“I wish I didn’t have to tell you that racism is still alive,” said Dorothy O. Jackson, a former Akron deputy mayor and social activist, who has faced racism throughout her life, even during her professional career. Instead of fighting back with negativity, however, Jackson has dealt with racist comments with a smile and a positive attitude.
Jackson, who recently delivered the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture at the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Main Library, said King was “available, accessible and accountable.”
The first African-American to serve in the mayor’s cabinet, Jackson was the deputy mayor of Akron for nearly 20 years. Known as “Akron’s goodwill ambassador,” Jackson has given her voice and support to issues that concern the poor and disabled in the Akron area for decades.
Prior to becoming Deputy Mayor, Jackson worked for Goodwill Industries, followed by a 16-year career with the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority as the social and tenant services administrator.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture is presented by the Akron-Summit County Public Library and the Eta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. The library and fraternal organization began the lecture in 1985.