Inland Southern California has a rich civil rights history and can serve as an important center for inclusion regionwide. Here are only a few of the better known figures that will be featured on the Walk of Fame.
In 1866, a militia of white colonizers initiated a 32-day campaign to kill all the natives from the San Bernardino valley. Yuhaaviatam tribal leader Santos Manuel safely led the remaining Yuhaaviatam from their ancient homelands in the mountains to the foothills north of today’s cities of Highland and San Bernardino.
John W. North
Abolitionist and member of the nominating convention for Abraham Lincoln, John North founded Northfield, and later Riverside, based on equality, education, and shared opportunity.
Known for starting the navel orange boom in California, Eliza was also a suffragist. In 1871, she was one of a group of 70 women, accompanied by Fredrick Douglass, who tried to register to vote when the District of Columbia was enfranchised.
Dosan Ahn Chang Ho
Founder of America’s first permanent Korean settlement in Riverside in 1904, Dosan organized U.S. Korean mutual aid organizations and became the spiritual leader of the Korean Independence Movement, which he organized to oppose Japanese occupation.
Jukichi and Ken Harada
Challengers of the 1913 California Alien Land Law, the family’s Riverside Lemon Street home is a National Historic Landmark that embodies their 1915 victory.
Born in Hemet in 1906, Rupert Costo was raised on the nearby Cahuilla Reservation, served more than 20 years on the tribe’s governing board, and 8 years as spokesperson. He spent two years as a lobbyist fighting for Native American land rights for in Washington, D.C. and was a member of the American Indian Federation in the late 1930s.
Mine Okubo was born in Riverside, attended RCC and graduated with an art degree from UC Berkeley, studying in Italy and France before the outbreak of WWII.
Jack Clarke, Sr.
One of the first African Americans hired as a full-time professional in the California Department of the Youth Authority in 1946, Jack Clarke led the way for the hiring of African Americans at the state agency. When he retired in 1978 he was the Chief of Parole and Institutions for Southern California.
Barnett and Jean Grier
Physicist Dr. Barnett Grier moved with his family to Riverside in 1951 to work at the National Bureau of Standards which established the Corona Naval Ordinance Laboratories. In 1956, he became the second life member of the NAACP and involved in fair housing and education desegregation issues.
Dalip Singh Saund
Dalip Singh Saund came to study agriculture and while at UC Berkeley also obtained a masters and Ph.D. in mathematics. He campaigned for decades for the rights of people of South Asian descent to become naturalized citizens and when the Luce-Celler Act was finally passed in 1946, he applied for naturalization, becoming a citizen in 1949.
Lulamae Clemons earned her nursing degree in Missouri and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science (Lincoln University), a Master of Arts in Public Health Administration (Columbia), Doctorate of Education (University of Southern California), and a postgraduate certificate as a Pupil Personnel Services Administrator (Harvard).
As a child, César Chávez followed the crops in the Salinas, Central, Imperial, and Coachella Valleys with his migrant parents, working in the fields and experiencing the unsafe working conditions and starvation wages that led him to found the United Farm Workers in 1962.
John Sotelo grew up on Riverside’s Eastside. After service in the navy during World War II, he came home to participate in civic forums that included the American GI Forum and the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Bland led a parents’ movement to integrate Riverside schools after an arson burned Lowell School in 1965. Only three weeks after the Watts riots, the arson threatened the peace of the community but the group led by Bland was able to effectively negotiate with the school district.
Arthur L. Littleworth
President of the Riverside Unified School District board, Littleworth, despite personal threats, led the school board to approve voluntary integration of Riverside schools, the first large school district in the nation to do so.
Edna Milan grew up in segregated Montgomery, Alabama, where she rode the buses with Rosa Parks, experiencing the racism and abuse that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When she moved to Atlanta, she became involved in the civil rights movement as a parishioner at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where she was in the congregation to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preach his first sermon as co-pastor with his father.
In 1967, as editor of The Press-Enterprise, Hays supervised the publication of a series of more than 100 articles exposing abuse of authority by a judge who served as the conservator for the Agua Caliente Indians in Palm Springs.
The son of migrant farm workers, Tomàs Rivera grew up to be an educator, writer, and the chancellor of the University of California Riverside in 1979. He was the first minority person to hold that position at a University of California campus.
As tribal chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Richard Milanovich negotiated ground breaking intergovernmental land use agreements that were models nationwide. The Department of the Interior awarded him the Legacy of Land Award.
Justice Richard T. Fields
When chosen as a commissioner in 1991, Justice Fields became the first African-American jurist in the history of Riverside County. In April 2000, Justice Fields became the first African-American judge in Riverside County.
Kay Berryhill Smith and Carolyn Confer
Kay and Carolyn founded PACE, a regional gay and lesbian political action committee. Kay and Connie married in 2008, just four months before Kay’s death.
Judge Virginia A. Phillips
On September 9, 2010, Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled in Log Cabin Republicans v. United States of America that the ban on service by openly gay service members was an unconstitutional violation of the First and Fifth Amendments.
Juan Felipe Herrera
Born to migrant farmworker parent, Juan Felipe was named the nation’s first Chicano Poet Laureate in 2015, shortly after his retirement from the Tomàs Rivera chair at the University of California, Riverside.