By Marc Kovac
Retired federal Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, a Youngstown native well known for his civil-rights efforts, was honored by the state Thursday as part of activities commemorating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Jones received one of five awards during the annual Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration near the Statehouse. According to biographical information read during ceremonies, he “gained recognition for his legal efforts to end school segregation in the northern United States. Also, he defended affirmative action and fought against discrimination in the U.S. military.”
Jones served on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for more than two decades and was general counsel for the NAACP. A federal courthouse in Youngstown was named in his honor.
The event and awards are coordinated annually by the state’s Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission, which is housed within the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.
Other winners included Wuyanbu Zutali of Canton, honored for his community-building efforts.
Thursday’s event included comments from Gov. John Kasich, who called King “one of the heroes of mine, a nonviolent reverend and civil-rights leader who practiced what he preached.”