Born and raised in Newark, and later as an adult in East Orange, she was a fighter for the voiceless in her personal endeavors and in her elected official roles.  We note that she was the first black woman to have served in a statewide office in NJ history. And she was just the second in the nation’s history to lead a state legislative house.

She often cited “Tales Without Hate,” by William M. Ashby, founder of the Urban League of Essex County, as helping her to refine her critical thinking and to harness that with a passion for helping people through effective public policy.  The Urban League of Essex County awarded her with our highest honor, the Whitney M. Young Award in 2022. 

League President Vivian Cox Fraser remarked, “We are heartbroken! Lt. Gov. Oliver was one of the most accessible elected officials that you will ever find. Her early career was founded in social services, and she never lost sight of helping families and children. She was actively engaged as an Urban Leaguer, and she attended the annual conference for many years. She will be sorely missed.” 

Once an Urban Leaguer, Always an Urban Leaguer. 

Rest in Power, our friend, mentor, and champion.

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