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Argelia Rodriguez

Nonprofit executive Argelia Rodriguez was born on May 12, 1959 in Havana, Cuba to Argelia Velez-Rodriguez and Raul Rodriguez. In 1962, Rodriguez immigrated to the U.S. with her mother and brother. She later graduated from the Ursuline Sisters Academy in Dallas, Texas in 1976 and went on to receive her B.S. degree from Stanford University in Stanford, California in 1980, and her M.B.A. degree from the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1984.

In 1980, Rodriguez worked for the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) as an engineer and later for Texas Instruments, Inc. She then went to work for Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. in New York City, where her worked focused on strategic planning technology and mergers and acquisitions. After Rodriguez received her M.B.A. degree in 1984, she returned to Booz Allen Hamilton, before starting her own independent consulting firm in Washington, D.C. There, she worked for the District of Columbia Public Schools to increase STEM education among minority students. In 1997, Rodriguez served as the deputy director of product marketing and educational outreach for President Bill Clinton for the 1997 Presidential Inauguration. Then, in 1999, Rodriguez was appointed president of the D.C. College Access Program (DC-CAP), which partnered with D.C. schools to provide counseling and financial assistance to underserved students in the D.C. area. In 2007, Rodriguez launched the Alpha Leadership Program (ALP) for DC-CAP, an initiative that relies on community volunteers who serve as mentors to young men in five D.C. public and charter high schools. The following year, DC-CAP held their first annual DC-Capital Stars Gala Competition which showcased the artistic abilities of college-bound students from the D.C. area.

Rodriguez served on the board of trustees at Trinity Washington University and was elected to the Harvard University Board of Overseers in 2013. In 2010, she delivered the Commencement Address at Trinity Washington University and received an honorary degree. That same year, she received the Bert King Award for Service from Harvard Business School and was named a Murdoch Community Hero by News Corp in 2014.

Argelia Rodriguez was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 21, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/21/2019

Last Name

Rodriguez

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Ursuline Sisters Academy

Stanford University

Harvard Business School

First Name

Argelia

Birth City, State, Country

Havana

HM ID

ROD07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Cuba

Favorite Vacation Destination

London, England

Favorite Quote

Results Without the Drama

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

5/12/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Roasted Pork

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Argelia Rodriguez (1959 - ) served as president of the D.C. College Access Program (DC-CAP).

Employment

International Business Machines (IBM)

Texas Instruments, Inc.

Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc

D.C. College Access Program

Favorite Color

Red

Anita DeFrantz

Nonprofit executive and Olympic athlete Anita DeFrantz was born on October 4, 1952 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Robert David and Anita Page DeFrantz. In 1970, she graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and received her B.A. degree in political philosophy in 1974 from Connecticut College and her J.D. degree in 1977 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia.

DeFrantz captained the U.S. women’s rowing team and rowed in the eight that won a bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games. In 1977, she started her career as a staff attorney at the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia, and was admitted to the
Pennsylvania Bar. In 1980, she led the athletes’ fight for the right to compete at the Moscow Olympic Games, including suing the USOC. The International Olympic Committee honored her with the Bronze medal of the Olympic Order.

DeFrantz served as vice president of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and was elected to International Olympic Committee membership in 1986, the first African American and the first American woman to serve on the committee. In 1987, DeFrantz was named president of the LA84 Foundation. In 1992, she was elected to the IOC Executive Board and appointed to the IOC’s Olympic Program Commission. In 1995, she was appointed chair of the Women and Sport Working Group. In 1997, DeFrantz was the first woman elected to a four-year term as vice president. From 1989 to 1994, she served on the IOC’s Program Commission and is credited with the acceptance of women’s soccer and softball onto the Olympic program. DeFrantz also helped increase the number of women’s competition opportunities on the Olympic program.

In 2016, DeFrantz established the Tubman Truth Corporation and served as president. She also served on LA 2028, the Los Angeles organizing committee for the 2028 summer Olympic Games as well as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) where she was elected for a second term as a vice president in 2018.

DeFrantz has received honorary doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University, Mount Holyoke College and Pomona College. In 2017, DeFrantz was inducted to the Los Angeles Coliseum Court of Honor. She received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Center for Sociocultural Sport and Olympic Research (CSSOR) at California State University, Fullerton. 

