Nonprofit executive Barbara Seals Nevergold was born on April 19, 1944 in Alexandria, Louisiana to Willie B. and Clara Ellis Seals. A graduate of Buffalo, New York Public Schools, she received her B.S. degree in French education from Buffalo State College, and M.Ed. degrees in French education and counseling education from University at Buffalo. Seals Nevergold obtained her Ph.D. degree in counseling education from the University at Buffalo. She also studied French at Laval University in Quebec, Canada and University of Dijon in Dijon, France.
She began her career as a French teacher and worked as a guidance counselor in the Buffalo School System. She served in management roles at educational and non-profit organizations including as executive director of Niagara Frontier Association for Sickle Cell Disease, Inc.; vice president for Children's Services at Friendship House of Western New York, Inc.; chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Buffalo and Erie County, Inc.; regional director for Berkshire Farm Center and director of Student Support Services at University of Buffalo's Educational Opportunity Center. She held adjunct instructional positions at Empire State College and University at Buffalo.
In 1999, she co-founded with Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram, The Uncrowned Queens Institute, to promote the collection and dissemination of the individual and collective histories of African American women and their organizations. In 2019, the Institute observed its second decade of researching, documenting and preserving the regional history of Western New York’s and Oklahoma’s African American communities. The Institute’s website is found at (www.uncrownedcommunitybuilders.com). From 2012–2019, Seals Nevergold served on the Buffalo Board of Education; four of those years as President.
She authored several articles and books including: An Uncrowned Hero: The Untold Story of James Benjamin Parker, 2018; The Power of the Pen: Crusading Journalist A.J. Smitherman Gave a Voice to His People, 2013; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks, editors. Go Tell Michelle: African American women write to the New First Lady, 2009; Nevergold and Brooks-Bertram, Uncrowned Community Builders: Preserving Regional History, One Person at a Time; Nevergold, Barbara A. Seals and Bertram, Peggy Brooks. Uncrowned Queens: African American Community Builders Series, Vols. 1- 4, 2002-2007.
She has served on numerous local and national boards, including The Council of Great City Schools, NYS Conference Big Five School Districts; Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Buffalo Psychiatric Center. She has held memberships in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Erie County Chapter of the Links, Inc., and St. John Baptist Church. Seals Nevergold has received numerous awards including: Buffalo State College Distinguished Alumnus; Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award for Go, Tell Michelle; NYS Governor’s Women of Excellence Award; Erie County Bar Association, Special Justice Award; Western New York Women’s Hall of Fame; NYS Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award; National Women’s Hall of Fame, Keeper of the Flame Award; Community Service Award Buffalo Chapter NAACP.
Seals Nevergold and her husband Paul R. Nevergold have two adult children, Alanna and Kyle.
Barbara Seals Nevergold was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 21, 2018.