Civil Rights Leaders

Glass panels featuring nine University of Louisville civil rights champions grace the pergola on the north end of Charles H. Parrish, Jr. Freedom Park, facing Cardinal Boulevard. These legendary figures include:

Anne M. Braden – A journalist and nationally known civil rights leader, Braden taught civil rights history for the decade before her death. The Anne Braden Institute at UofL carries forward her legacy.

Dr. Rufus E. Clement – The first dean of Louisville Municipal College in 1931, Clement built a strong faculty before leaving to become president of Atlanta University in 1937.

Lyman Tefft Johnson – Johnson was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that forced the desegregation at the University of Kentucky Graduate School in 1949. He then launched a campaign to desegregate UofL, which led the Kentucky General Assembly to end racial segregation in all Kentucky colleges and universities in 1950.

Dr. Lucy Freibert – A faculty member from 1971 to 1993, Freibert taught UofL’s first women’s studies course in 1973 and helped establish the Women’s Center and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

Dr. Charles Henry Parrish, Jr. – UofL’s first African-American professor, he joined the university in 1951, the first African-American appointed to the faculty of an historically white university in the south.

Dr. Eleanor Young Love – Dr. Love was the first African-American librarian at the University of Kentucky in 1955. A decade later, she became the first director of Project Upward Bound and an assistant dean at UofL.

Dr. Joseph H. McMillan, Sr. – A 1950 UofL graduate, McMillan returned in 1976 as an assistant provost, professor of education, director of the Office of Minority Affairs and founder of the National Conference on the Black Family in America.

Woodford R. Porter – A community and business leader, he was the first African-American chair of the UofL Board of Trustees. He served four terms as chair.

Wilson W. Wyatt, Sr. – Former Louisville mayor and Kentucky lieutenant governor, Wyatt also was a UofL trustee and made the first motion to desegregate the university in 1949.