Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiring woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation wanted to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED).
'Parks Suite', a stylish board room found on our first floor, is named after the inspirational Rosa Parks. Available to hire from £15 per hour the room boasts chic boardroom furnishings, integrated IT including free wifi and a large flatcreen TV perfect for smaller training sessions or meetings.
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was a child when her mother, Leona McCauley, separated from her husband and moved to Montgomery. McCauley was a school teacher and encouraged her daughter to be active in the struggle for civil rights. In 1932 Rosa married a barber, Raymond Parks. The couple joined the local chapter of the NAACP and worked quietly for many years to improve the lot of African-Americans in the segregated south. Most historians date the beginning of the modern civil rights movement in the United States to December 1, 1955. That was the day when an unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. This brave woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America, and made her an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere. The bus incident led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association, led by the young pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The association called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company. The boycott lasted 382 days and brought Mrs. Parks, Dr. King, and their cause to the attention of the world. A Supreme Court Decision struck down the Montgomery ordinance under which Mrs. Parks had been fined, and outlawed racial segregation on public transportation. For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration, and the boycott came to an end on 20th December, 1956. After the success of this campaign, Parks became known as the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement". Later she became a special assistant to Democratic Congressman, John Conyers. Rosa Parks died on 24th October, 2005.