From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Bright, Willis K., Jr.

(born: 1944) 

Willis K. Bright, Jr., born in Lexington, KY, was the second African American to receive the Algernon Sullivan Medallion; he was given the award when he was a senior at the University of Kentucky (UK) in 1966.

Bright went on to earn a M.S.W. at the University of Michigan in 1968 and became an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. He led a number of programs in Minnesota and Iowa.

In 2003, when he was the Director of Youth Programs at the Lily Endowment in Indianapolis, IN, Bright was inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Hall of Fame.

Bright, is the president of Bright Visions, Inc., an education management company located in Indianapolis. He was Director of  Youth PR at Lilly Endowment, Inc. and chairman of African American Coalition of Indianapolis (See his photograph and read about his work in "Initiative Focuses on Quality of Life in Indianapolis' Black Community" at the Lilly Endowment's website). In 2009 he was the recipient of the Hazelett Award for Leadership in Grantmaking.

For more see Profiles of Contemporary Black Achievers of Kentucky, by J. B. Horton; the UK College of Social Work Alumni Newsletter, vol. 4, no. 1 (2003); Algernon Sullivan Medallion (awarded to Bright in 1966); and Willis Bright, Jr. at the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Fayette County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Lexington, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Bright, Willis K., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 20, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-09-13 16:25:34