Dayton-area residents to receive prize alongside nationally known activists who fight for social justice

The civil rights event is sponsored by comedian Dave Chappelle and his wife Elaine.

Working in the name of justice has its rewards.

A Dayton attorney, a pair of activists and an organization that aims to revitalize “Dayton neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment” will be honored with Coretta Scott King Center Justice Awards on Monday, April 29, at the third annual Coretta Scott King Legacy Luncheon at The Dayton Club, 40 N. Main St.

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The event is sold out.

"It is a fundraiser, but it also a friend-raiser," Mila Cooper, Antioch College's vice president for diversity and inclusion and the director of its Coretta Scott King Center, said. "And it also recognizes those in the area that engage in the work to advance social justice."

The event is sponsored by comedian Dave Chappelle and his wife Elaine.

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The Dayton Foundation is the event's legacy sponsor and honorary chairs are Bob Ross Auto Group President Jenell Ross and Stacy Thompson Speare-Hardy, a KeyBank vice president.

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Nationally known activists Bernard Lafayette, a longtime civil rights activist and organizer of the Selma Voting Rights Movement of the 1960s, and Opal Tometi, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter, will receive Coretta Scott King Center Justice Awards.

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DAYTON-AREA HONOREES ARE (biographical information provided by the center)

• Bomani Moyenda, a local Black Lives Matter movement volunteer and active in social justice in the Dayton area. 

• Corine Fairbanks, an Oglala and Lakota Indigenous activist and lead organizer of A.I.M. for southwestern Ohio and member of W.A.R.N. (Women of All Red Nations).

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• Michael Wright, a local attorney being recognized for his pro-bono work and his commitment to civil rights.

• Neighborhood Over Politics, an organization "designed to guide local government, businesses and residents toward initiatives centered on revitalizing City of Dayton neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment."

The organization was founded by Jamica GarrisonShenise Turner-Sloss and Joel Thomas-Jones.  As its name suggests, the luncheon celebrates Coretta Scott King's legacy.

Civil rights icon Coretta Scott King, the wife of Rev. Martin Luther King, is among Antioch College’s most accomplished alumni.

“We are trying to promote awareness of the Coretta Scott King Center beyond our campus and Yellow Springs,” Cooper said.

King enrolled at the Yellow Springs college in 1945 as part of the college’s Interracial Scholarship program.

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Though she left Antioch in 1949, she returned in 1967 to receive the degree she should have received in 1951.

Cooper said the Coretta Scott King Center is open to creating partnerships with individuals and groups promoting social justice and human rights.

“We want people to know we are carrying on the strong legacy of the King family in the area,” Cooper said.


Lafayette is a longtime civil rights activist and organizer and a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He played a leading role in early organizing of the Selma Voting Rights Movement and was a member of the Nashville Student Movement. Lafayette worked closely throughout the 1960s movements with groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the American Friends Service Committee.


Tometi is a Nigerian-American human rights activist, writer, strategist and community organizer. She is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and former Executive Director at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

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