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Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was created in 2009 through the collaborative efforts of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Honda, Wright State University, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and PNC.* The Civil Rights Hall of Fame seeks to acknowledge outstanding Ohioans who are recognized as pioneers in human and civil rights and who have advanced the goals of equality and inclusion. Inductees of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame are individuals who have made significant contributions in support of civil rights, cultural awareness and understanding in furtherance of a more just society.

* Acknowledgement of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame sponsors is not intended as an endorsement of these organizations.

 

13th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission welcomed the following 2022 inductees at the 13th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony on October 6, 2022 at 10:00am at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. 

John W. E. Bowen, III (1926-2011)
Former State Senator John W.E. Bowen III has served the state of Ohio both as a public servant and as a private citizen. After becoming the first black person elected to the Ohio state legislature from Franklin County, he continued to serve his community and the entire state in the advancement of civil rights.  

Bishop Timothy J. Clarke (Columbus)
Bishop Timothy Clarke was born surrounded by civil rights leaders who also served as faith leaders. Clarke’s passion for faith is paramount and serves as his foundation for activism and desire for social change. He serves as a pillar of the community and has been outspoken about victims of gun violence.  

Dorothy O. Jackson (1933-2021)
Dorothy O. Jackson was born and raised in Akron and has spent her life spreading her passion for an open and accessible world, becoming a sign language interpreter and teaching signing classes around Akron. Jackson also had long history of bettering the community through volunteerism to inspire those around her. Her work in advocating for disability rights and access is immeasurable and Ohio will always remember her as a civil rights leader and advocate. 

Iris Roley (Cincinnati)
Iris Roley grew up surrounded by civil rights leaders and community activists and has dedicated her life to the advancement of civil rights. As one of the founding leaders of the Cincinnati Black United Front, she helped organize the movement that created the collaborative agreements in which community police reform was born. Roley is still involved in various reform efforts serving on boards for the AMOS Project, City Mangers Advisory Board (MAG), The Police Chief Advisory Board (CAB), The Community Police Partnering Center (CPPC), Unofficial Juvenile Court in Madisonville, and the Summer Enrichment Program (A summer Math & Science Program). Iris Roley’s continual activism within the community has and will continue to be a resounding voice demanding change for community-police relations. 

Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (Worthington)
Former Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg served the state of Ohio for 8 years as a trial judge and a further 16 as a Supreme Court Justice, but Justice Stratton’s passion is mental health reform in the justice system. Justice Stratton is involved in a litany of different organizations that advocate for mental health reform. Her continued advocacy for mental health civil rights will continue to inspire and aid Ohioans for years to come.  

12th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission welcomed the following 2021 inductees at the 12th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony on October 7, 2021 at 10:00am at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium. Tracy Townsend, anchor for WBNS-10TV served as Mistress of Ceremonies and Gale King provided the keynote address.

Granville T. Woods (1856-1910)
Granville Woods, born in 1856 in Columbus, Ohio, was a trailblazer through his work as the first African American to be an electrical and mechanical engineer in the post-Civil War era. He was nicknamed the “Black Edison” and was constantly compared to his white colleagues and other inventors, so much so that Thomas Edison tried to sue Woods over rights to the invention of the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph. He started the Woods Electrical Company in the late 1880’s due to the success of that invention and actually held more than 60 patents in the United States. Woods died later in 1910, in New York and in 2006 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

WS McIntosh PhotoWaters Sumpter "W.S." McIntosh (1921-1974)
Waters Sumpter McIntosh was born February 2, 1921 in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1960, McIntosh heard the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was inspired to continue civil rights work in Dayton, Ohio. Like others during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, McIntosh used many nonviolent methods, such as sit-ins and boycotts, to advocate for the right of minorities to work at establishments in Dayton. Along with serving as the executive director of CORE in Dayton, McIntosh also demonstrated leadership and service to civil rights in Ohio by serving as the president and founder of the West Side Citizens Council and advisor to the Dayton chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He also worked with the community directly and was able to gather Black students from Roosevelt High School to challenge restaurant segregation. McIntosh tragically passed away at the age of 53 on March 4, 1974. He was shot outside his family business in Dayton while he tried to stop a robbery.

Otto Beatty, Jr. (1940-2021)
Otto Beatty Jr. was born in 1940 in Columbus, Ohio and went on to earn his BA and MA in business administration from Howard University. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, Beatty went on to get his JD from The Ohio State University College of Law. Beatty was a renowned businessman and lawyer who was dedicated to the advancement of minority-owned businesses, reform, and healthcare for the state of Ohio. He served in various leadership roles in state government as well as within his own community. Otto Beatty, Jr. served as a State Representative in Ohio for 18 years and dedicated most of his time and work to minority businesses and underrepresented groups. He was also the former chairman of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, former president of the Franklin County Trial Lawyers Association, and the former chairman of Public Utilities Unit. Beatty was known as a mentor and inspiration to many other Black lawyers in Ohio.

Commissioners' Community Spirit Award
Lydia J. Morgan
Lydia Morgan was born and raised in North Carolina, but moved to Cincinnati in 1975. Morgan went on to become an educator in a predominantly white school district in which she faced discrimination and racism as one of the district’s few Black educators. Despite the challenges she was facing personally, Morgan made sure her classroom remained a safe and educational space for all her students and those in the district. Morgan created and implemented the Juneteenth Celebration in Cincinnati, Ohio, with celebrations continuing over the past 33 years. Many supporters of her nomination believe her work to shed light on Juneteenth helped lead to its 2021 establishment as a federal holiday.

