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