Colorado Proud: Honoring African American leader and Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame member Wilma J. Webb

During Black History Month, celebrated from Feb. 1 to March 1, RTD recognizes and celebrates Black empowerment and achievements in the face of racism and oppression.

RTD salutes Colorado native Wilma J. Webb, a distinguished member of the Colorado General Assembly from 1980-1993, who became Colorado’s first Black First Lady when her husband, Wellington E. Webb, served as Mayor of Denver.

In 1998, she achieved another first as an African American woman when she was appointed to a presidential cabinet position as Region 8 chief administrator for the U.S. Department of Labor.

As a state legislator, Wilma Webb sponsored dozens of bills, including school reform and equality initiatives, long-term home health care for senior citizens and drug treatment care for substance abusers. She is perhaps best known for introducing and passing legislation that established Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a Colorado holiday before it became a federal holiday.

Webb is passionate about educating young people about Dr. King, Jr.’s legacy and how it has guided her life. “In the world there are many things to do, and many great things to do, but do something that is lasting, something that helps people, something that makes an impact, something that is greater than yourself,” Webb said.

Webb was inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame in 1991 and received the 2012 Civil Rights Award. She continues to be a leader who has devoted her life to service in Denver and Colorado.