Asheville Living Treasures: Isaac Coleman and Ray Kisiah

Press release from Asheville Living Treasures:

Asheville NC – August 28, 2014: The Selection Committee of Asheville Living Treasures is pleased to announce the selection of Isaac F. Coleman and Ray L. Kisiah as Asheville Living Treasures. They will be officially honored at a free public ceremony scheduled for Sunday, October 19, in partnership with Osher Livelong Learning Institute in the Manheimer Room at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center starting at 1:30 pm. Proclamations and more from Asheville’s Mayor and Buncombe County’s Board of Commissioners will be followed by comments and stories shared by family, friends and associates before ending with a reception and refreshments.

Isaac F. Coleman, a civil rights activist since his teens, arrived in Asheville in 1971 and is devoted to gaining educational and economic opportunities for minorities. In addition to a long career as a building inspector and housing authority manager, his life list of community service includes: Black Appalachian Commission; Fair Housing Commission; Buncombe County Democratic Party; Clean Water for North Carolina; Education Coalition; Kindness Campaign; Just Economics; Read to Succeed.

Ray L. Kisiah worked for Parks and Recreation in Charlotte and Highpoint before being recruited in 1971 to help revitalize Asheville’s park system. This was at a time when Urban Renewal and Model Cities programs had just begun and he successfully facilitated many new projects including Montford Recreation Center. In 1974 he became President of the American Parks and Recreation Society. His expressed philosophy is to contribute to the physical, mental, moral, and economic health of the community.

Asheville Living Treasures was established October 2010. Our mission is to honor the elders of Asheville who have devoted their lives to making our community a better place to live by publicly recognizing them and their achievements and by recording their stories for future generations. For details, see

Committee members Matthew Bacoate, Roger Bargainnier, Annie Butzner, Rock Eblen, Carmen Ramos- Kennedy and Beverly Switzer invite all Asheville-area residents to join the celebration to recognize and to thank these amazing individuals for their contributions to the betterment of our community.



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