Commission on Human Rights
Memorial in Capitol Rotunda for the late Rev. Louis Coleman
FRANKFORT – Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will attend the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights (KCHR) memorial to honor the recently deceased Rev. Louis Coleman Jr. The event is open to the public and will take place on Tuesday, August 12, from 10 to 11 a.m., in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
Reverend Coleman was a well-known social justice activist for over three decades. His continued pressure on Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville during the PGA Championship of 1996 led the golf organization to take concrete steps to expand the role of minorities in the sport nationwide. His involvement in a discrimination complaint against private country clubs in Kentucky resulted in a law that prevents members from taking tax breaks when clubs do not allow minority members. His focus on the smokestack emissions in the Rubbertown area in Louisville prompted state funding for air monitoring, which revealed excessive levels of chemicals in the air and resulted in a stringent toxic-air control program throughout Jefferson County. As a direct result of his efforts, a large monetary settlement was awarded to 157 African American employees for exclusion and discriminatory practices at E.I. duPont Co. in Louisville. He was instrumental in a $3.9 million award to 94 Louisville African American police officers. African American managers at the Ford Motor Truck Plant were able to settle with the company because of his intervention. With the use of demonstrations and dialogue, he was instrumental in the increase of minority participation on the United Parcel Service (UPS) Hub 2000 project, bringing 20 percent of the work to minority-owned construction businesses.
“We’re going to agitate and agitate and agitate until justice falls down.” Reverend Coleman said. He died on July 5, 2008.
The Kentucky Human Rights Commission is the state government agency that enforces the laws prohibiting discrimination, including the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and policies of federal civil rights laws.