Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Former Judge Harper Inducted into Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame

Image of former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara J. Harper

Former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara J. Harper (left). Photo courtesy of the Sara J. Harper Childrens Library.

Image of former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara J. Harper

Former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara J. Harper (left). Photo courtesy of the Sara J. Harper Childrens Library.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has inducted former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Sara J. Harper into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

In her official bio that will accompany an educational display, it notes that she was the first African American woman to graduate from Case Western Reserve University Law School, the first woman to serve on the judiciary of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, the first of two women to win seats on an Ohio court of appeals, the first African American woman to run for chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and the first African American woman to sit by assignment on the Ohio Supreme Court.

“As president of the Cleveland NAACP in the early 1980s,” the bio states, “Harper fought against strip searches by police of female NAACP members who were arrested for minor traffic infractions.” The bio also touts the fact that Harper co-founded the first victims’ rights program in the country.

Her many awards include the Ohio Supreme Court’s Excellent Judicial Service Award, the NAACP’s Unsung Heroine Award, and the Raymond Pace Alexander Award. She is a member of the Ohio Veteran’s Hall of Fame and the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. She continues to give back to the community with the Sara J. Harper Library, founded in the early 1990s at the Outhwaite Homes Estates on East 43rd Street in Cleveland. The mission of the library is to provide a safe environment that encourages and promotes reading, learning, and positive avenues for self-realization.

View the video from the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Class of 2013 induction ceremony held last week.

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