Columbus Renames Portion of N. High Street in Honor of Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), and The Ohio State University celebrated Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks Feb. 25, with a ceremonial renaming of a portion of North High Street.

During the ceremony, North High Street between Gay and Broad streets received the honorary name “Rosa Parks Way.” It is part of Ohio’s annual commitment to celebrate her legacy during Black History Month. In December 1955, Mrs. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger launched the Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

Portion of North High Street renamed "Rosa Parks Way

A portion of North High Street renamed “Rosa Parks Way

“Rosa Parks forever changed the world, and her actions on that historic December day is a touchstone moment for me and so many Americans,” said Congresswoman Beatty. “That is why, over 14 years ago, I wrote, advocated, and won unanimous support for a bill to designate December 1st as “Rosa Parks Day” in Ohio. Since then, the annual statewide tribute has grown in size and scope thanks to the amazing work of longtime supporters COTA and The Ohio State University. I am honored to join them today to dedicate “Rosa Parks Way” as we kick off the 15th anniversary celebration of Rosa Parks Day in the Buckeye State.”

“We renamed this section of High Street to recognize Rosa Parks’ courage and transformative action,” said Mayor Ginther. “I hope that in so doing we not only remember her action, but inspire others to do the same ‑ to choose courage and to do the right thing.”

The location of “Rosa Parks Way” is significant for COTA and its thousands of riders every day.

“It is no coincidence the ceremonial renaming of this portion of North High Street runs in front of COTA’s Main Office,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna Pinkerton. “We suggested the honor of this particular place, since it is Rosa Parks’ brave act of civil disobedience that public transit is a melting pot today – inviting people of all races, creeds, religions, genders, orientations, cultures and socio-economic status to move together.”

In addition to The Ohio State University, Monday’s ceremonial renaming event included representatives from the Columbus Chapter of the NAACP as well as several Columbus-area children.

“This is a fitting tribute to one of the giants in American history and pillars of the civil rights movement,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake, MD. “This honor will help raise awareness of her efforts in a prominent location of our great city.”

Ohio’s annual Rosa Park tribute has engaged thousands of children and community leaders across the state to celebrate Mrs. Parks’ legacy and example. The next statewide celebration will be held in December.