About the MLK Coalition

Signed into law on May 2, 1975, Senate Bill 18 declared the third Monday in January as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the state of Ohio.  The first proposal for a statewide holiday honoring Dr. King came from the Cincinnati Human Relations Committee, and numerous area legislators were instrumental in the bill’s passage.

   Among them were the late state Senator William R. Bowen;

State Representatives James W. Rankin, William L. Mallory and James T. Luken; and Warren Pate, then of the Ohio AFL-CIO.  The first community observance of the holiday was planned by the staff and officers of the YWCA.  The Martin Luther King, Jr. Coalition, founded in 1978, has planned the annual commemorative programs for over 30 years.

Jay Payne, President  Member-at-Large

Dr. Ericka King-Betts, Vice President

Louise Lawarre, Program Coordinator Greater Anderson Promotes Peace

Edith Thrower, Immediate Past President Member-at-Large

 Rabbi Gary P. Zola, Ph.D., Past President Greater Cincinnati Board of Rabbis

 Cheryl Meadows,  Member- at- Large

Desiree Bennett, Member-at-Large, YWCA of Greater Cincinnati

 Verneida Britton, Member – at- Large

 Christina D. Brown, Member-At-Large

 Dan M. Griffith, IV COPA, Coalition of Political Assassinations

 Robert Harris, Member-at-Large

 Nina M. Jackson Gates, Member-at-Large