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Ninth Annual Statewide Tribute to Rosa Parks


Ohio Celebrates the Legacy of Rosa Parks with Ninth Annual Statewide Tribute

Central Ohio Transit Authority, The Ohio State University and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty to host annual “Power of One” events, Dec. 5 and 6

Rosa Parks, the Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement, embodied courage when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955. Her spirit inspires Ohio to recognize her legacy in “The Power of One,” Ohio’s annual Statewide Tribute to Rosa Parks.

In 2005, fifty years after Mrs. Parks’ brave act that sparked the modern civil rights movement, then-State Representative Joyce Beatty wrote legislation that was signed into law by Governor Bob Taft to make Ohio the first state to designate Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day. 

“Ohio’s leadership in honoring Rosa Parks continues our state’s long tradition of honoring civil rights,” Beatty said. “The year-to-year growth of “The Power of One” tribute shows how seriously the leaders in our city and state take the importance of our civil rights history and future.”

Hosted by the Central Ohio Transit Authority, The Ohio State University and Congresswoman Beatty, the ninth annual tribute will take place Dec. 5 and 6, and feature a Community Leaders Reception, Panel Discussion and Children’s Assembly.

“Conversations,” a panel discussion on “The Voting Rights Act…Then and Now,” will take place on Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. in the WOSU@COSI TV Studio, 333 W. Broad St. The panel will feature distinguished guests Joe Madison, national civil rights and political activist, and talk show host for Sirius XM Radio, Inc.; The Honorable Nina Turner, Ohio Senator, 25th SD; and Professor Daniel P. Tokaji, an authority on election and voting rights law at The Ohio State University. Jerry Revish, WBNS-10TV news anchor, will moderate the discussion, and the studio audience will have a chance to ask questions of the panelists at the conclusion of the discussion.

“Rosa Parks showed that everyday people can change the world,” said Valerie Lee, Vice President for Outreach and Engagement and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at The Ohio State University. “Her courage made an impact on this country for generations to come. She is truly one of the great heroes in American history.”

The signature event, the annual Children’s Assembly on Dec. 6, will welcome more than 500 schoolchildren from Columbus City Schools. The program will feature Congresswoman Joyce Beatty as the Keynote Speaker; Joseph A. Alutto, Interim President, The Ohio State University; Dan Good, Interim Superintendent, Columbus City Schools; and Brutus Buckeye. Jerry Revish will serve as Master of Ceremonies, and WBNS-10TV will provide a live stream of the program to elementary schools throughout the state.

“The annual statewide tribute has inspired hundreds of community leaders and thousands of children to learn more about Rosa Parks and the role public transit played in the modern civil rights movement,” said Curtis Stitt, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Ohio Transit Authority. “We look forward to playing our part in keeping her legacy alive.”

The tribute has been recognized nationally, and in 2011 it was entered into the Congressional Record during a session of the U.S. House of Representatives. Two years earlier, the American Public Transportation Association awarded Ohio’s tribute its Grand Prize Award in the Special Events category. 

For more information, email rosaparks@cota.com.


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