Saturday, June 22
at 6pm

First Unitarian Church
809 S. 4th St., Louisville, Kentucky


Join us for the 2024 Lyman T. Johnson Dinner, a kick-off fundraiser benefiting the LDSA Building Fund!  Named in honor of educator, civil rights activist, and founder of Louisville DSA, Lyman T. Johnson, this inaugural event will honor the contributions of labor and civil rights activist Ira Grupper and include a special keynote by Hamilton Nolan, Gawker alum and author of THE HAMMER: POWER, INEQUALITY, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL OF LABOR.


Learn more about the LDSA Building Fund at


All ticket levels include a complimentary dinner with dessert!

$40 Single Ticket 

$40 “Solidarity” Single Ticket Donation

Show your solidarity! Donate a ticket for someone who cannot afford one! If you need a Solidarity Single Ticket, please contact

$25 Student and Children Single Ticket

$100 “Builder” Single Ticket

Give a little more to help build the future of socialism in Louisville. 

$500 Table Sponsorship 

Gather your comrades together for a night of solidarity and celebration by becoming an Lyman T. Johnson Dinner Table Sponsor. 

Not able to join us on June 22? No problem! You can still donate directly to the LDSA Building Fund. Every donation, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.



Ira Grupper
Labor and Civil Rights Activist

Grupper began his involvement in the civil rights movement participating in the Woolworth's Boycott in 1959. He continued by joining CORE, NAACP, and SNCC. He was one of 950 civil rights activists arrested in Jackson and held at Mississippi State Fairgrounds in 1965. After meeting Anne and Carl Braden, Grupper moved to Louisville, KY in 1969. There, Grupper became immersed in the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers Union (BCTGM), for which he served as shop steward for eight years. In 1980, the mayor appointed Grupper to the Louisville and Jefferson County Human Relations Commission. 


Hamilton Nolan
Labor Journalist, Gawker alum, and Author of The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor

We’re THRILLED (and we think you should be, too!) to have Hamilton Nolan as our Keynote Speaker. Hamilton is a labor journalist who writes regularly for In These Times magazine and The Guardian and has written about labor, politics, and class war for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gawker, Splinter, and other publications. He was the longest-serving writer in Gawker’s history, and was a leader in unionizing Gawker Media in 2015. He is a proud member of the Writers Guild of America, East. His recently released book—a national bestseller—The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor, is a “timely, in-depth, and vital exploration of the American labor movement and its critical place in our society and politics today.” The topics that Hamilton explores are incredibly relevant, now more than ever, during a time of exciting and unprecedented labor victories, especially in the south. We hope you can join us and hear from a prominent labor journalist and author who has done an “urgent on-the-ground excavation of the past, present, and future of the American labor movement.” 

Learn about Hamilton Nolan at


Lyman T. Johnson
Kentucky Educator, School Administrator, and Desegregation Pioneer

Johnson is best known as the plaintiff whose successful legal challenge opened the University of Kentucky to African American students in 1949. But by the time of that lawsuit, he had already been teaching at Louisville's Central High School for 16 years, having earned a master's degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1931. He was a local leader in the fight to equalize the pay of black and white teachers and an outspoken civil rights leader in denouncing discrimination. He led struggles to integrate neighborhoods, swimming pools, schools, and restaurants and headed the Louisville chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for six years. Lyman T. Johnson Middle School was named in his honor in 1980. Born in 1906 in Columbia, Tennessee, Johnson was the grandson of former slaves. He died in Louisville in 1997.

Learn more about Lyman T. Johnson's legacy