Trailblazers Event Honors Four
Four area residents will be honored for their works in improving the quality of life in South Bend and for being leaders in the minority community. The Trailblazers open house will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Civil Rights Heritage Center at the Natatorium, 1040 W. Washington St.
The Civil Rights Heritage Center is part of Indiana University South Bend.
The four honorees are John Charles Bryant, Maritz Robles, Claudia Welch and Clara White.
The program will begin at 2 p.m. Each individual will be introduced with a review of their service and contributions followed by a presentation of a plaque that will remain at the center. Four videos featuring the honorees will be presented during the program.
The event is free and open to the public.
Bryant is a descendant of the Farrow Powell family, one the first black families in South Bend. The family came to Indiana in the 1830s. He is well known for his activism and his research of black history in the area.
Robles is director of Bilingual Services with the South Bend Community School Corp. She has had the job since 1981. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in linguistics and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame.
Welch was one of the first African American students to enroll in St. Joseph Hospital’s Holy Cross School of Nursing in 1948. She worked for 46 years as a registered nurse in a physician’s office and at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.
White was one of the area’s first African American licensed practical nurse and crossing guards for Linden Elementary School. She was a nurse at Saint Joseph Hospital from 1962 to 1974 and worked in nursing homes until 1991 when she retired.
For additional information contact Kevin Lamarr James of IU South Bend at (574) 307-6135.