Credit: (VOICE file photo)

Phyllis Kimber Wilcox |

On Friday, February 26, members of the Riverside community gathered at the U.S. Post Office facility located at 4150 Chicago Avenue in Riverside, for its ceremonial renaming as the “Woodie Rucker-Hughes Post Office Building.”

U.S. Congressional Representative Mark Takano (D-41) who championed the name change on behalf of the community declared, “It brings me great joy to celebrate the legacy of Woodie Rucker-Hughes, by renaming the Riverside Post Office in her honor.” 

“Woodie’s vision for social justice and equality in our schools transformed the Riverside community for the better,” he continued. “She had a tremendous impact on others and redefined what it means to be a role model.”

Takano shared how Rucker-Hughes’ “hopeful spirit and fullness of heart” touched him personally.  “To this day, I remain inspired by her leadership, and I feel lucky to have called her a dear friend. She undoubtedly deserves this dedication and I look forward to visiting the Woodie Rucker-Hughes Post Office.”

(Images courtesy of Jon Gaede)

During the event, Teliece Hughes, the daughter of Rucker-Hughes, also reflected on her mother’s impact on the community,  “My mother was an advocate for social justice, equality, and education for all,” she began. 

“Her passion for the students of Riverside was to reach one and teach one, and to push individuals to see their full potential. My family and I are truly appreciative of such an honor that has been bestowed to my mother with the renaming of the Chicago Avenue Post Office.” She went on to thank Congressman Takano for his perseverance and determination in making the Chicago St. Post Office name change a reality.

“Riverside, California truly embraced my mom, and she loved her city right back. It takes a village! Her legacy will live forever.”

Rucker-Hughes served the Riverside in many ways including as a history teacher at John W. North High School from 1969 to 1975. She was also an administrator for the Riverside Unified School District and president of the Riverside Chapter of the NAACP.  

Takano concluded, “Woodie made an impressionable difference in the Riverside community and lived by the mantra ‘never let it rest until the good is better and the better is best’.”