May 2021 Neighbor of the Month: A Life Lived in Service
Luther Brown, who passed away on April 10, 2021, at the age of 61, was a graduate of the Fall 2019 Neighborhood Institute. We honor him posthumously as our May 2021 Neighbor of the Month.
Luther Brown, or “Mr. Luther,” as he was widely known, was passionate about many things and cared deeply about the West End of Louisville. He was a good neighbor and a good Louisvillian. Most know him for his passion for gun safety.
According to his obituary, “decades of Luther's service have resulted in tangible changes and marked reform that have taken hold in the Kentucky legislature, with profound effects on gun safety and firearm policy.”
Luther founded two organizations dedicated to gun safety: Board4Change in 2000 and Little Hands, Little Feet in 2012. He worked with many local organizations to hand out free gun locks and educational materials to both adults and children to promote gun safety.
Luther also pushed for the passing of the “Baby Dre” gun reform bill. The bill, which was named after his 8-year-old grandson, Andre, would charge gun owners with misdemeanors if a child is able to access an unsecured firearm. Andre was shot and killed at a babysitter’s house as the result of what prosecutors said was the reckless handling of a gun.
Luther has received several awards and recognitions for his work. In 2006, he was awarded the Molly Leonard Gun Safety Award; in 2013, the Louisville Metro Council recognized him for outstanding community service; and in 2019, he was awarded the Kentucky Governor's Service Award (Lifetime Achievement Award).
"He wasn't afraid to go anywhere or talk to anybody about this issue," former Metro Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton said in a recent Courier Journal article.
Luther would agree. As he put it in a 2016 piece in the Courier, “the more we talk about gun safety, the more we put it on the table and tell it like it is, the better."
Do you know someone who deserves a spotlight? If you would like to nominate a neighbor to be a “Neighbor of the Month,” email firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please include their name, neighborhood, and why you think they should be Neighbor of the Month.)
Go Be Neighbors!