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Published 2/6/2004
Nationally Known Civil Rights Leader To Speak at Owens, Feb. 12

Pastor Aaron Wheeler Sr. Chairman of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Pastor Aaron Wheeler Sr., will bring to the forefront a variety of civil rights issues as he speaks at Owens Community College on Thursday, February 12. Wheeler's appearance is a part of the College's ongoing celebration of National Black History Month.

The event begins at 7 p.m. in the College's Audio/Visual Classroom Center Rooms 125-128 on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road, four miles from downtown Toledo. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

"Pastor Wheeler is regarded as a national leader for his insight and understanding of modern civil rights issues," said Betty Valentine, Owens Director of Employee Relations and Diversity. "Individuals attending the event can expect to be captivated by his unique views and positive outlook for the future of our society."

Wheeler has led a diverse career, which includes previously overseeing the Cleveland office of former Congressman Louis Stokes. During the late 1970s he served as a Warrensville Heights City Council member. Wheeler then went on to chair the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Redress Committee in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from 1985-87.

In 2000, Gov. Bob Taft appointed Wheeler as a Commissioner for the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. He currently serves as Pastor of the Mountaintop Missionary Baptist Church in Columbus.

An opponent of street gangs and violence, Wheeler was a consultant to HBO for the television documentary "Gang Banging in Little Rock". In addition, he authored "Gangs in Rural America" for the Rockefeller Foundation, a global organization committed to enriching lives of the less fortunate. Wheeler also is a board member of the Commission of African-American Males and a past board member of Gov. Taft's Task Force on Family Violence.

The Cleveland native holds a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and attended the Moody Institute in Chicago and the Southern Baptist Seminary in Dallas. He currently resides in Columbus.

For additional information on any of Owens' National Black History Month activities, call 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7454 or (567) 661-7454.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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