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Kentucky Civil Rights Panel Cites 14 New Members

Kentucky Civil Rights Panel Cites 14 New Members


Fourteen new members of the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame were inducted during ceremonies Friday at Kentucky State University.

Established by the Commission on Human Rights in 2000 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the agency, the hall honors people who have made significant contributions to the cause.

The new members join 52 previous inductees. This was the fourth set of inductions, which are now conducted every other year. Selections are made by a volunteer panel.

The 2005 honorees include:

  • Sister Lupe Arciniega of Nerinx, Kentucky. An educator and advocate on behalf of migrant farm workers and new immigrants for fair housing, health care and living conditions;
  • Norbert Blume of Louisville. As a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives he supported adoption of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act in 1966;
  • Robert Coleman of Paducah. He is the longest-serving city commissioner, 28 years, in Paducah history. He helped establish a full-time executive director position for the Paducah Human Rights Commission and is a longtime member of the Paducah NAACP;
  • The late Todd Duncan of Danville. He broke racial barriers as a pioneering actor and singer. He created the role of Porgy in the classic play, Porgy and Bess. He was the first African American to perform in the New York City Opera in 1946. He worked to desegregate American theaters and encouraged other African Americans to pursue music as a career;
  • The late John Fee of Berea. He founded Berea College in 1859 as one of the first institutions that would teach both Black and White students. He was an abolitionist who said slavery and racism were sinful;
  • John Johnson of Baltimore, Md., formerly of Louisville. He is the chief programs officer for the NAACP. He is a past president of the Franklin-Simpson County NAACP. He previously worked for the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights and the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission;
  • Dr. Joseph McMillan of Louisville. He is a former board member of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. He is past president of the Louisville Urban League, a former chair of the Louisville/Jefferson County Human Relations Commission and former chair of the Kentucky Rainbow Coalition;
  • The late Dr. Maurice Rabb of Louisville. He was the first Black physician accepted for membership into the Jefferson County Medical Society. He was vice president of the NAACP in Louisville. He fought against segregation and for the hiring and promotion of African-Americans. He was a member of the Louisville Human Relations Commission;
  • The late Gov. Augustus Stanley of Shelbyville. He was an advocate for women’s rights and the Workers’ Compensation Act. During his tenure as governor, he increased funding for what were then called Negro Schools and opposed the Ku Klux Klan. He also came to the rescue of an African-American man who was wanted by a lynch mob in 1917;
  • The late Carter Woodson of Berea. He is known as the father of Black History Month in the United States. He lived from 1875 to 1950 and was an author, educator and human rights activist. He was a graduate of Berea College who campaigned for Negro History Week as a way to instill pride in African- Americans.

Associated Press

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