President Tandy and Council members unveil new sign honoring the life of Juanita Burks

March 31, 2015

Louisville – She was a community activist, an entrepreneur, dedicated to her family as mother, nurse, educator and an African American woman way ahead of her time. On Tuesday morning, President David Tandy (D-4) and several members of the Metro Council honored the late Juanita Burks by naming a section of Fourth Street “Juanita Burks Way” between Muhammad Ali and Liberty Streets.

“Let this honorary sign serve as one of the many signs on Fourth Street that mark the accomplishments of unique individuals. Juanita Burks made an impact in our city and her life and legacy show all of us that there is always time to get something accomplished when you decide what you want to do in life,” said Tandy.

“As we come to the end of Women’s History Month, I am proud to be one of the sponsors of the Resolution commemorating Mrs. Juanita Burks with this Honorary Street sign. She was one of the leading African American entrepreneurs in the state of Kentucky.  Thanks to Mrs. Burke, little girls across this city and state will know fewer limits than did their mother and grandmother.  She was a pioneer and a trail blazer when found the J. P. Burks Construction and I am happy to have known her.”  Councilwoman Mary C. Woolridge (D-3).

Joining the President and Councilwoman Woolridge as sponsors of a resolution passed by the Metro Council which called for the honorary sign were Barbara Shanklin (D-2), Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5), David James (D-6) and Jessica Green (D-1).

“At a time when women began moving forward in society, she was showing them the way. Juanita Burks was a trail blazer for women entrepreneurs especially for women willing to make a career change after the age of 50,” said Hamilton. “In this block, where we dedicated this sign she once ran an elevator for Kaufman – Strauss. Years later, her company later installed over $3,000,000 in glass used in the creation of the Galleria. A significant accomplishment in Louisville’s history.”

“She is an example to young African American women and all young people that education is important and you can achieve greatness by having confidence in yourself,” said Shanklin.

“She had a great impact on our community and there are many people who lives she touched to help make our city a better place to live,” said James.

Mrs. Burks passed away in August of 2014.