Committee to honor residents

Published: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2:39 p.m.

For the eighth time in the history of the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Committee, we, the members, along with the Gainesville and Alachua County community, will pause to honor and reflect on the life and legacy of Rosa Parks, the late and beloved civil rights icon who, this year, would also have turned 100 years old back on Feb. 4. All year long, our committee has been focusing on this 100-year milestone during our annual tributes.

Parks' story is well-known by most Americans and others around the world, and how, on Dec. 1, 1955, she became tired in her soul of the injustices inflicted on black people just because of the color of their skin.

So, she refused that day to move from a city bus seat that was supposed to be "reserved" for white passengers only and take her place in the back of the bus where all of the black citizens of Montgomery, Ala., were supposed to sit.

On Dec. 1, exactly 58 years after the display of "quiet courage" by Rosa Parks, our tribute to her and to community members whose lives have exemplified hers, will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the historic Mount Carmel Baptist Church at 2505 NE 8th Ave.

All members of the community and admirers of Parks are invited to attend and share in this tribute. We also invite all of our elected and appointed officials, local organizations, fraternities and sororities, Santa Fe College and University of Florida students, and all others who believe in justice.

This year, the theme will be, "A Call to Service: No Turning Back."

In my annual "State of Justice" address, I will focus on the fact that, while being proud of the many civil rights achievements made in both American and black history, the glaring and disturbing recent setbacks in racial equality and simple justice remind us that there is still service to be done in 2013 and beyond. We cannot ever turn back or go back in time to how things used to be or allow others to attempt to repeat some of the hateful acts of the past.

Finally, I am pleased to announce our 2013 "Quiet Courage" and "Legacy Bearer" recipients. They are: The late Richard Steve Brown and his widow, Ruth Brown, longtime activists on the battlefield for justice; Meshon Rawls of the Levin College of Law at UF; Joe Courter, co-founder of the Civic Media Center in Gainesville, and Phil Emmer of the Emmer Group. The "Legacy Bearer" recipient will be Charles Jones, a student at the Reichert House Youth Academy in Gainesville. We are proud of all of our recipients this year.

If all goes well according to schedule by our local leaders, Dec. 1, 2013, will officially be declared "Rosa Parks Day" in Gainesville and Alachua County.

On behalf of the committee, I once again humbly and sincerely invite the entire community to what will be a memorable tribute to Parks. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at either 352-665-4066 or 352-377-5022, or email me at You can also contact Karen Cole-Smith, first vice president, at 352-395-5767.

We look forward to seeing you on Dec. 1 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

The Rev. Milford Lewis Griner,

President and founder,

Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Committee,


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