After living in Sonoma County for nearly 60 years, civil rights advocate Willie Garrett has seen--and instigated--some substantial changes here. But he'd still like to see more.
One of Willie Garrett's first moves toward expanding integration in Santa Rosa, focused on the city's swim center, sometime around 1956.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Garrett (seen more recently here) was one of the co-founders of the Ethnic Studies Department at Sonoma State University, where he told the mostly white students not to expect an easy A, because community service would be an important part of his classes.
Typically, Mr. Garrett has not joined in recent public handwringing over the continuing absence of ethnic diversity among the Sonoma State student body. But he is planning to do something about it.
Willie Garrett has been named the 2009 recipient of the Jack Green Civil Rights Award from the Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, an honor that will be bestowed at the group's annual Awards Dinner tonight (April 3). Last minute reservations can be made by calling (707) 765-5005.