LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former Kentucky Senator and civil rights activist has died.

Georgia Davis Powers died Saturday around 3:40 a.m., according to Raoul Cunningham, president of the Louisville branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

Powers was the first African-American, as well as the first woman, ever elected to the Kentucky Senate where she served for 21 years starting in 1968.

"Our city, our state and our country mourn the passing of Senator Powers whose legacy and leadership helped build a greater Louisville and a stronger Commonwealth," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Saturday. Her compassion and dedication to ensuring a level playing for all people and her willingness to always stand up for what was right inspired me and generations of people."

Powers grew up in west Louisville and was part of an effort to ensure equal access housing in Louisville.

In 2002, she talked to WDRB about her passion for justice, and how it all started in a civil rights march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Regardless of a person's station in life, you treat them with respect," she said. "I learned that from him. I watched him leave in front of a march, go to the side ... but he took time out to listen to people."

Powers said the justice system may sometimes go off track, but she always believed in it and learned from it

Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.