Justice Leader in our Community
February 23, 2023
Father Jim Sauer and Rich Couture worked together after the dedication in October 2022 memorializing a lynching of 7 African American men in 1878 on the courthouse lawn in Mt. Vernon to recognize the young woman who got it started.
Sophie Kloppenberg was just a junior/senior in high school when she started asking why this event wasn’t known in her community and asking that something be done to acknowledge these events, especially for those living relatives who have to grapple with this being a part of their history. She had to speak in front of the Mt. Vernon City Council and ultimately the County Council to gain approval for a memorial bench and plaque to be placed on the courthouse grounds.
These two men started telling Sophie’s story and asking others to help them support her in future justice endeavors. Sunday January 22nd the duo along with Brenda Meyer and Emma Jean Couture traveled to Mt. Vernon to present a gift that she may during her studies at Columbia University in New York City after she graduates from high school this spring.