In 2016, she received the Olympic Truce Award at the Rio Olympic Games. In 2011, Newsweek named her one of “150 Women Who Shake the World,” and Los Angeles magazine named her one of “10 Women Making a Difference in Los Angeles.” In 2010, the French magazine L’Equipe named DeFrantz one of the “10 Women Who Changed Sport.” In 2006, the NCAA named her one of “NCAA’s Most 100 Influential Student Athletes.” In 2003, Sports Illustrated named her one of the 101 most influential minorities in sports, and for eight years, from 1991 to 1999, The Sporting News named DeFrantz one of the 100 most powerful people in sports. 

Anita DeFrantz was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 12, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.225

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/12/2018

Last Name

Defrantz

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Organizations
First Name

Anita

Birth City, State, Country

Philadelphia

HM ID

DEF01

Favorite Season

Seasonal Changes

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Puako, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/4/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Favorite Food

Chocolate

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Olympic athlete Anita DeFrantz (1952- ) was captain of the American rowing team at the 1976 Summer Olympics winning the bronze medal. A member of the International Olympic Committee, she also served as former Vice-President of International Rowing Federation (FISA).

Favorite Color

Purple

Anne Williams-Isom

Nonprofit executive Anne Williams-Isom was born on November 17, 1964 in Queens, New York, to Edna and Atthille Williams. She attended St. Catherine of Sienna in Saint Albans, New York, and graduated from the Dominican Commercial High School in Queens, New York. Williams-Isom earned her B.A. degree in political science and psychology from Fordham University in 1986, and her J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1991. Additionally, she is pursuing her doctorate at the New York Theological Seminary.

In 1986, Williams-Isom worked in community affairs for the New York Police Department in Brooklyn, New York, before being hired at Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman in 1991. In 1994, she joined the law firm of Kalkines, Arky, Zall & Bernstein. Two years later, Williams-Isom became the director of the Office of Community Planning and Development at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. She transitioned within the administration to special counsel to the commissioner. By 2006, she was promoted to deputy commissioner of community and government affairs. Williams-Isom joined the Harlem Children’s Zone as chief operating officer in 2009, and took over the role of chief executive officer in 2014. In this role, she has deepened and expanded key programs in the organization’s unique birth-through-college network of services for 25,000 children and adults. She has also strengthened its leadership development, organizational alignment and reliance on data to achieve its mission of breaking the cycle of generational poverty. She oversaw the successful growth of HCZ’s innovative Healthy Harlem anti-obesity program for 9,000 children.

In 1996, Williams-Isom was an Institute for Educational Leadership Education Policy fellow. Williams-Isom joined the board of the Metropolitan Montessori School in 2006, and was named an Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow by the Annie E. Casey Foundation the next year. She served on the advisory council for the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and was selected for the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship by the Aspen Institute in 2016. Williams-Isom also joined the board of Child Trends, and Fordham University’s President’s Council in 2016. The same year, she was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to the New York City Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. In 2018, Williams-Isom joined the board of the Central Park Conservancy. Williams-Isom was awarded the Young Women in Government Award from the New York City Mayor’s Commission on Women’s Issues in 1999. In 2008, she was awarded the Visionary Award by the Center for Family Representation, and later, the Public Interest Achievement Award from the Public Interest Law Foundation at Columbia Law School. In 2018, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Fordham University’s School of Social Science.

Williams-Isom and her husband, Phillip Isom, have three children: Aiyanna, Phillip and Ande Isom.

Anne Williams-Isom was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.203

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/26/2018

Last Name

Williams-Isom

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Anne

Birth City, State, Country

Queens

HM ID

WIL87

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

People tell you who they are all the time, Listen.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/17/1967

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Carribean

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Anne Williams-Isom (1964- ) served as chief operations officer and chief executive officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York City.

