Commission on Human Rights
Dr. Kevin Cosby inducted today in Capitol as 56th Great Black Kentuckian

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, February 10, 2015  
Contact Information:  Victoria Stephens
Commission Headquarters: 1.800.292.5566
Stephens's Mobile Telephone: 502.641.0760

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights today in the state capitol inducted Dr. Kevin W. Cosby into the Kentucky Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians.

The ceremony took place at the annual U.S. and Kentucky Black History Month Recognition in the rotunda. Approximately 300 audience members applauded as the 56th Gallery inductee along with his wife Barnetta Cosby assisted Kentucky Human Rights Commission Chair George Stinson, Kentucky Human Rights Commissioner Sandra Moore, Kentucky Sen. Gerald Neal and others unveil Cosby’s Gallery poster.

The Capitol Black History Month Celebration is organized each year by the Kentucky Legislative Black Caucus, and today’s event was cosponsored by the Kentucky Black Caucus of Locally Elected Officials (KBC LEO).

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights in 1970 introduced the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians, an educational program that uses biographical posters and bookmarks to recognize Kentucky African Americans who have made remarkable accomplishments, or who have distinguished themselves by breaking racial, professional or other barriers, or whose stories have been significant in state history. The items are widely used by schools and libraries throughout the state as tools to bring Kentucky African American role models and history into classrooms and to the public.

Rev. Cosby is well known as the senior pastor since 1979 of the large St. Stephen Church in Louisville, Ky., and as president of Simmons College of Kentucky, located in Louisville.

In 1997, Cosby led the church in purchasing and converting the original four-acre property of the former Simmons University, now Simmons College of Kentucky, for use as part of the church campus. The school is the oldest black-owned and operated educational institution in the state, but the property was lost to foreclosure during the Great Depression of the 1930s. In 2005, Cosby was named the 13th president of Simmons, and in 2007, he led the institution back to its original campus. Under his leadership, Simmons College of Kentucky was accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education in early 2014.

Cosby has held administrative and teaching posts at Kentucky State University, the University of Louisville, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and United Theological Seminary. He is known for his oratory skills and has given numerous lectures at universities and institutions around the world, including Harvard University. He serves as a member of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. He has authored four books and is a contributing writer of a number of books, journals and periodicals. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., a Master’s of Divinity degree from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, and a Doctorate of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Visit the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians online at

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state authority that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, which makes discrimination illegal. For help with discrimination, contact the commission at 1.800.292.5566.