The board of directors that last week effectively veoted U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young's homtown appearance next month before a trade group today reversed itself.
The International House board of directors had voted to delay a proposed March speaking invitation to the ambassador until the board's April meeting, effectively vetoing it. Young will be in New Orleans next month to participate in a Tulane University program.
In a special 15-minute meeting today, the board voted not only to invited Young but to work with several civic groups to organize a ceremony in his honor.
International House president G. Frank Purvis Jr. said the vote to invite Young shows the organization's eagerness to honor him.
Both votes of the 105-member board were by voice and unanimous.
Last Wednesday the board tabled a motion to invite Young to speak. Because the ambassador is black and all but one board member are white, the action touched off charges of racism.
However, Purvis denied that race had been a factor.
However, purvis denied the race had been a factor.
"The past 72 hours have been some of the most excruciating I have ever spent," Purvis said.
"I regret that I was not wise enough to anticipate that such a result would have come about," he said of the reaction to the board's initial vote.
The board's only black, Dr. henry E. BRaden III, had called the original vote - which he missed - racist, but said today he was happy at the outcome. But he added, "My disappointment will long linger over the bias and silence that enables such incidents to occur in the first place."