Thursday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m., Ohio Statehouse Atrium, Columbus
The Ohio Civil Rights Commission will honor six civil rights pioneers – including Cincinnatian Dick Weiland – during its eighth annual Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
“This event serves as a reminder of the great advances in civil rights that Ohioans have achieved over the years,” said Leonard Hubert, commission chairman.
The program will consist of a formal induction ceremony followed by a reception. Cincinnatian Cynthia Booth, CEO and president of COBCO Enterprises, will deliver the keynote address.
Weiland, a Cincinnati native who has dedicated his life to civil rights, beginning by marching in 1965 in Selma, Alabama, and then working to end civil unrest following Cincinnati’s 1967 riots. He since has been involved with Talbert House’s welfare-to-work, substance abuse and mental health services; the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s prisoner re-entry programs; and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Scholarship fund for African-American students at Cincinnati State. Weiland also established Halom House for Jewish adults with disabilities
At age 87, he still travels to Columbus twice a week and regularly visits Washington, D.C., to address issues affecting civil rights.
“I believe we have a duty to take care of our fellow man; I have always upheld that we have to treat others the way we want to be treated,” said Weiland. “I was fortunate enough to have many role models while growing up who taught me the importance of making an impact on our community.”
Weiland is the founder and president of Richard Consulting Corporation, which provides lobbying and mediation services to over 60 companies and numerous non-profit organizations. He serves on more than 30 boards and commissions.
In addition to Weiland, inductees include:
- Judge Jean Murrell Capers, 103, who was the first African-American woman elected to the Cleveland City Council in 1948 and was appointed to the Cleveland Municipal Court from 1977 to 1986.
- Juliana Cochran Rogers (honored posthumously), who fought for the rights of the physically disabled by challenging Ohio State University to accommodate disabled students, then helped her 1972 graduating class raise funds to create a barrier-free campus.
- The Rev. Leon Troy, who has established several education programs over 50 years to ensure disadvantaged children get an early start in education.
- Marion and Bill Willis (honored posthumously), who, in 1947, helped break the color barrier by being among the first four African-Americans to play modern professional football. They joined the Cleveland Browns a full year before Jackie Robinson did the same for baseball.
The induction ceremony and reception are free and open to the public. Event sponsors include Wright State University, Honda of America and PNC.