Favorite Color

Purple

Leslie A. Morris

Healthcare administrator and non-profit executive Leslie A. Morris was born on April 30, 1953 in Long Branch, New Jersey to Christine Newsom Morris and Nathaniel Morris. She graduated from Long Branch High School in 1971, and received her B.A. degree in sociology at Simmons College in 1975. Morris went on to earn her M.S.W. degree in clinical social work at Boston College in 1977, and her M.P.H. degree in public health with an emphasis on maternal and child health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Morris served as a social worker in various clinical facilities in Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. before becoming the director of the first comprehensive school-based health center in New Jersey at Snyder High School in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1987. There, she established programs targeting high risk youth in the areas of reproductive health care, mental health counseling, and health education.. After twelve years in Jersey City, Morris went on to serve as the director of the School Health Initiative at the National Association of Community Health Centers in Washington, D.C. For five years, she provided training, technical assistance, consultation, and resources to the nation’s network of community health centers on the development of school-based health centers for high risk youth. She also re-developed five school-based health centers in Newark, New Jersey. In 2006, she was named director of community relations at the New Jersey Primary Care Association in Princeton, New Jersey, where she oversaw statewide public relations and marketing activities, provided technical assistance to community health centers, and advocated on behalf of the health centers and their patients. She also served as an adjunct professor at Burlington County College in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey.

In 2007, Morris was inspired by Sylvester Monroe’s book, Brothers, to self-publish her own autobiography entitled How Ya Like Me Now!, which chronicled her childhood and adolescent experiences in public housing in Long Branch, New Jersey. In 2014, Morris founded Women of the Dream, a non-profit organization committed to mentoring girls and young women in Camden, NJ and other underserved areas.

Leslie A. Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 27, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.117

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/27/2018

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Long Branch Middle School

Simmons College

Boston College

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

First Name

Leslie

Birth City, State, Country

Long Branch

HM ID

MOR19

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Disney World

Favorite Quote

It's Not Where You Begin In Life It's Where You Land And End.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/30/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Trenton

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Green Salad

Short Description

Healthcare administrator and nonprofit executive Leslie A. Morris (1953 - ) served as the founding director of the school-based health center at Snyder High School in New Jersey City for twelve years. She also served as the director of community relations at the New Jersey Primary Care Association.

Favorite Color

Orange, Black

Lee Koonce

Nonprofit executive and pianist Lee Koonce was born on January 5, 1960 in Xenia, Ohio to Ida Bent Koonce and Lee Koonce. As a child, Koonce took piano lessons and learned to play the violin, baritone horn, and flute in school. Koonce, who grew up in Chicago, graduated from Bishop Byrne High School in Memphis, Tennessee, where his father had taken a job, in 1978. He received a B.M. degree in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a B.A. degree in Spanish literature from Oberlin College in 1982. After working as a music and Spanish instructor at Elgin Academy in Elgin, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Koonce went on to complete his coursework for his M.M. degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester in 1988, earning the degree in 1993.

After graduating from the Eastman School of Music, Koonce became a senior manager at Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. In 1996, Koonce became director of community relations at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Then, in 2001, he was hired as the executive director at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago. From 2004 to 2007, Koonce served as the executive director of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music in New York City. In 2007, he became the executive director at Third Street Music School Settlement, serving until 2014, when he was named the executive director of Ballet Hispanico. After two years, Koonce became the first president and artistic director of Gateways Music Festival in association with Eastman School of Music. Under his leadership, Gateway Music Festival was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In addition to his role as president and artistic director, Koonce has served on the board of directors of Gateways Music Festival since 1997. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees for the National Guild for Community Arts Education and served on the board of the League of American Orchestras. Koonce has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs as well as the Oberlin Conservatory of Music committee chair of the Oberlin College Alumni Council.

Lee Koonce was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 28, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/28/2018

Last Name

Koonce

Maker Category
Schools

Dulles School of Excellence

Bishop Byrne High School

Oberlin Conservatory of Music

Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester

First Name

Lee

Birth City, State, Country

Xenia

HM ID

KOO01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Amsterdam and San Andres Island, Columbia

Favorite Quote

N/A

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

1/5/1960

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Peanut Butter

Short Description

Nonprofit executive and pianist Lee Koonce (1960 - ) served as president and artistic director of the Gateways Music Festival in association with the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Employment

Gateways Music Festival

Ballet Hispanico

Third Street Music School Settlement

Opus 118 - Harlem School of Music

Sherwood Conservatory of Music

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Accenture (Andersen Consulting)

Elgin Academy

Favorite Color

Blue

Barbara Seals Nevergold

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.

