For release: January 17, 2014
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
Dr. James L. Netters
The University of Memphis will present the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award
to pastor and civil rights advocate Dr. James L. Netters during the opening reception
for Black History Month. The event will be held Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Michael D.
Rose Theatre on the U of M campus. Sponsored by the Black Student Association and
the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event is free and open to the public.
A graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College and Memphis Theological Seminary, Netters became
pastor of Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in 1956. He is the longest-serving pastor of a
church in Memphis. Netters participated in the 1963 march on Washington, D.C., and
was on the stage when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech.
In 1967, he became one of the first three African-Americans to serve on the Memphis
City Council in the 20th century. During that term, Netters worked tirelessly to forge
an agreement to end the sanitation workers’ strike. After serving one term, he was
appointed administrative assistant to Mayor Wyeth Chandler and head of the Community
Relations Commission. Netters also has served as chair of the Memphis Light, Gas &
Water Board of Commissioners and a member of the Regional Medical Center Advisory
He is one of seven civil rights pioneers who will be presented with the Be the Dream
MLK Legacy Award by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton on Jan. 20.
For more information on the event, contact Linda Hall in the Office of Multicultural
Affairs at 678-2054.