Black History Month: Who Were Hopkins and Locke?

posted 2/11/21 -- LCCAA's largest Head Start center is located in the City of Lorain and named for two prominent area Black leaders: Charles Hopkins and William Locke.

Hopkins joined the agency in 1974 when it was known as the Lorain County Economic Opportunity Committee and had only four employees. Hopkins was brought in specifically to create programs for the agency, which at the time was managing programs delegated by other agencies.

Hopkins presided over the agency as it changed its name to Lorain County Community Action Agency in 1976. He started a weatherization program and energy stamps and opened the Jesse Williams assisted living facility, now a senior living complex.

When Hopkins succumbed to a heart attack in May 1988, William T. Locke was promoted to Executive Director of LCCAA. The Vietnam Veteran was known in the community for his service to many civic groups. In 1995, he oversaw the planning and development of the Hopkins-Locke Head Start Center on Reid Avenue in Lorain.

Locke retired in 1999, but was called back to service in 2005 and led LCCAA for another five years. His passions included social enterprise, affordable housing and early childhood education. Locke died in 2015 at age 76.

Both men also married high-achieving women. Fannie Moore Hopkins served as LCCAA’s first Head Start director for 14 years. She also started the African American Children’s Scholarship Fund in her husband’s memory. Mrs. Hopkins relocated to Texas late in her life and passed away in 2007.

Dorothy Locke was among the earliest employees of the Community Action network in Ohio. She worked in Portage County extending water service to poor neighborhoods and spoke up against racism and stereotypes about poverty.

In 2012, Bill Locke was honored by the Lorain NAACP during Black History Month. Coverage of the event included many remarks from Dorothy about their partnership. View the Morning Journal’s article by clicking here.