Accession Number

A2018.078

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/21/2018

Last Name

Nevergold

Maker Category
Middle Name

Seals

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

State University of New York at Buffalo

First Name

Barbara

Birth City, State, Country

Alexandria

HM ID

NEV01

Favorite Season

Late Spring, Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Tampa, Florida

Favorite Quote

Service, To Be Of Service To All Mankind

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/19/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Buffalo

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

N/A

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Barbara Seals Nevergold (1944- ) served as president of the Buffalo Board of Education and previously served in management roles at the University of Buffalo, Berkshire Farm Center and Planned Parenthood of Buffalo.

Employment

Buffalo Schools Board

Buffalo Public Schools

Berkshire Farms

Favorite Color

Pink

Walter Cooper

Nonprofit executive Walter Cooper was born on July 18, 1928 in Clairton, Pennsylvania to Alonzo and Luda Cooper. After graduating as salutatorian from Clairton High School in 1946, Cooper received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1950.

Hired as a research scientist at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York in 1956, Cooper became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. degree in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1957. At Kodak, he was promoted successively to senior research chemist, research associate and technical associate. During his career at Kodak, Cooper published a wide array of scholarly papers in the fields of chemistry and physical chemistry and became the holder of three patents.

Cooper served as chairman of the education committee of the NAACP from 1959 to 1965. In Rochester, he was heavily involved in community development and civil rights issues. Cooper took a leave of absence in 1964 from Eastman Kodak to help form an anti-poverty agency in Rochester called Action for a Better Community, Incorporated. He co-founded the Rochester branch of the Urban League in 1965, continuing to serve on the Board of Directors into the 1970s. He established Rochester's Sister City program with Bamako, Mali in 1975.

Returning to Eastman-Kodak, Cooper was named manager of the office of technical communications, overseeing the publications and technical reports by 2,300 scientific
and research personnel in 1985. Cooper retired from Eastman Kodak Company in 1986.

Cooper was elected to the Board of Trustees of Washington and Jefferson College in 1975, and named a Knight of the National Order of Mali in 1981. Cooper was named to the New York State Board of Regents in 1988, and he became Regent Emeritus in 2003. State University of New York at Geneseo awarded Cooper an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, and he also received the Rotary Award, the oldest civic honor in Rochester, New York in 2005. He received the Frederick Douglass Medal from the University of Rochester in recognition of his lifetime involvement in civil rights in 2008. Rochester City School number 10 was named the Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School #10 in his honor in 2010. The Rochester Area Community Foundation presented Walter Cooper, with the Joe U. Posner Founders Award, its highest honor in recognition of his many charitable contributions in 2013. Dr. Walter Cooper Papers are archived and housed at the River Campus Libraries, at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, New York in 2018.

His wife, Helen, who was also a scientist and worked for Kodak prior to Cooper joining, passed away in January, 2005. They have two adult sons.

Walter Cooper was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2017.

Accession Number

A2018.071

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/19/2018

Last Name

Cooper

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Walter

Birth City, State, Country

Clairton

HM ID

COO14

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Pennsylvania

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean and Africa

Favorite Quote

Primarily, A People Without A Historical Memory Are Doomed To Degradation

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

7/18/1928

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Rochester

Favorite Food

All Food

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Walter Cooper (1928- ) the first African American to earn a Ph.D degree in physical chemistry from the University of Rochester in 1957, was co-founder of the Rochester branch of the National Urban League in 1965.

Favorite Color

N/A

Mia Birdsong

Nonprofit executive Mia Birdsong was born on March 19, 1973 in Syracuse, New York to Georgia Whitney and Maurice Thompson. Birdsong earned her B.A. degree in African American studies from Oberlin College in 1995.

