Ninety-three year old Dr. Ruth Stewart Loving, HMD, known as the mother of civil rights in Springfield, MA, has received a Standing on Her Shoulders Award from the Women's Fund of Massachusetts for over sixty years of leadership and activism. In 1987, at the age of 73, Ruth fulfilled her life long dream of graduating from college, earning her bachelor's degree from the UMass Amherst University Without Walls with a concentration in Community Education.
Here is what the Women's Fund wrote about her.
Dr. Ruth B. Stewart Loving, HMD, has resided in Springfield since the 1940s and for over sixty years has been finding solutions to the challenges that plague the city. She was in Company 3 of the Springfield Nation Guard and a member of the Women’s Defense Corp. Always politically active, she has been a candidate for election to the city council and school committee.
During the turbulent Civil Rights decades of the 1960s and 1970s, Ruth could be found on the front lines working with the NAACP, where she served as president of the local branch. Ruth has also had a impact on media in the region. She founded the Springfield Negro Post and served as its editor. As host of the radio show “Spotlight on Springfield” for decades she has welcomed voices and perspectives from across the city. Most recently, she has been advocating for African American seniors in Springfield. In recognition of her dedication to fair treatment for everyone, Ruth has been appointed to countless boards and commissions and has received many local awards and honors, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Degree from the Springfield Theological Society.
For all her efforts to improve the Springfield community, Ruth Loving is best known as the “mother of civil rights in Springfield.”
Ruth Stewart Loving with Rhea McCauley, niece of civil rights activist Rosa Parks (Springfield Republican file photo)