West Announces Local Inductees For 2018 Ohio Civil Rights Hall Of Fame
Canton, Ohio native and her father recognized for trailblazing accomplishments, service to community
August 17, 2018
[ Thomas West Home | Thomas West Press ]

State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced the induction of Dr. Renee Powell and her father, the late William Powell in the 2018 Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame. The two will be officially inducted at the Tenth Annual Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame Ceremony on Thursday, October 4 at 10:00 am in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium in Columbus.

“Dr. Renee Powell and her father William Powell are two incredible individuals who have used their gifts and talents to give back to those around them,” said West. “I am so proud and happy that they are being recognized for their contribution to the advancement of civil rights in our state. They have been an integral part of Ohio’s history, showing courage and excelling in the face of adversity.”

Taught to play golf at the age of three by her father, Dr. Renee Powell had won more than 30 tournaments by the time she reached her early teenage years. She was the second African-American to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour, a series of weekly golf tournaments for elite female golfers from around the world. She competed in more than 250 professional golf tournaments and won the Kelly Springfield Open in Brisbane, Australia. In addition to her professional accomplishments, she dedicated her life to exposing golf to more youth, women, seniors, people of color and military veterans. She became an International Goodwill Ambassador, traveling to Africa to host golf clinics and launched a cost-free, year-round therapeutic and recreational golf program for women veterans called Clearview H.O.P.E. (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere). She has spoken to countless audiences locally, nationally and internationally.

“Throughout her life and work, Dr. Renee Powell has taken her passion for golf and turned it into something that lifts others up. Her dedication to the sport and to serving not only her local community but also people throughout the world, speaks to her character and the humility in her spirit. She is one of Ohio’s treasures,” said West.

Renee’s father, William “Bill” Powell was a businessman and pioneering golf course owner who designed and constructed the Clearview Golf Club (CGC), the first integrated golf course in the country. It was the first course to cater specifically to African American golfers during a time of segregation and racial violence. In 1978, William expanded the course to 18 holes and in 2001, CGC earned a national-historic-site designation. He was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame in 1996 and earned the 2009 PGA Distinguished Service Award by the Professional Golfers Association.

“Mr. William Powell played a significant role in Ohio’s African American History. His entrepreneurship and leadership paved the way for future African American golfers, creating more representation in a sport that was not inclusive. He empowered the people around him and encouraged others to do the same. His contributions to the state of Ohio will never be forgotten and I am excited he is receiving this distinguished recognition.”

The Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame program serves to recognize the significant contributions that have been made toward the progress of civil rights in the State of Ohio by unique and diverse individuals and to enhance Ohio citizen’s understanding and appreciation for the goal of achieving tolerance and equality in the State of Ohio.

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