You are browsing the archive for Eleanor Jordan.

by mookygc

Trip to Frankfort, Kentucky

April 23, 2013 in 1960s-1970s, Economic history, Social history

A couple of weeks ago, April was declared “Fair Housing Month” by the governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, in honor of the Fair Housing Proclamation’s 45th anniversary. Luckily, my honors professor decided that it would be beneficial for our class to attend the remembrance ceremony.

On our trip to the capital, we got the privilege of meeting Eleanor Jordan, the director of the Kentucky Commision on Kentucky Women. Jordan walked us through the “Kentucky Women Remembered” exhibit, a series of portraits that honors the many varied accomplishments of strong Kentucky Women, that hangs on the capital’s walls. It was inspiring to hear her talk about all the future plans she has for the exhibit, and the long and strenuous process for selecting each year’s nominees. It was wonderful to hear that they have a very difficult time choosing which portraits to commision, because they have such a wide range of women to choose from.

At the Proclamation rememberance, it was very powerful to hear John Johnson, the Director of the Kentucky Commision on Human Rights speak about discrimination and equality and fairness. I believe we were all very moved by what he had to say. Most interesting were the comments shared by Mr. Colmon Elridge, the executive assistant to Gov. Beshear. It was amazing to heaar him talk about how much the Fair Housing Proclamation meant to him, as he is a young African-American man, and his wife is caucasian with a disability, yet they were faced with no difficulties when purchasing a house, which meant quite a lot to him.

Overall it was a wonderful day speaking with wonderful people about the amazing things happening in Kentucky, and I am grateful we were able to attend.

Visit to the Capitol

April 15, 2013 in 1960s-1970s

picture of Eleanor Jordan

Eleanor Jordan

This week I visited Kentucky’s state capitol, Frankfort.  The reason for this trip was to attend the Fair Housing Proclamation which commemorated the signing of the Fair Housing Act forty five years ago.  Prior to the proclamation, my class and I met with Eleanor Jordan, Kentucky’s Commissioner on Women.

Our meeting with Eleanor Jordan was quite insightful.  Speaking with her made me realize that although women are considered entirely equal legally and most of us do not think about gender discrimination being prominent in the workplace and other circumstances we encounter daily.  Jordan told us about her office’s attempts to get two statues of women in the capitol building and the troubles they were facing.  She also brought up a very important point.  When touring the capitol there are not statues or busts of women, nor were there any exhibits in entire building highlighting the accomplishments of the state’s women prior to the exhibit begun by past women holding her current office.  Prior to having the Kentucky Women Remembered Exhibit, the only time women were highlighted in the capitol was in the cases displaying the first ladies’ dresses.  Their contributions to the state were not mentioned.  After our discussion, Jordan led us through the exhibit and highlighted her favorite portraits.

We then moved to the rotunda of the capitol building where we heard several people speak on the importance of the Fair Housing Act.  Again, I learned how important that act was, not only when it originally came out, but now as well.  I have learned about the bombing of the Wade house and the discrimination they faced, but failed to realize acts of discrimination still occur.  Some of the speakers had actually encountered acts of discrimination in the past which made the presentation really come to life.

Overall, my trip to the capitol was very educational and insightful.  I appreciate being given the opportunity to visit the capitol and all of the people I was able to meet.

by becca

Eleanor Jordan

December 8, 2010 in 1960s-1970s, Intellectual history, Oral history, Political history, Primary source, Social history

UK's HIS351 class and guests at AASRP Dialogues on Race featuring Eleanor Jordan with Senator Georgia Davis Powers, December 2, 2010Last Thursday our class was privileged to hear not one, but two wonderful women speak about their influential lives (see the UK press release on this event with Senator Georgia Davis Powers). One of those women was Eleanor Jordan.

Eleanor Jordan was born in Louisville in 1953. Although she was young when a lot of the civil rights movements were taking place she still recalls feeling discriminated against. In an interview with the Kentucky Historical Society, Eleanor tells a story of when she really realized that she was treated differently than everyone else, even though she didn’t understand why.

Eleanor Jordan, Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women

Eleanor Jordan, Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission on Women, facilitating the UK AASRP Dialogues on Race, "Sisters in the Struggle," at MLK Jr. Cultural Center, December 2, 2010

She remembers often taking car rides with her father, mother, and her brothers and sisters to go get fresh air (since they didn’t have air conditioning) and ice cream as a family. On these car rides they would pass an amusement park that was close to her neighborhood. She recalls seeing flashing lights, hearing children screaming with joy on the roller coasters, and smelling the cotton candy in the air. As they would drive past the amusement park, Eleanor and her brothers and sisters would ask their parents if they could go to it. She remembers her father saying no and she asked why. That’s when her mother’s eyes “would always fill up with tears” and there would be an overwhelming silence in the car. Her mother would always reassure her that one day she would be able to go.

Little instances like that can have huge impacts on the people affected, but Eleanor Jordan did not let discrimination hold her back. She eventually served in the Kentucky House of Representatives for four years. She also was the ombudsman for the Cabinet for Families and Children. Governor Steve Beshear appointed her, the first African-American executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women. Eleanor Jordan is an inspiration to everyone and we were so lucky to be in her presence last week.

Skip to toolbar