For Immediate Release
February 7, 2023
Media Contact: Andy Cole
Communication and Marketing Manager
To honor the courage, life and legacy of Rosa Parks and to celebrate Transit Equity Day, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) and Toledo’s Chapter of the NAACP partnered to debut a tribute to the civil rights icon on the wall of TARTA’s Transit Hub in downtown Toledo.
The wall display – placed on Saturday, February 4 – asks the question “What does Rosa Parks mean to you?” Visitors to the Hub will be invited in the coming weeks to leave their answer to that question on wall stickers, and the entire display will be preserved by TARTA at another location in the early spring.
“We celebrate Rosa Parks not only for her stance on equality in public transportation, but for her lifelong commitment to equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Rev. Willie Perryman, President of the Toledo NAACP and a member of TARTA’s Board of Trustees.
“We must not sit in comfort in order to sit where we desire.”
While Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 is how she is best known, TARTA CEO Laura Koprowski was quick to point out that Rosa’s push for justice didn’t stop there.
“Hers was a life of advocacy and service,” said Koprowski. “From working with Congressman Conyers in Michigan to speaking all around the country including right here in Toledo, she had the courage to fight for equality for decades and displayed a strength that still impacts public transit and society today.
“Access to important destinations is something that should be available to everyone. It’s about connecting people to their community so that everyone has a chance to prosper. That is what Rosa Parks stood for, and that is the ideal we are challenged to continue to follow.”
Speakers at the tribute to the “mother of the civil rights movement” also included Lucas County Commissioner Lisa Sobecki, and Dalliss Lothery and Christal Moreland of the Toledo NAACP’s Youth Council.
After posting what Rosa Parks means to them on the wall, attendees boarded a bus to the African American Legacy Project. There, they heard from Legacy Project founder Robert Smith and viewed exhibits on northwest’s Ohio’s African American history and local events in the fight for equality.
TARTA provides a vital link in the Toledo metro area to jobs, education, health care and other destinations. It enables everyone in our community to have access to transportation regardless of their age, race, physical ability or economic background. TARTA is underway with exploring and introducing new initiatives and service options that will enhance convenience and customer experience while moving our region into the future of public transit.
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