Commission on Human Rights
KY Human Rights Commission to meet in Berea to rule on complaints and recognize 50th anniversary and Black History Month with tributes to Carter Woodson, Galen Martin and David Welch
BEREA, KY – The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will hold its monthly meeting to rule on statewide discrimination complaints at the Berea College campus at 9:30 a.m. (EST), Thursday, Feb. 25, in the Lincoln Hall Conference Room 201. The public is invited.
From noon until 2 p.m., the college will sponsor a special luncheon program in Lincoln Hall to help recognize the Kentucky Human Rights Commission 50th anniversary and U.S. Black History Month. Members of the media are invited.
At the recognition luncheon, the commission will unveil a poster in its Gallery of Great Black Kentuckian series of Carter G. Woodson. The program will feature tributes to Galen A. Martin and David O. Welch.
Berea President Larry D. Shinn, who helped the commission bring its meeting to the campus, will speak at the event, as will Dr. John Fleming, a noted Berea graduate who worked for the commission under Galen Martin in 1966-1968. Fleming will help the commission unveil the poster of Woodson. Fleming was national president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History from 2007-2009, an organization that Woodson founded in 1915.
Galen Martin (1927-2006) was the first executive director of the state human rights commission and was instrumental in the writing and passage of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act in 1966. He spearheaded the passage of the Kentucky Fair Housing Act in 1968. The Kentucky Civil Rights and Fair Housing acts made Kentucky the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to pass such laws. Martin’s family will attend the event.
David Welch is a former mayor of Ashland, Ky. He was a commissioner of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights for over 20 years, serving as chair and vice-chair during some of that time. In 1967, Welch chaired the commission’s first public hearings enforcing equal rights for minorities and women. Welch will attend the event.
Carter Woodson was an African American historian, author, and journalist. He was one of the first scholars to study Black History. Dr. Woodson, a Berea graduate, is known as the Father of Black History because he helped initiate U.S. Black History Week, which is now U.S. Black History Month.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights is the state government agency that enforces the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and federal civil rights law. The commission will hold 50th anniversary events throughout 2010 in order to raise awareness of civil rights and equal opportunity in Kentucky.