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Maudine Cooper

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Information about Maudine Cooper

Profile image of Maudine Cooper

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
City Government Official

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
I did it my way.

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1941
Birth Location:
Benoit, Mississippi

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
City Government Official

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Soul Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
St. Martin
Favorite Quote:
I did it my way.

Birthplace

Born:
9/30/1941
Birth Location:
Benoit
See how Maudine Cooper is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Maudine Cooper was born on September 30, 1941, in Benoit, Mississippi. Her family soon moved north to St. Paul, Minnesota, in search of a better life. Cooper received both her undergraduate degree in Business Administration (1964) and her J. D. degree (1971) from Howard University. She joined the National Urban League in 1973 as an Assistant Director for Federal Programs and became their Vice President for Washington Operations Legislative Office in 1980.

In 1983, Cooper left her post at the National Urban League to join the Washington, D.C., government as Director of the Office of Human Rights under Mayor Marion Barry, Jr. The post excited Cooper, because it provided her the opportunity to put her legal training and her commitment to social justice to action. Within the next several years, Cooper took on several high profile cases and in 1987 she was appointed to head the Minority Business Opportunity Commission. Mayor Barry approached Cooper in 1989 to become his Chief of Staff. She served in this position for the last two years of his third term.

Since 1990, Cooper has served as President and CEO of the Greater Washington Urban League, an affiliate of the National Urban League and an organization devoted to education and training, housing and community development, services for the aging and the environment. Cooper is a member of numerous organizations and boards, such as the District of Columbia Bar Association, the NAACP, the D.C. Agenda Project, and Leadership Washington. In 1992, Cooper received the prestigious Isaiah Award for the Pursuit of Justice, presented by the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the American Jewish Committee and in 1998, she was named McDonald's Black History Maker of Today in the Washington, D.C., area.

See how Maudine Cooper is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Maudine Cooper interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper recalls her mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper examines how her father's home behavior was affected by racist abuse he endured at work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper recalls living with her aunt in Mississippi
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper describes herself as a child eager to please adults
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper recounts her transition from living in Mississippi to St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls how her mother influenced her to go to college instead of getting married after high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper recalls counselors urging her toward a clerical job instead of college, despite her good academics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper recounts her experiences at majority-white schools in St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses her academic experience at Howard University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper describes the social atmosphere at Howard
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper explains how her time at Howard University influenced her
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper remembers a mentor, Dr. H. Naylor Fitzhugh
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Maudine Cooper shares her concerns about Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Maudine Cooper reflects on her marriage
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Maudine Cooper describes how she decided to attend law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper details the challenges of balancing law school and being a perfect wife and mom
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper recalls her brief tenure as a tax attorney
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper describes her work for the National Urban League during the 1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses the Urban League under Vernon Jordan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper recounts the assassination attempt on Vernon Jordan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper details her civil rights enforcement work for Marion Barry's administration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls her work on a case of sexual orientation discrimination at Georgetown University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper describes directing two D.C. offices under the Marion Barry administration
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper details her appointment as Mayor Marion Barry's chief of staff
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper recounts Mayor Marion Barry's arrest on drug charges
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper discusses the aftermath of Marion Barry's arrest and prosecution
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper remembers deciding to leave the mayor's office for the Greater Washington Urban League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Maudine Cooper recalls leaving Mayor Marion Barry's administration
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Maudine Cooper discusses her budgetary work for the Urban League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Maudine Cooper discusses the changing role of the National Urban League
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Maudine Cooper discusses personnel management and handling bad publicity
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Maudine Cooper shares her hopes and concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Maudine Cooper recounts overcoming sexism in her career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Maudine Cooper describes her parents' reaction to her career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Maudine Cooper considers her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with her mother, Mary Louise Rice, Bahamas, ca. 1995
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Don King and Mike Tyson, Washington, D.C., ca. 1988
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Mike Tyson, Don King, and various others, Washington, D.C., ca. 1988
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Marion Barry at a press conference announcing his arrest, 1990
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Marion Barry with his wife Effi and mother Mattie, ca. 1990
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Dr. H. Naylor Fitzhugh
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with members of the National New Lights Youth Leadership Conference
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Earl Graves, Washington, D.C., 1991
  • Tape: 5 Story: 17 - Photo - Maudine Cooper arrested at a sit-in, Washington, D.C., ca. 1970
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's father at his job on the Great Northern Railway
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's father and uncle, Renzie Flowers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Photo - Maudine Cooper, ca. 1943
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Photo - Maudine Cooper at her home in Benoit, Mississippi, ca. 1941
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Photo - Maudine Cooper at her home in Benoit, Mississippi, ca. 1941
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Photo - Maudine Cooper during her high school years in St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1956
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Photo - Maudine Cooper's junior high school yearbook, St. Paul, Minnesota, ca. 1953
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Photo - Students participating in an Urban League educational program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Photo - Maudine Cooper with Ron Brown at a National Urban League Conference, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Photo - Maudine Cooper reading to children at the Greater Washington Urban League office