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Laken Cosby Jr., Louisville, KY. He fought for civil and human rights through education, the courts and community organizing. In 1988, he became the first African American to chair the Jefferson County Board of Education, which was nationally-known for its resistance to public school integration. He was appointed to the state Board of Education in 1994 and was vice-chairman for three terms and chair for two terms. He persuaded the Louisville and Jefferson County to adopt a program that helped neighborhood integration and reduce the need for busing to achieve racial balance. Mr. Cosby, through his role as the director of Housing for the Kentucky Human Rights Commission, developed Kentucky’s first state-wide program to test for housing discrimination by using people of different races to see if properties were available to everyone. His program resulted in more than 200 housing discrimination complaints. He also developed a training program for real estate professionals to prevent discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. He is a former president of the Louisville NAACP and has served many years as a housing consultant to the state and national NAACP organizations.
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