After graduation, Birdsong began working for the Health Initiatives for Youth in San Francisco, California. In 1998, she became a volunteer and organizer for the grassroots organization Critical Resistance, where she remained until 2008 when she was named vice president of the Family Independence Initiative. While working for the Family Independence Initiative, she created the Torchlight Prize for underfunded self-organized community groups. In 2013, Birdsong and Mariah Rankine-Landers co-founded Canerow, a resource for parents of biracial children. She delivered a TED talk entitled The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True in 2015. That same year, Birdsong co-founded the Family Story Project with Nicole Rodgers, becoming its co-director. In 2013, Birdsong’s article Inspired by Weeksville: Celebrating the Extraordinary Contributions of Everyday People was published by Empower magazine. In 2014, several more of Birdsong’s articles were published such as To Tackle Poverty, Trust the Power of Community in The Huffington Post, Stop the Stereotypes and Give Black Dads their Due by The Good Men Project, and The Power of Community-led Collective Action on TalkPoverty.org. Birdsong’s articles have also appeared on the On Being radio program and in Slate magazine.

From 2009 to 2011, Birdsong served on the board of directors for Peoples Grocery. She also joined the board of directors of the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center in 2011 and Forward Together in 2015. Birdsong served as board chair for the North Oakland Community Charter School from 2013 to 2017. Birdsong was the recipient of an Ascend Fellowship from the Aspen Institute in 2012 as well as a New America CA Fellowship in 2016. She was also named by Colorlines as one of the 15 Remarkable Women of Color Who Rocked 2015. In 2017, Birdsong was named a senior fellow of the Economic Security Project.

Birdsong and her husband, Nino Moschella, have two children.

Mia Birdsong was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 28, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.215

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/28/2017

Last Name

Birdsong

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Mia

Birth City, State, Country

Syracuse

HM ID

BIR01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Julia Stasch

State

New York

Favorite Quote

Stop playing small.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

3/19/1973

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/Oakland

Favorite Food

Pesto

Short Description

Nonprofit executive Mia Birdsong (1973 - )

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Many Colors

N. Charles Anderson

Nonprofit executive N. Charles Anderson was born on February 7, 1953 in Gaston County, North Carolina to Fannie Mae Moses Anderson and Nicodemus Anderson. He graduated from West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1971 and attended Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina where he studied business administration. He later received his B.A. degree in humanities from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 1981.

Anderson started working at Piedmont Natural Gas in 1972 as a mail clerk when he became involved with the Charlotte NAACP Youth Council, where he later served as president. There, he helped organize the NAACP Youth Council radio show, “Talk to the People” on WGIV Radio in Charlotte, North Carolina and co-hosted the NAACP television program, “Experience!” In 1974, Anderson was hired as a sales representative for American Tobacco Company and later moved to Detroit. After graduating from Wayne State University, Anderson joined the NAACP Detroit Branch as its youth director in 1981. He then served on the national staff as director of the NAACP Midwest Region III from 1983 to 1987. In this role, he directed and managed NAACP state conferences as well as adult branches and college and youth councils in seven states including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia. Anderson served as the sixth president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Urban League from 1987 to 1994. In 1994, Anderson was appointed by Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer to serve as executive director of the Department of Human Services for the City of Detroit, a position he held until 1997. In 1997, he rejoined the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan as the organization’s eighth president and chief executive officer. For twenty years, he was responsible for the vision, leadership and direction of the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan, which is one of 110 affiliates of the New York-based National Urban League.

Anderson received the Wayne State University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012, and the American Human Rights Council Spirit of Humanity Award in 2018. He served as trustee of the National Urban League, and the New Detroit coalition. He also served on the board of NAACP Youth Council, CityConnect Detroit, New Center Community Services, Detroit Alliance for Fair Banking, Health Alliance Plan and University Cultural Center Association. Anderson also served as vice chair of the board of trustees, Henry Ford Health System, Inc. and vice chair of City Year Inc.

Anderson and his wife, Marionette Anderson, have three daughters and nine grandchildren.

N. Charles Anderson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 17, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.184

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/17/2017

Last Name

Anderson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Charles

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Wayne State University

First Name

N.

Birth City, State, Country

Gaston County

HM ID

AND15

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer and Fall

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Warm weather, Florida

Favorite Quote

We’re Here To Serve, Not To Be Served

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

2/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Nonprofit executive N. Charles Anderson (1953 - ) was the president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan.

