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    Governor Haslam congratulates Human Rights Commission on 50th anniversary

    Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has acknowledged the upcoming 50th Anniversary celebration of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission (THRC) at the Nashville Airport Marriott on October 4, 2013, from 10 am-1:30 pm. 
    “I want to thank the Tennessee Human Rights Commission and its staff for all of their dedication and hard work,” Haslam said. “I invite Tennesseans to join me in congratulating the commission for its efforts in safeguarding individuals from discrimination for fifty years at their upcoming celebration.” 
    During the THRC 50th Anniversary Celebration, honorees will be recognized for their significant contributions to human rights in Tennessee. The 50th Anniversary Human Rights Advocates are: Fred Cloud (Nashville), former Executive Director of the Metro Human Relations Commission, and lifelong human rights advocate; Inez Crutchfield (Nashville), assisted student demonstrators during Civil Rights movement while professor at Tennessee State University and first black woman to represent Tennessee on Democratic National Committee; Jeanne Varnell (Memphis), longtime philanthropist, member of the Memphis Panel of American Women and board member of the National Civil Rights Museum for 15 years; Yvonne Wood (Lebanon), lifelong advocate for women, past President of ATHENA International and CABLE and Tennessee delegate to Vision 2020; and First Baptist Church Capitol Hill (Nashville), sponsored the non-violent role in desegregating Nashville’s lunch counters, housed the student sit-in movement and helped finance the Freedom Rides. 
    During earlier celebrations held across the state, 49 individuals and organizations were honored from all three of the state’s grand divisions. A special video during the Oct. 4 luncheon will feature reflections on their involvement in the human and civil rights movement. 
    The Celebration will also feature Anne Holt, news anchor at WKRN-TV in Nashville, who will moderate conversation among Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Dr. Rip Patton and John Seigenthaler. They will reflect on how far Tennessee has come since Gov. Frank Clement signed Executive Order 18 in 1963 creating the state’s first human relations commission. 
    Tickets for the event are $35 (online is $37 for processing fees). Deadline is September 27. For more information and to order tickets, or to read more about the previous honorees, visit the website at www.tn.gov/humanrights/50thAnniversary.shtml
    Published September 21, 2013