Longtime Dayton civil rights activist dies

She said she had recruited and promoted minorities from the line, but they would have to leave the company to hire women. It wasn’t easy, but Lucas had support from GM’s CEO at the time.

In the mid-1980s, she withdrew from GM prematurely. But she didn’t really retire. In 1984, then Governor Dick Celeste appointed Lucas to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, where she investigated complaints of racial and gender discrimination.

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She was also one of the first black women on WDAO radio in the mid-1960s and was actively involved in calming the West Dayton communities after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Lucas wanted to help young people. In 1976, Lucas formed an organization called Twentig Inc that worked with the Dayton Foundation to set up an endowment fund for scholarships for black students interested in art. She created Beautillion for Young African American Men, a scholarship and mentoring program that is now national and part of Jack and Jill of America Inc.

She also served on the Montgomery County Children’s Services Board for 22 years, during which the county children’s home, Shawen Acres, was closed.

Lucas also played golf for much of her life and was instrumental in removing the “Whites Only” clause from the Professional Golfers Association’s statutes that helped black professional golfers compete in tournaments.

Her husband Leo Lucas died in 2008. He was an accountant, owner of LA Lucas & Co. and a lifelong member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

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Lucas spent the last three years of her life in Honolulu with their daughter Lea Ann Lucas, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii. Lea Ann Lucas said her mother was a “beacon”.

Everywhere her mother went she would touch people, and it was a memorable interaction, Lea Ann Lucas said. She would tell everyone they had to do it, said her daughter.

“I’m just so proud to be their daughter,” said Lea Ann Lucas.

Lea Ann Lucas works with Nuʻuanu Memorial Park & ​​Mortuary, 2233 Nuuanu Ave., Honolulu, HI 96817. Monuments can be directed to the Dayton Foundation for the Leo Lucas and Alyce Lucas Fund at number 7732.

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