News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 18, 2007

Valley remembers late Julia Carson

Congresswoman had visited Terre Haute twice in recent years

TERRE HAUTE — Congresswoman Julia Carson, who spoke at least twice in Terre Haute in recent years, is being remembered as a role model who championed the rights of children, women and the poor.

The Democratic congresswoman from Indiana died Saturday at age 69 after a battle with lung cancer. She was the first black and first woman to represent Indianapolis in Congress.

She had attended St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and spoke in Terre Haute at least twice in recent years, including the Women’s Equality Day luncheon in August 2005.

“She did so much for the people of this state,” said Theressa Bynum, president of the Greater Terre Haute Branch of the NAACP. “She loved to serve people.”

While in Congress, Carson focused her attention on children’s issues, women’s rights, affordable housing and efforts to reduce homelessness. She was a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq.

Earlier this year, Carson was honored during Human Rights Day at Indiana State University as an “Indiana National Treasure,” Bynum said.

“She was a wonderful role model” who was always concerned about others, Bynum said. “It was a blessing to know her and to have been around her.”

Muriel Ryan, also active with the Terre Haute NAACP, met Carson at a Human Rights Day conference in Terre Haute and also through Ryan’s work on hate crimes legislation.

Carson “served as a role model for all women, both in her leadership and her passion for doing that which was right and better for all,” Ryan said.

“She was a very courageous and gutsy lady — way ahead of her time in many ways,” Ryan said. “It’s truly a loss to see her no longer with us.”

Now, it’s up to others to pick up where Carson left off in championing the rights of children, women and the poor, Ryan said.

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