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Hidden Heroes: Claudette Colvin and Ron Banner

Feb. 3, 2020

Week 3 of the Lakewood MLK Committee’s Hidden Heroes campaign highlights national hero Claudette Colvin and local hero Clover Park School District Superintendent Ron Banner.

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin

Claudette Colvin is a former civil rights activist from Montgomery, Ala., who refused to give up her seat on a segregated public bus to a white passenger nine months before Rosa Parks famously did the same. She was arrested for her actions and was one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, a case that ruled Montgomery’s segregated bus system was unconstitutional.

Just 15 at the time of her arrest, Colvin and her peers at school had been studying black leaders, such as Harriet Tubman, and discussing the injustices they were facing every day as a result of Jim Crow laws. She felt compelled to stand her ground on March 2, 1955, believing it was her constitutional right to keep her seat.

Colvin spent much of her life working as a nurse aide in New York City following her successful legal challenge. She retired in 2004 and celebrated her 80th birthday in September 2019.
(Source: Biography.com and NPR)

Ron Banner

Ron Banner

Superintendent Ron Banner is a local leader, pioneer and hero in the black community. Banner has spent his adult life and professional career investing in the lives of young people to ensure they are equipped to thrive as citizens of their community.

His roles in the education profession include: history teacher, health and fitness teacher, juvenile detention center teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent.

He currently serves as the proud superintendent of Clover Park School District.

Banner is well regarded in one of the most diverse cities in the state as a leader who is personable, genuine and committed to building a flourishing community. He is a man of integrity with an inspiring presence.

The city of Lakewood and Clover Park School District are grateful for local heroes like Mr. Banner. In all of his accomplishments and professional accolades, he champions his family as his greatest asset.

“Family over everything, F.O.E.” – Ron Banner quoting oldest son Zach

About Hidden Heroes

The city of Lakewood’s MLK Committee is excited to honor national and local pioneers in the African American community each week through the end of February. The committee invites recipients to share this with others and hope it sparks dialogue around the important role African Americans play in shaping our country and community. To learn about other Hidden Heroes, visit the Lakewood Pierce County Library and explore the Black History Month display, or find books, movies and more online anytime at www.piercecountylibrary.org. To receive the weekly emails request your email be added by contacting Lakewood Communications Manager Brynn Grimley, [email protected].