivian, a field general and inner circle advisor for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a front-line leader of the of the 1960s nonviolent racial justice movement. He led sit-ins at lunch counters, boycotts against businesses, and marches that continued for weeks and months.
During Rev. Vivian’s remarkable 75-plus years of heroism, he served as the director of over 85 local affiliate chapters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He directed training in nonviolence as well as coordinated voter registration and community development initiatives.
As we continue to achieve the mission of NASHE, we must never forget his wisdom that, “Nonviolence is the only honorable way of dealing with social change, because if we are wrong, nobody gets hurt but us. And if we are right, more people will participate in determining their own destinies than ever before.”
We extend our prayers for the comfort and strength of Rev. Vivian’s family and friends.
“You can turn your back now and you can keep your club in your hand, but you cannot beat down justice.”
Rev. C.T. Vivian (1924 – 2020)