White middle aged man in a suit posing shaking hands with black man with glasses in a suit

Al Gore and Al Warner

Al Warner was my friend and comrade in arms. He served as board president of the Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, publisher of the Columbus Free Press, during a tumultuous period. We were exposing corruption from the local school board, to the city, and to the state.

Al was many things, but first and foremost, he was tenacious. Like a pitbull on a pantleg, once he got ahold of an issue involving corruption against schoolkids, he refused to let go.

Al was progressive, intellectual, and thoughtful. And his show “At the Table” was enlightening. The axiom at the table was simple – either you’re at the table or on the menu. And many times Al invited himself to the table to defend the rights of poor and underserved children.

I fondly remember him as my co-host on “Fight Back!” on WVKO where Al did verbal combat in defense of social justice and equality. Al and I also worked very closely to preserve the mission of Columbus’ Africentric School. On more than one occasion, Al personally funded lawsuit to maintain equality for all children and defend staff members under fire from the reactionary forces of the status quo.

Let me finish by saying, “Well done, Al. You were God’s good and faithful servant.”

Al’s memorial service will be this Sunday, August 26, at 2:00 p.m., at the OSU African American & African Studies Community Extension Center, 905 Mount Vernon Ave., Columbus, OH, 43203

Gordon Gee and Al Warner