Here are my comments from the board meeting tonight:
My favorite image of Clara Luper is one taken of her in 1988. Chin in hand, she looks into the light with a slight smile curling her lips.
The first time I saw it, I was frozen. So often in life we are tethered by fear — fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of harm. This woman was untethered to fear, unafraid of what the world may think. This woman had hitched her horses to justice. She looked into the light. She walked unafraid through the unknown because she knew the ending. She knew right was on her side.
History frequently forgets women, especially women of color.
So let’s say her name and say her name and say her name. Clara Luper. Say her name so we don’t forget what she did for us all.
The building is named the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services. Don’t shorten it to an acronym. Don’t call it admin. Don’t call it downtown. Say her name out loud.
May we all be reminded of her mission and our duty to continue carrying the torch. May we say her name. May we all look into the light and smile.