2020 Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Commemorative Video

Due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, it was necessary to cancel the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony that was scheduled for October 8, 2020. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Hall of Fame sponsors, and Governor DeWine helped to create a video to celebrate past inductees and provide inspiration for the future. To view the video, click below.

11th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The eleventh ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 4, 2018. Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Judge Algenon L. Marbley provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Thomas Jefferson Ferguson
Mary Hackney
Dr. John (Jack) Hansan
Geraldine (Jerrie) Mock
Burt Silverman
Stanley Tolliver, Sr.

10th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The tenth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 4, 2018. Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Dr. Errol D. Alexander
Dr. Joseph Carter Corbin
Jo Ann Davidson
James Obergefell

Commissioners' Community Spirit Award
Larry and Donna James

9th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The ninth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 5, 2017. Mike Jackson, anchor for NBC4, was the Master of Ceremonies, Leslie Wexner provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Chief Lawrence Harper
Lieutenant Coloner Gilbert H. Jones
Moses Fleetwood Walker
The Marching Mothers and Children of the 1954 Hillsboro Fight for Integration: Della Blakey, Myra Cumberland Phillips,  Patricia Goins Williams, Elsie Steward Young, David Butch Johnson, Francis Curtis, Rev. Michael Hudson,  Delbert Thomas, Glea Clemons, John Curtis, Jeannie Speech Williams, Harold Joe Thomas, Roxie Clemons, Imogene Curtis, Alberta Jewett, Maxine Thomas, Sarah Alice Clemons, Lawrence Curtis, Charles Johnson, Brenda Thomas Coleman, Rosemary Clemons Cumberland, Lee Curtis, Annabell Johnson Smith, Winnie Thomas Cumberland, Gertrude Clemons Hudson, Marva Curtis Hurston, Rosa Kilagore, Howard Williams, Dorothy Clemons, Ford Glen Dent, Debbie Rollins, Teresa Williams, Joyce Clemons Kittrell, Lynn Dent, Norma Rollins, Mary Williams Steward, Dellia Cumberland, William Dent, Minnie Speech, Peggy Williams Hudson, Doris Cumberland, Selicka Dent, Ralph Steward, Sallie Williams, John Cumberland, Jr., Glenna Dent Hennison, Evelyn Steward Bostie, Diane Zimmerman, Zella Cumberland, Alberta Goins, Carolyn Steward Goins, Joanne Zimmerman, Zora Cumberland, Lewis Goins, Virginia Steward Harewood, Nellie Zimmerman

8th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The eighth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 6, 2016. Kristyn Hartman, anchor for WBNS-10TV, was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Cynthia O. Booth provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Judge Jean Murrell Capers
Julianna Cochran Rogers
Rev. Leon Troy
Marion Motley
Bill Willis

7th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The seventh ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 15, 2015. Tracy Townsend, anchor for WBNS-10TV, was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Dr. Sean M. Decatur provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Nimrod B. Allen
Nirmal K. Sinha
Merri Gaither Smith & Schuyler Smith
Congressman Louis Stokes

6th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The sixth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 2, 2014. Kristyn Hartman, anchor for WBNS-10TV, was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Dr. Roderick J. McDavis provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Jessie O. Gooding
Rev. Mother Louise Shropshire
Joan Evelyn Southgate
Emily T. Spicer
Judge S. Arthur & Louise Spiegel
Gloria Steinem
John B. Williams
The Ohio Freedom Riders:
Betty Daniels Rosemond
David Fankhauser, Ph.D.
Frances L. Wilson Canty

5th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The fifth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 3, 2013. Joe Hallet was the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Roderick J. McDavis provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

Anison James Colbert
Lawrence Eugene "Larry Doby"
Sara J. Harper
Pastor Robert Lee Harris
Marjorie B. Parham
Charles O. Ross, Jr.
Alexander M. Spater

4th Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The fourth ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 4, 2012. Jan-Michele Lemon-Kearney was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Dr. Gregory Williams provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored: 

James G. Jackson
Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr.
William L. Mallory, Sr.
Richard Maxwell
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Jesse Owens
Ohio Tuskegee Airmen

3rd Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The third ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 13, 2011. Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV was the Mistress of Ceremonies, Steven A. Davis was the keynote speaker provided the keynote address, and the following individuals were honored:

Roger Abramson
Theordore M. Berry
Ken Campbell
Nathaniel R. Jones
Amos Lynch, Sr.
Louis Sharp
V. Anthony Simms-Howell

 

2nd Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The second induction ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on October 14, 2010. Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV was the Mistress of Ceremonies, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown was the keynote speaker, and the following individuals were honored:

Avery Friedman
Dr. Frank W. Hale, Jr.
Dr. Karla Irvine
William McCullouch
Eric Parks
Salvador Ramos
Rhonda Rivera
Dr. Ratanjit Sondhe
Dr. Marian Spencer
Baldemar Velasquez

1st Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

The inaugural ceremony of the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was held at the Ohio Statehouse on September 10, 2009. Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs for WBNS-10TV was the Mistress of Ceremonies, and the following individuals were honored:

Special Recognition: Governor C. W. O'Neill, Governor Michael DiSalle

2009 Inductees:

William Bowen
Joan B. Campbell
Robert M. Duncan
Ruth Gonzalez de Garcia
Bruce Klunder
C.J. McLin, Jr.
Toni Morrison
Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth
Carl B. Stokes
George Washington Williams