Employment

Detroit Urban League

NAACP

Detroit Department of Social Services

Favorite Color

Blue

Constance W. Rice

Nonprofit executive and academic administrator Constance W. Rice was born in Brooklyn, New York. She attended P.S. 144 and Erasmus Hall High School in New York City and enrolled at Howard University. She transferred to Queens College, and received her B.S. degree in sociology and anthropology in 1966. Rice received her M.A. degree in public administration and her Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Washington.

In 1966, Rice began working under Whitney Young at the National Urban League. The following year, she moved to Seattle, Washington and began working at the Washington Employment Security Department as a youth counselor. She later accepted an editorial position at The Trumpet, a newsletter focused on housing and social services and operated by the Central Area Motivation Program. In 1984, Rice founded CWR, Inc., a public relations firm. She also served as assistant executive director of the Washington Education Association and later led the Center for Urban Studies at Western Washington State University. In 1992, Rice became vice chancellor of the Institutional Advancement for Seattle Community College District. She then became interim president of North Seattle Community College in 1995, before she returned to the Seattle Community College District as senior vice chancellor in 1997. Rice also helped establish the National Coalition of 101 Black Women, which focused on networking and employment opportunities. During her husband’s tenure as mayor of Seattle, Rice created the Health and Nutrition Project at Washington State University.

Rice was appointed as a trustee of Evergreen State College in 1989. In 1999, she became president and founder of Strategic Education Centers, to support the educational evolution of children in Africa and the United States, which also helped establish two after-school centers in Swaziland. She continued this work as the founder and executive director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation USA, which established two schools in Swaziland. In 2013, she was appointed by Washington Governor Jay Islee to the University of Washington’s Board of Regents, and the following year, she became a senior executive fellow for Casey Family Programs.

Rice has held leadership positions on numerous boards, including the Seattle Community College District, Seattle Art Museum Executive Board Community and Education Engagement Committee. Rice was the chair of Women and Ethnic Studies at Shoreline Community College and served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Washington Student Achievement Council and as vice chair. Rice served on the University of Washington Visiting Committee for the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance.  She was the national western area vice director of The Links, Incorporated, and served on the Board of Directors Downtown Rotary, the Rainier Club, The Seattle Foundation, and Swedish Hospital.

In 2018, Rice received the Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award from the Puget Sound Business Journal.

Rice and her husband Norman B. Rice, have one child, Mian Rice.

Constance W. Rice was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.181

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/08/2017

Last Name

Rice

Maker Category
Middle Name

W.

Organizations
Schools

P.S. 178 St. Clair McKelway

P.S. 144

Harvard Business School

University of Washington

Queens College, City University of New York

Erasmus Hall High School

First Name

Constance

Birth City, State, Country

Brooklyn

HM ID

RIC22

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nevis

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Washington

Birth Date

6/23/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

SEattle

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab Pasta

Short Description

Nonprofit executive and academic administrator Constance W. Rice (1944 -  ) was senior vice chancellor of the Institutional Advancement for Seattle Community College District and founded the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation USA.

Employment

National Urban League

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Casey Family Program

University of Washington

Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation USA

CWR, Inc.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Constance W. Rice's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Constance W. Rice lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Constance W. Rice describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Constance W. Rice describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Constance W. Rice describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Constance W. Rice describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Constance W. Rice describes her experiences at P.S. 144 in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Constance W. Rice remembers her social life

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Constance W. Rice talks about the Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Constance W. Rice remembers J.H.S. 178, St. Clair McKelway School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Constance W. Rice remembers attending Broadway plays

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Constance W. Rice remembers Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Constance W. Rice talks about her involvement with SNCC

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Constance W. Rice describes her experiences at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Constance W. Rice talks about her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Constance W. Rice describes her experience at Queens College in Queens, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Constance W. Rice remembers joining the staff of the National Urban League

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Constance W. Rice describes her experiences at the National Urban League

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Constance W. Rice recalls moving to Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Constance W. Rice recalls how she came to join the Central Area Motivation Program

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Constance W. Rice remembers the activist community in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Constance W. Rice remembers meeting Norman Rice

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Constance W. Rice talks about the influential figures in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Constance W. Rice talks about her grassroots activism in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Constance W. Rice describes the racial demographics of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Constance W. Rice talks about the economy of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Constance W. Rice describes her role in her husband's political career

