On Monday, members of the Senate recognized two outstanding Indiana residents: Judge Vi Taliaferro and George Taliaferro. State Senator Vi Simpson offered House Concurrent Resolutions 21 and 22 and spoke of the remarkable impact the couple has had on many people, including herself.
Judge Taliaferro recently retired from a career as a circuit-court judge specializing in juvenile justice. She was the first African-American to serve as a judge in Monroe County. She received extended praise from several members of the Senate for running an honorable and fair courtroom.
“As a law student we were told to go watch the court proceedings,” said State Senator Greg Taylor. “I would always go to Judge Taliaferro’s court because it was no nonsense in her court. She lived by that.”
Outside of her legal career, Judge Taliaferro has served on the board of directors of the Bloomington and Monroe County Community Foundation for five years and has also served as president of the board for one year. She has been a steadfast advocate for organizations that encourage victim offender reconciliation and offer offenders the opportunity to take meaningful responsibility for their actions.
In a separate resolution, Sen. Simpson also honored Judge Taliaferro’s husband, George Taliaferro. The first African-American drafted into the NFL, he played football professionally for many years and went to the Pro Bowl in 1951, 1952 and 1953. George Taliaferro has built and maintained a strong connection to Indiana University (his alma mater) and the Bloomington community.
Members of the Senate shared stories about the couple and how they serve as an inspiration to so many.
“I remember as a young kid Dr. Martin Luther King was a hero. When I started reading history, Frederick Douglass became a distant hero,” said State Senator Lonnie M. Randolph. “You two are my heroes. I want to thank you for your accomplishments. I want to thank you for your dedication. And I want to thank you for showing a pathway for someone like me who grew up with nothing.”
Both resolutions were approved by the Senate and the Taliaferros were given a standing ovation for their service and commitment to building stronger communities and setting an example for the youth of Indiana.