She is no stranger to standing up for what’s right and staring down those who would deny civil rights. Ms. Mattie Jones has worked tirelessly throughout her life as a freedom fighter and has battled injustice, brutality, inequality, and discrimination in Louisville and anywhere the fight took her for over six decades.
On Wednesday, March 28th, Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5) will join Ms. Jones and members of her family and friends to unveil an honorary sign on the block where she lives as a tribute to her accomplishments and efforts for advancing civil rights in Metro Louisville.
“Mattie Jones is an icon locally in the fight for civil rights. She has spoken out and then encouraged others to join the cause to make significant change where needed for everyone,” says Councilwoman Hamilton. “As we see younger generations today rise up to speak out on violence and ask for unity, they are following an example Mattie Jones has practiced since she became an active voice for those with no voice in Metro Louisville.”
Mattie Florence Johnson was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1933 and then moved to Louisville with her family in 1940. She is a graduate of Central High School and attended Indiana University, Morgan State University, and Spalding University.
She married Turner Harris Jones and between 1957 and 1998 they raised eight biological children, one adopted child, over 100 foster children, 23 grandchildren, and 31 great grandchildren.
Her path as a leader in civil rights began in 1975 she became active with the Kentucky Alliance against Racist and Political Repression where she served as Executive Director from 1980 to 1989.
In 1990, Ms. Mattie Jones became the Racial and Economic Justice Coordinator for the Fellowship of Reconciliation located in Nyack, New York, where during her time there she organized the Women of Color in the Workplace conference addressing the issues of sex discrimination, equitable employment.
Her unwavering commitment to equality and justice led her to the Justice Resource Center in Louisville in 2000 where she continued to fight alongside Reverend Louis Coleman.
On February 8th, The Louisville Metro Council approved a Resolution calling for the placement of two honorary street signs at the corner of Louis Coleman Jr Drive and River Park Drive and one at the corner of 35th Street and River Park Drive to be designated as “Mattie F. Jones Way.”
The unveiling ceremony for the signs will take place beginning at 5:00pm at the corner of Louis Coleman Jr. Drive at River Park Drive.
The public is invited to attend.