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California nonprofit to honor Civil Rights martyr | Local News

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A newly shaped nonprofit is planning a memorial to California Borough native Viola Gregg Liuzzo, who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan 56 years in the past in Alabama.

California Space re:Generations is elevating cash to memorialize Liuzzo, a white girl who was killed whereas working for voter rights for Black folks in Selma.

“We want a hero, folks to look as much as for doing the suitable factor,” mentioned Rosemary Capanna, a board member with the group.

Liuzzo was born April 11, 1925, on Park Road in East Pike Township earlier than it was folded into neighboring California Borough. The home the place she lived was ultimately demolished to develop the California College of Pennsylvania campus.

By March 1965 she was residing in Detroit and watched Alabama state troopers on tv assault about 600 protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in what turned often called Bloody Sunday. Liuzzo later answered Dr Martin Luther King Jr.’s name to go to Selma to renew the march to Montgomery.

Liuzzo’s household skilled discrimination as they lived in a California neighborhood reserved for immigrants and later when her mother and father relocated to the Georgia when she was about 6 years previous, Capanna mentioned.

“By all accounts she was an clever, robust, empathetic girl who wished to make the world a greater place,” the nonprofit states on its web site.

The march was accomplished March 25. Liuzzo was driving Leroy Moton, a younger Black man, that day alongside Route 80 when a automobile pulled alongside her automobile and one in every of its passengers opened fireplace, delivering a deadly wound to her head. Moton pretended to be lifeless with a purpose to survive.

The loss of life of Liuzzo, a mom of 5, jarred the nation, and she or he was the one white girl acknowledged as a Civil Rights martyr.

Capanna mentioned the nonprofit has an utility pending for a state historic marker devoted to Liuzzo. A location for the memorial has but to be finalized.

The nonprofit additionally plans to distribute small grants for neighborhood enchancment initiatives throughout the California Space Faculty District.

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