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Peggy Cooper Cafritz

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Information about Peggy Cooper Cafritz

Profile image of Peggy Cooper Cafritz

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Asian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Would you do me a favor?

Birthplace

Born:
4/7/1947
Birth Location:
Mobile, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Asian Food
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Would you do me a favor?

Birthplace

Born:
4/7/1947
Birth Location:
Mobile
See how Peggy Cooper Cafritz is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Peggy Cooper Cafritz was born on April 7, 1947, in Mobile, Alabama, to the well known and respected Cooper family. Her upbringing was decidedly Catholic. Her father, a well respected community leader, and her mother, an astounding beauty, worked to provide the correct upbringing for Peggy and her siblings. After graduating from a private Catholic high school, Cafritz attended George Washington University, where in 1968, she earned an undergraduate degree in political science and in 1971, a law degree.

Cafritz became involved with education and the arts in the Washington, D.C., area when, as a law student, she founded the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Initially a summer arts workshop for minority children, the program was accepted into the D.C. public school system in 1974. For the rest of her life, she continued to serve the school and its non-profit fund-raising affiliate, the Ellington Fund, in numerous positions. Cafritz served on the Executive Committee of the D.C. Board of Higher Education from 1972-1976, which implemented the merger of Federal City College and Washington Teachers College into the University of the District of Columbia (UDC). From 1979-1987, she chaired the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and in 1993 President Bill Clinton appointed her to serve as Vice Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Cafritz was the youngest person ever selected to serve as a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars. She worked as a programming executive for Post-Newsweek and a documentary producer for WTOP-TV from 1974-77, earning both Emmy and Peabody Awards for her documentary work. Her work as an arts reviewer on WETA-TV's "Around Town" also earned her an Emmy Award. Cafritz worked to develop a dramatic literary series for the Community for Public Broadcasting and the Public Broadcasting Corporation from 1977-79 as Executive Director of the Minority Cultural Project, a joint venture between Harry Belafonte and WQED/Pittsburgh.

In November 2000, on a platform stressing the importance of academics, athletics, and the arts, Cafritz ran for President of the D.C. Board of Education and won. Her cousin was former Secretary of Labor, Alexis M. Herman.

Cafritz passed away on February 18, 2018 at age 70.

See how Peggy Cooper Cafritz is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Peggy Cooper Cafritz interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her parents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her siblings' accomplishments
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz discusses difficult times in her family and with the Catholic church
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her roots in activism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz discusses the role of race in her early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz discusses her boarding school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz remembers her undergraduate years at George Washington University
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz shares many examples of her activism and leadership
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz discusses her decision to attend law school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz discusses opening the Duke Ellington School of the Arts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz on the cover of 'Museum and Arts Washington', ca. 1990
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz at her First Communion, May, 1953
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz featured in 'Town and Country' magazine, ca. 1993
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz with her eldest son, Zachary Cooper Cafritz, 1987
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Photo - Publicity photo of Peggy Cooper Cafritz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz at a speaking engagement at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Photo - Two candids of Peggy Cooper Cafritz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Photo - Two photos of Peggy Cooper Cafritz
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz in the mid-1970s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Photo - Peggy Cooper Cafritz with her ex-husband and two sons, 1990s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Peggy Cooper Cafritz' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her decision to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz remembers her desegregation efforts in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz recalls the activism of her sister and Alexis Herman at Ernest F. Ladd Memorial Stadium in Mobile, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz talks about her parenting style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes her activism at George Washington University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz talks about the evolution of the terms used to describe black America
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz talks about the importance of African American institutions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz recalls creating a black cultural arts festival at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz talks about the Workshops for Careers in the Arts program, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz talks about the Workshops for Careers in the Arts program, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz describes the expansion of her donor network
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz recalls the early performances of the Workshops for Careers in the Arts, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz remembers the Black People's Union at George Washington University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz recalls her advocacy for black studies at George Washington University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Peggy Cooper Cafritz recalls the early performances of the Workshops for Careers in the Arts, pt. 2