Episode 61. Georgia Davis Powers – Former Kentucky State Senator (1968-1989) & Civil Rights Activist
Georgia Davis Powers learned early life that to make changes you must be empowered.
Georgia served for 21 years as a member of the state Senate in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. When elected in 1967, she became the first person of color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate.
During her time in the senate, Georgia sponsored bills prohibiting employment discrimination, sex and age discrimination, in addition to introducing statewide fair housing legislation. Even as an elected official, she was not able to get a room in a hotel in segregated Frankfort. She also supported legislation to improve education for the physically and mentally disabled. Powers served as secretary of the Democratic caucus from 1968 to 1988. She chaired two legislative committees: Health and Welfare (1970–76) and Labor and Industry (1978–88).
After she retired from her seat in the Kentucky Senate in 1988, she remained committed to the continuing fight for equal rights and human dignity. In 1990, Georgia created the Friends of Nursing Home Residents (FONHRI) to organize faith-based volunteerism in the Louisville area to serve as visitors to the local nursing homes. She also incorporated in 1994 an organization called QUEST (Quality Education for All Students) to monitor the work of the Jefferson County school board to halt the return to segregated schools.
In memoriam: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?n=georgia-montgomery-davis-powers&pid=177568559&fhid=4757