Local activist to open center in honor of C.T. Vivian

Oden-Shabazz with the late Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian

By KENNEDY WILLIAMS, Reporter

MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3)- A local activist is honoring a trailblazer of the Civil Rights Movement by opening a community center.

McDonough County NAACP President Byron Oden-Shabazz said Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian’s example as a leader and a blueprint for the greater goal, has inspired him to create and open up a community center in Vivian’s name.

“I mean manhood in humility, sacrifice, hard work, diligence, focused,” Oden-Shabazz said.

Oden-Shabazz said he could not have started The Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian Cultural Center for Cultural Civic and Social Engagement without the help of others, specifically Vivian’s two daughters, Denise Norse and Joanne Walker, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Illinois District Director, Mike Boyd.

“So I’m like I have to do something that will be here long after we leave, something that really lives up to his legacy and this is where I came up with the name Civic and Social Engagement because that’s who he was,” Oden-Shabazz said.

Community leaders hope to break ground on the center in two to three years. It will be located in the 700 block of East Adams Street in Macomb.