101-year-old Judson Resident Receives YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award

It’s hard to imagine feisty 101-year-old Judge Jean Murrell Capers demurely accepting an award without having her say.

Especially since she’s dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of women and minorities. Such was the case this past Monday, when the Judson Manor resident received the 2014 YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award. This is only the sixth ever Lifetime Achievement Award presented in the organization’s 38-year history.

Stepping up to the podium, she thanked the mostly female audience and quipped, “If it hadn’t been for others like me, you wouldn’t be where you are today.”

Judge Capers, as a prominent local figure and public servant, joins the illustrious ranks of local movers and shakers like Zelma Watson George and Stephanie Tubbs Jones with her contribution to the women’s rights movement and the fight against racism.

Graduating from Case Western Reserve University (then Western Reserve University), Judge Capers went on to become the first African American woman elected to Cleveland City Council, and eventually became a Cleveland Municipal Courts judge at age 62. She served in this position well into her 90s where she continued the fight against social injustice.

Judge Capers’ fight for women’s suffrage and the end of racial discrimination in Cleveland has produced tangible results that all people, regardless of race or gender, can see at work today.

Again, congratulations Judge Capers, and keep up the good fight!

(Photo above courtesy of Cleveland.com)

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