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Constance W. Rice remembers founding CWR, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Constance W. Rice talks about her work at CWR, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Constance W. Rice describes the establishment of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Constance W. Rice remembers receiving her Ph.D. degree from the University of Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Constance W. Rice recalls her husband's election as mayor of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Constance W. Rice reflects upon her husband's mayoralty of Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Constance W. Rice remembers Maxine B. Mimms

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Constance W. Rice remembers organizing the Health and Nutrition Project in Seattle, Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Constance W. Rice talks about her work in South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Constance W. Rice talks about her work in Swaziland

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$2

DATitle
Constance W. Rice talks about her work at CWR, Inc.
Constance W. Rice describes the establishment of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women
Transcript
Now you were the director for Western Washington University Center For Urban Studies in Seattle [sic.], right?$$Right.$$Is this during the '80s [1980s]?$$Yeah, well it had to be yes, yes it was.$$Okay.$$You're mentioning my short term stint as really part of the consultancy effort, so--$$Oh with your group CW--?$$Right, CWR, Incorporated [CWR, Inc.] and so most of it was in education. Later on I branched out to more public affairs work as well. But the, yes I did that.$$So basically you were sort of like--$$And this--$$--public relations at CWR, which is [HistoryMaker] Constance W. Rice (laughter)?$$That's it, that's it.$$All right, all right.$$And then it was public affairs because I was doing, and the public affairs side of it was doing the policy.$$Okay.$$So in each one of these positions it was policy related. For as an example, the Center for Urban Studies that was Fairhaven [Washington] at, out of Western Washington State University [Western Washington University] and it was an idea that college without walls of bringing and also as I said it's in Bellingham [Washington], right, I don't know if I mentioned Bellingham is close to the Canadian border and so they were very interested in doing more in urban areas the reason was that they wanted to have more black exposure for the black students to them, and vice versa. So they had also gotten rid of--this story of my life--got rid of their former director; asked me to come and fill in for them and to help build out a program in education, liberal arts education that would be attractive to black students who had stepped out of college and worked for a period of time and wanted to come back and we would be able to use their work activity as experiential toward credits, so they could get their B.A. degree et cetera. So the average age of a student would be about twenty-eight, twenty-nine getting their undergraduate degree. So that was the, the concept that they asked me to build out.$Okay, all right, all right. Now in--oh, I should ask you about this first I guess. Now you helped establish 101 Black Women, right?$$Yes, there was a national group called the 100 Black Women [National Coalition of 100 Black Women] and a group of us got together and said, "We don't like that idea because it, it was, it sounded too exclusive, too elitist." So we said, "Let's do 101." So that no one would ever know when we got the one, right. And so we were lucky at the time there was a forward thinking manager at Nordstrom downtown, we're the headquarters for Nordstrom, as you probably know, who I approached and I said, "Can we use your meeting room?" Because allegedly this meeting room at the store was for the community to come and use. And he said, yes. And it was an auditorium and it seated maybe two hundred people and so we started meeting there and what it became was a welcome wagon for African American women that came to Seattle [Washington] as well as women who lived in Seattle. So it was a nice you know, meeting of the old with the new to make the transition a lot easier and we would have speakers come from you know, like either finance or social or library, et cetera just to have that back and forth and then after which we would have soft drinks.$$Okay.$$So that's what it was.$$Was there a comparable organization for, for black men that (unclear)?$$No, no, no it was not.$$Okay, all right.$$There was one for the 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.] comparable to the 100 Black Women that was national but this was local. This was 101 and as I said we wanted to knock down the barriers. If a person would come to town and they were a part time sales clerk and another person was the chief financial officer they both had a chance to meet each other. So that was the concept (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I see what you're saying now.$$--right, as a concept.$$It was more than just for (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Whereas for the 100 Black Women, you know, someone like me you know, title, background, et cetera you know, we were there. And there's nothing wrong with that, it was just I, we wanted more of a democracy of participation of folks from you know, government to private sector to even, a few were unemployed. They had been employed and it was also an opportunity for them to get a job through their networking, so it was, it's very hard in certain areas of the county, and this was one of those areas where you don't have the concentration of black individuals like you have elsewhere for us to get together as females, so that was, that was the concept.