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Ninth Annual Statewide Tribute to Rosa Parks


10th Annual Statewide Tribute to Rosa Parks: Dec. 4 and 5

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

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 tenth annual tribute will take place Dec. 4 and 5, and feature a Community Leaders Reception, Panel Discussion and Children’s Assembly.

“Conversations,” a panel discussion at WOSU@COSI TV Studio at 7 p.m., will be moderated by Jerry Revish, WBNS-10TV news anchor, and taped for future broadcast. Guests in the studio audience will participate in a landmark discussion, "Personal Encounters... Communities (RE)Defining Justice: From Ferguson, Missouri and Beavercreek, Ohio to Staten Island, New York and Los Angeles, California." The discussion will feature United States Representative Hakeem Jeffries, 8th Congressional District of New York and member of the bipartisan House Task Force on Over-Criminalization; Professor Sharon L. Davies, executive director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University; and Dr. Curtis Austin, associate professor, Department of African American Studies, specializing in Civil Rights and Black Power Movements at The Ohio State University.

The signature event, the annual Children’s Assembly on Friday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m. at the Vern Riffe Center's Capitol Theater, will feature a theatrical performance by the Columbus Children's Theatre (CCT) of the Ruby Bridges story. Jerry Revish will serve as master of ceremonies. Dr. John Stanford, deputy superintendent of Columbus City Schools, and Brutus Buckeye, will make special appearances. More than 500 studnets will be on-site from the following Columbus City Schools: Broadleigh Elementary, Cedarwood Elementary, Cranbrook Elementary, Duxberry Park Alternative Elementary, Gables Elementary and Highland Elementary. 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.

Join the conversation at #RosaParksOhio.


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