FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Brynn Bagot
Brynn Bagot Public Relations
CITY OF DALLAS AND JUNIOR LEAGUE OF DALLAS JOIN TOGETHER TO ESTABLISH JUANITA CRAFT DAY, ON WHAT WOULD BE HER 120TH BIRTHDAY, DURING FEB. 9 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
DALLAS, TX – February 10, 2022 – The Junior League of Dallas (JLD), Friends of Juanita Craft Civil Rights House, City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture and other community partners joined together on February 9, 2022, on what would have been the renowned Dallas Civil Rights Leader’s 120th birthday, to celebrate her life, legacy and the collective efforts to fulfill her vision of making her home a destination for all. At the celebration, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson proclaimed February 9, 2022, as Juanita Craft Day and presented the proclamation in Ms. Craft’s honor. The City of Dallas recognized the contributions of the Junior League of Dallas and its fellow community partners for the work they have done to rehabilitate the Juanita Craft Civil Rights House, a historical home located in the Fair Park neighborhood in South Dallas. Following the meeting and presentation, the JLD and Friends of Juanita Craft Civil Rights House hosted a reception to mark this special occasion.
Mayor Johnson stated, “We are proud and privileged to honor the life and legacy of Juanita J. Craft, a civil rights icon who dedicated 60 years of her life to making Dallas a better, more just, and more equitable city. I want to thank our partners — including the Junior League of Dallas and the Friends of Juanita Craft Civil Rights House — for helping us preserve her legacy and her story. This proclamation is about more than commemorating a single day. It’s about recognizing that generations of people have and will continue to benefit every day from her lifetime of work.”
In 2018, the City of Dallas was in the process of turning the Juanita Craft House into an educational museum, but efforts came to a halt when a sprinkler pipe burst in the attic and flooded the home. The JLD announced in 2020 its Centennial anniversary project would be the rehabilitation of the Juanita J. Craft Civil Rights House. The Centennial project, in partnership with the City of Dallas’ existing efforts to rehabilitate the home, will be completed later this year. To-date, the JLD and its partners have raised nearly $1.4 million to help complete the much-needed renovations to reopen the house to the public.
Craft’s home served as a popular gathering spot for civil rights leaders and activists, such as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., President Jimmy Carter, musician Duke Ellington, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, when they passed through Dallas. Based on its legacy, the JLD is working closely with the City of Dallas to secure the home’s designation as a historical landmark on the Civil Rights Trail, which would be the first in the State of Texas.
“It has been an honor for the Craft House to be the designated beneficiary project of the JLD’s Centennial celebration. Their holistic support and leadership have resulted in support for governance, publicity and broader public awareness, and most importantly, fundraising the critical dollars necessary to rehabilitate the home. We look forward to a relationship with JLD that extends beyond their Centennial year, ” said Jennifer Scripps, director of the Office of Arts and Culture and a JLD Sustainer.
JLD President Christa Sanford added, “This has been a wonderfully rewarding partnership with the City of Dallas and all of the community groups who are lending their time and talents to rehabilitate Ms. Craft’s home as a place for visiting students and others to learn more about Civil Rights history in Dallas. The City’s mission was something we wanted to be a part of as an extension of the League’s ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives, and there was no question this was the best project to take on in celebration of our Centennial. We are eagerly anticipating the reopening of the Juanita Craft House to visitors later this year and securing this as a special place for the public to enjoy in the decades to come.”
ABOUT JUNIOR LEAGUE OF DALLAS
The Junior League of Dallas cultivates leaders who collectively address the critical needs of the community. Founded in 1922, the JLD is one of the largest Junior Leagues in the world, as well as the largest and oldest training organization for women in Dallas. Active members range in age from 22 to 49 with approximately 85% percent of women employed outside of the home. The JLD provides leadership opportunities to nearly 5,000 women each year through more than 26,000 cumulative hours of experiential and formal training. Uniquely member-run, the JLD provides over 130,000 hours in volunteer service and approximately $1 million in funding to area nonprofits each year. For more information, please visit www.jld.net or Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.