To a local hero: Dedication of the new Ruby Sutton Building

DUBUQUE – Local heroes do not often receive recognition for their accomplishments. However, this was not the case for a Dubuque human rights champion. Reporter Levi Bernhard tells us the story of Ruby Sutton, and the impact she had on Dubuque.

Members of the community gathered to honor Ruby Sutton, who passed away last September (2015). Regarded as an important Dubuque civil rights activist, Sutton sought to improve conditions in Dubuque. She intended to do this for everyone, no matter race, age, or creed.

According to her daughter, Lynn Sutton, “…she was one who…helped people no what what. And if she could help them, she found a way to help them…She didn’t ever do it because it was an award, or anything, she just knew that it was the right thing to do.”

The Dubuque chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which she helped create, is just one of the many groups that Sutton helped in her lifeunveilingtime. Therefore, Anthony Allen, president of the Dubuque branch, got together with the organization and decided to honor her. He said, “Not only did she do a lot for us, the organization, with help founding it; she did countless other acts with the community in regards to peace, equity, and justice…”

The NAACP worked with the Dubuque Multicultural Family Center to give Sutton recognition. They ended up renaming their building after her. They also presented a plaque with her name on it, which hangs inside the building, in addition to exhibits inside the Center which denote her accomplishments.

Her surviving family believes the whole ceremony fit in with her life story. According to Lynn Sutton, “…their renaming of the building is fitting. A place where people come together under different circumstances to come under one common ground…” plaque

The Multicultural Family Center provides services to diverse members of the community, including the underprivileged. To find out more about Ruby Sutton and the building, please contact the Multicultural Family Center at their website,

To see the story as it aired on LCTV, you may go to

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Levi Bernhard

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Levi Bernhard is currently a senior student at Loras College. He originally hails from St. Benedict, a small town near Algona, Iowa. Levi is a reporter and crew member for LCTV News, and helps contribute stories to productions. A couple years ago, he worked as an intern at Kossuth Regional Health Center, recording and editing videos. This past January, he went on a travel January Term course to Greece, where he helped create a couple of short documentaries about the country. He enjoys being in media studies because he likes the concepts of telling stories to wide audiences, and working with a variety of technology. He is also in media studies because he has a dream of becoming a filmmaker.

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