190204 Rosa Parks
In celebration of Black History Month, today we remember African American activist Rosa Parks’ on her 106th Birthday.

On December 1st, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, black seamstress Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her bus seat in the colored-section to a white passenger, after the whites-only sections was filled. This led to her prominent arrest for violating the segregation law of the Montgomery City Code.

Her arrest quickly spread in the community through word of mouth and led to Edgar Nixon, president of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, bailing Parks of out jail. Nixon had hoped for years to find a courageous and honest black person to become the plaintiff in a case that might become the test of the validity of segregation laws. Nixon convinced Parks that she needed to be that plaintiff.

In solidarity with Rosa Parks, African Americans in Montgomery would then boycott the buses on the day of her trial on Monday, December 5th. Rosa Parks had been found guilty of violating segregation laws by the Montgomery courts and this fueled more participation in the bus boycotts by the African American community. With this momentum, Edgar Nixon and fellow black ministers formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to manage the boycott and they elected Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as the MIA’s president. This led to appeals and lawsuits being filed on behalf on Rosa Parks.

On November 13, 1956, the Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Rosa Parks—who had lost her job and experienced harassment all year—became known as “the mother of the civil rights movement.”

Today we honor this fearless and brave civil rights leader who taught us that “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right”. We are also inspired by Rosa Parks to make a difference in the communities that we serve.