Oxford City Council honored Sybil Harris Miller for her life-long commitment to social justice through her work with the League of Women Voters and the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).
The March 19 proclamation recognized her for her dedication to making life better in Oxford, and came on the same day she received the YWCA’s 2019 Outstanding Woman of Achievement Award and the Dr. Julia Goodman Award. Goodman was the first female doctor in Butler County and founded YWCA Hamilton in 1900 with the mission to “eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”
Miller, who serves as co-chair of the Oxford League of Women Voters, graduated from Miami University in 1966. After spending 35 years in New York City, she and her husband moved to Butler County to raise beef cattle on an organic farm. She served for ten years as Executive Director of YWCA Hamilton and she and her husband also are active in the NAACP.
Miller said the most meaningful civil rights work she was able to do in the 1960s was through the national office of the YWCA.
“They trained college students on non-violent philosophy and tactics, and sent us to different parts of the South to do voter registration. We helped many people register to vote for the first time, and I gained a life-changing exposure to the brutal and brazen racism, battering our country,” said Miller at the YWCA awards ceremony last month.
The mission of the League, which is “making democracy work,” and the mission of the YWCA are both dear to Miller.
“The synergy of these two missions is a clear call to action for making our dear country live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. We must work to protect voting rights now,” Miller said.