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Civil rights monument unveiled in Detroit

A monument was unveiled Thursday in Detroit to commemorate a white mother who was slain in Alabama while shuttling demonstrators after the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march, along with the Black friend who helped raise her children following her death.

A ceremony was held at Viola Liuzzo Park on the city's northwest side for Liuzzo and Sarah Evans.

“SISTERS IN LIFE — SISTERS IN STRUGGLE” is written across the top of the 7-foot laser-etched granite monument that features photo images of Liuzzo and Evans.

Liuzzo was a 39-year-old nursing student at Wayne State University in Detroit when she drove alone to Alabama to help the civil rights movement.

She was struck in the head March 25, 1965, by shots fired from a passing car. Her Black passenger, 19-year-old Leroy Moton, was wounded.

Three Ku Klux Klan members were convicted in Liuzzo’s death.

Melanie began her career as a work study student, working in the areas of news reporting, anchoring and news-gathering. After graduating from Alabama State University, she worked as a production assistant at the local NBC affiliate, WSFA-TV. As a News Director at WVAS-FM, Melanie leads her team to produce award- winning newscasts and talk shows. Her professional achievements includes News Reporter of the Year for a number of years and awards for talk show producer, by the Alabama Broadcasters Association and the Associated Press. She is an active member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Her goals are to expand the reach of WVAS FM into more homes locally, regionally and nationally.