Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

COTA, Female Supreme Court Justices Pay Tribute to Rosa Parks

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and The Ohio State University (OSU), in conjunction with the Ohio Historical Society and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, presented Ohio's Seventh Annual Statewide Tribute to Rosa Parks, "The Power of One," on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2011, at COSI (Center of Science and Industry), 333 W. Broad St. After legislation was passed in Ohio in 2005 that designated Dec. 1 Rosa Parks Day in Ohio, the annual Rosa Parks tribute was institutionalized by COTA's President/CEO Bill Lhota in 2006.

"Mrs. Parks' historical stance occurred on a public transit bus," Lhota said on Nov. 30. "Everyone at COTA takes great pride in recognizing Mrs. Parks' protest and the legacy of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which followed. Her determination that day, ignited the modern civil rights era in our nation.

"Rosa's stance is important not just because it occurred on a city bus, but because it reminds each of us how one person and one event can change a nation. As a student of history, I look back on these kinds of events as a guide to the future."

The four female justices of the Ohio Supreme Court came together the night before Rosa Parks Day in Ohio, Nov. 30, as a panel aired live on WBNS 10TV and ONN (Ohio News Network).

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger and Justice Yvette McGee Brown discussed the road Rosa paved for women and minorities as well as the challenges each faced in aspiring to hold the highest judicial position in the State of Ohio.

To watch a rerun of the first half of the show, which contains introductions and backgrounds of the justices, go to http://www.10tv.com/content/sections/video/index.html?video=/videos/2011/12/01/the-power-of-one-statewide-tribute-to-rosa-parks-1.xml.

For the interactive panel discussion, go to http://www.10tv.com/content/sections/video/index.html?video=/videos/2011/12/01/the-power-of-one-statewide-tribute-to-rosa-parks-2.xml.

The signature event, the annual Children's Assembly on Dec. 1, welcomed over 800 schoolchildren this year. The Honorable Yvette McGee Brown served as the keynote speaker and the occasion streamed live via webcast to elementary schools across the state. To see the Assembly's webcast, go to http://www.10tv.com/content/sections/video/index.html?video=/videos/2010/12/01/rosa-parks.xml.

On Nov. 15, Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day made history as it was placed into the U.S. Congressional Record by Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. Her floor speech can be viewed at http://outreach.osu.edu/rp.php.

Ohio was the first state to designate Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day, honoring her life and legacy as the Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement. Mrs. Parks' courageous act in refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala. bus to a white passenger on Dec. 1, 1955, was an act that sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Modern Civil Rights Movement.