By Mary Turocy
Ohio Civil Rights Commission
On October 6, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), along with sponsors Wright State University, Honda of America, and PNC, will host the Thirteenth Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony. 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.
The 2022 Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame honorees are:
- John W. E. Bowen, III (1926-2011) – Former State Senator, attorney at law, and public servant for the State of Ohio.
- Bishop Timothy J. Clarke (Columbus) – Bishop and Senior Pastor for the First Church of God and Civil Rights advocate.
- Dorothy O. Jackson (1933-2021) – Former Deputy Mayor of Akron, sign language interpreter, and community advocate.
- Iris Roley (Cincinnati) – Community activist for the City of Cincinnati and advocate of police reform.
- Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton (Worthington) – Former Supreme Court Justice of Ohio and advocate of mental health reform in the justice system
The 2022 Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony is Thursday, October 6, at 10 a.m. in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus. The program will consist of a formal ceremony that will honor these inductees. Stacia Naquin, News Anchor for ABC 6 and Fox 28 News Columbus, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for this year’s event. Judge Guy Reece will provide the keynote address and singer Sammi Robinson will perform.
The event is free and all members of the public are invited to attend the induction ceremony and the reception to be held in the Ohio Statehouse Rotunda immediately following. To maintain a safe environment, RSVPs are required to attend this year’s event and guests will be strongly encouraged to wear masks. The ceremony will be photographed and video recorded.
Members of the public can RSVP at 2022ocrhof.eventbrite.com.
John W. E. Bowen, III (1926-2011)
Former State Senator John W.E. Bowen III, of Cincinnati, 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 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.