Our History

The Catalyst

The Atlanta riots of 1967, also known as the “Atlanta Blackout,” were a series of violent civil disturbances that occurred in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, from September 6 to September 13, 1967. The riots were sparked by a number of factors, including police brutality, racism, and social and economic inequality.

The riots began on September 6, 1967, after rumors of police killing a young black man who was accused of stealing a car began to spread. Angry crowds gathered in the streets, and the protests quickly turned violent, with looting, arson, and rock-throwing. The riots continued for several days, with clashes between police and protesters, and more than 60 businesses and homes were set on fire.

The National Guard was called in to restore order, and a curfew was imposed on the city. The riots resulted in the deaths of two people, many injuries, and millions of dollars in property damage. The riots also revealed deep-seated racial tensions and economic inequality in Atlanta, leading to renewed efforts to address these issues.

After the so-called Atlanta race riots of 1967 which were part of a larger wave of civil disturbances that swept the United States during the 1960s. And a precursor to the larger and more destructive riots that occurred in many American cities in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

In response students from the Atlanta University Center founded The United Youth Adult Conference (UYAC) in 1972. Led by Arthur Langford Jr driven by desire to see better for his hometown he organized to improve the quality of life for residents, through any moral means necessary with an emphasis on bridging the gap of communication between youth and adults.

The Brothers

At the age of 21 Arthur was the founding president and led the organization for twenty three years until his death in 1994. During Arthur’s leadership, UYAC was always on the forefront of fighting to improve community conditions for all. His brother Michael Langford took over as president and continued the work that his brother began.

Building on that strong foundation propelled it to even higher heights through his fierce advocacy for mental health services, anti-violence campaign, continued searches for lost persons like missing senior citizens, human trafficking victims and exploited teens.

In 1999 after a successful youth summit UYAC implemented the Arthur Langford Teen Leadership Institute. The institute has trained and continues to provide valuable programs to hundreds of young men and women to be better servants to our community. In 2022, the institute was renamed the Arthur and Michael Langford Teen leadership institute, honoring two admirable men that sacrificed so much to better the lives of others.

The United Youth Adult Conference has and continues to make a tremendous impact in the city of Atlanta and across the nation. Asna civil rights organization that focused on improving race relations and economic opportunities for African Americans in Atlanta.

He became involved in civil rights activism during the 1950s and 1960s, working with other leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy. In 1972, he founded the UYAC as a way to bring together young people and adults in the struggle for civil rights.

The UYAC organized protests and demonstrations throughout the city, including labor strikes and marches for voting rights. In 1972 the integration effort moved over the south including Holy Family hospital in southwest Atlanta. However a white administration was unwilling to fully accept black staff members and treated them with disdain. So the doctors and nurses went on strike and Langford and Rick staged a hunger strike in solidarity. Arthur was even shot by the chief administrator along with a fellow protestor Willie Ricks while demonstrating outside the hospital.

Arthur survived to become the youngest Atlanta City Councilmen in history and later ascended to the state senate where he served his community until his death in 1994. His brother Micheal carried on the legacy of service and established a teen leadership institute in his brother’s honor The Arthur Langford Teen Leadership Institute.