Mary Ann Lederer
- - Mary Ann Lederer was born on the Fourth of July in 1941. Degreed from UC in sociology and community planning, she began her career as a social worker. In the early 1960s, she became active in the civil rights movement, picketing a public swimming pool that denied admission based on race, and participating in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
In 1976, she survived a life-threatening injury that left her paralyzed for life from the waist down. Although not expected to ever be able to live alone again or even live many years, she managed to do both. Rather than surrender to the injury, she intensified her commitment to peace and social justice, and to painting about those issues. Although untrained as an artist, many of her paintings have been exhibited at various public venues and sold in Cincinnati.
Among other things during the years she painted, she worked with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, the Peaslee Center, and a Cincinnati drop-in center; participated with local anti-war campaigns and with efforts to ban capital punishment; advocated for disability rights; was a leader in the Cincinnati animal rights and vegan community; promoted a healthy, plant-based diet as a path to a more peaceful world; and collected and distributed books to underprivileged children in her own neighborhood.
For many years, her artwork served as banners for almost every peace and justice action in the Cincinnati area. In 1999 Greater Cincinnati Community Shares awarded her the McCrackin Peace and Justice Award to "recognize her outstanding contributions to the community."
Mary Ann passed away April 21, 2019. Predeceased by her parents, Lewis M. and Marjorie Faller Lederer, she is survived by her brother Al (Ann) Lederer, nephew Phil Lederer (Kristen Lee), one great nephew, and many friends who loved her and will sorely miss her. In lieu of flowers, please donate to VeganEarth, 520 Flatt Terrace, Cincinnati, OH 45232. For information about a celebration of her life on Sunday, July 14, please stay tuned to "Mary Ann Lederer Paintings" on Facebook.
Published in The Cincinnati Enquirer on Apr. 27, 2019.