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Ashby Pate Helps Unveil Mural Tribute to Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport

May 24, 2024

Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC partner R. Ashby Pate joined the Birmingham Airport Authority Board and Leadership Birmingham on May 23 to unveil a new mural at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. 

The mural, located in Concourse B, pays tribute to Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, who helped propel Birmingham into the national spotlight during the Civil Rights Movement. It is a collaboration between artist Rico Gatson, the airport and Leadership Birmingham. 

In 1956, Shuttlesworth established the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, sparking a series of events that subjected him and his family to various acts of violence. Shuttlesworth joined forces with Martin Luther King in 1957 to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 

Pate is the secretary of the Birmingham Airport Authority Board and a member of the Leadership Birmingham class that chose this collaboration as their community project. 

“The Airport Authority Board and Leadership Birmingham wanted to create a lasting tribute to Shuttlesworth in order to honor the impact he had on Birmingham,” Pate said. “The mural’s placement will ensure that Shuttlesworth’s story is told. He created a legacy, and we are proud that this mural will be seen by thousands of people every day.” 

Pate focuses his practice on international disputes, appellate work, and commercial and medical device litigation. He routinely takes on some of the firm’s most controversial matters, including prosecuting a high-profile case that led to the suspension of a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. As an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Palau, he helped design the island nation’s first-ever jury trial system. 

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