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Cora Masters Barry

Professor and civic leader Cora Masters Barry was born on May 7, 1945 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Isabell and Alfred Masters. She graduated from Paseo Academy in Kansas City, Missouri in 1962. Barry briefly attended Pasadena City College and Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri before graduating from Texas Southern University with her B.A. degree in 1969. She subsequently earned her M.A. degree in urban studies and public administration from Howard University in 1972.

In 1971, Barry began working on Walter Fauntroy's congressional campaign where she first met Marion Barry, whom she married in 1994. In 1976, Barry began teaching political science at the University of the District of Columbia, where she specialized in teaching “Black Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the Presidency, and the Constitution.” She was later hired as the northern Virginia minority coordinator for President Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign in 1980. That same year, Marion Barry, then mayor of Washington D.C., appointed her to the District of Columbia's Boxing and Wrestling Commission, making her the first woman in the United States to hold such a position. She later became chairwoman of the commission. Barry later ran a voter registration drive for Marion Barry's 1994 re-election campaign and chaired his inaugural committee. As First Lady of the District of Columbia, Barry founded the Recreation Wish List Committee (RWLC) in 1995 to support recreational activities and provide a nurturing learning environment for underserved youth in Washington D.C. That same year, she, with Dr. Dorothy I. Height, co-organized the “Women for the Million Man March.” In 2001, she founded the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, a premier tennis and education facility.

Throughout her career, Barry has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the DC Chamber of Commerce Community Impact Award, being named the 2013 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine, the USTA Founders Award, and the National Recreation and Park Association’s Robert Artz Citizen Advocacy Award. She was also inducted into the USTA’s Mid-Atlantic Tennis and Education Foundation’s Hall of Fame and the Black Tennis Hall of Fame.

Cora Masters Barry was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 6, 2005 and June 16, 2012.

Accession Number

A2005.121

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/6/2005

6/16/2012

Last Name

Barry

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Masters

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Cora

Birth City, State, Country

Oklahoma City

HM ID

BAR07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

West Africa

Favorite Quote

It's Not Gonna Turn Out Right.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

5/7/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Potatoes

Short Description

Professor and civic leader Cora Masters Barry (1945- ), as the First Lady of the District of Columbia, founded the Recreation Wish List Committee in 1995 and the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in 2001, and co-organized the “Women for the Million Man March.”

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Cora Masters Barry's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry describes her mother, Isabell Masters

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry describes her father, Alfred Masters

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry describes her father's experience with racism in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry describes her maternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Cora Masters describes her maternal family ancestry and the Exodus of 1879

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Cora Masters Barry describes her parents meeting at Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Cora Masters Barry describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Cora Masters Barry talks about moving to Los Angeles, California in the second wave of the Great Migration

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Cora Masters Barry describes her family life as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Cora Masters Barry describes growing up in predominantly white suburbs of Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Cora Masters Barry describes her experience at Cienega Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Cora Masters Barry describes her neighbor, comedian Tim Moore who played Kingfish on 'Amos 'n' Andy,' pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry describes her neighbor, comedian Tim Moore who played Kingfish on 'Amos 'n' Andy,' pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her experience at Gompers Middle School in South Central, and Washington Junior High in Pasadena, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry describes living in a predominantly white neighborhood in Pasadena, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry describes her experience at John Muir, Manual Arts, and Paseo Academy High Schools

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about de-facto segregation at John Muir High School and Manual Arts High School

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about transferring to Paseo Academy High School in Kansas City, and being the first black performer in its student talent show

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry describes her experience at Pasadena City College, and explains how she got to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry describes her freshman year at Lincoln University in 1964

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Cora Masters Barry describes leaving Lincoln University and working as a teacher's assistant in California's Head Start pilot program

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry describes her first semester at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the influence of black-nationalism at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the 1968 shooting of unarmed students at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about graduating from Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas in 1969

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the black power movement in northern California and the arrest of Black Panther chief of staff David Hilliard

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry describes Texas Southern University after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination and anti-war demonstrations in Berkeley, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry talks about finishing her graduate degree in urban policy at Howard University in Washington D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry describes working on HistoryMaker Walter Fauntroy's 1971 campaign for congress with HistoryMaker Marion Barry

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Cora Masters Barry talks about working with the National Council of Negro Women, and on HistoryMaker Marion Barry's campaign for the D.C. school board

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry describes working as the coordinator for "The Committee to Draft HistoryMaker Marion Barry for Chairman of City Council"

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the Home Rule Act and the election of HistoryMaker Walter Fauntroy as Washington, D.C.'s delegate for the U.S. Congress

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her teaching appointment in political science at the University of the District of Columbia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about organizing a boxing fundraiser for athletic programs in Washington D.C.'s public schools

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about working as the northern Virginia minority coordinator for President Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign, pt.1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about working as the northern Virginia minority coordinator for President Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her controversial nomination to the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her controversial nomination for the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry describes her experience of gender discrimination at her first weigh-in as boxing commissioner

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry describes chairing the District of Columbia Boxing and Wrestling Commission and her involvement with the International Boxing Federation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the 1988 court proceedings around allegations of "double-dipping," pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the 1988 court proceedings around allegations of "double-dipping," pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about female government officials in boxing

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her relationship with HistoryMaker Marion Barry, pt.1

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry Cora talks about her relationship with HistoryMaker Marion Barry, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Slating of the second session of Cora Masters Barry's interview

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her relationship with HistoryMaker Marion Barry

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about support of HistoryMaker Marion Barry in Washington, D.C.'s black community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about HistoryMaker Marion Barry's 1994 re-election campaign and 1995 inauguration

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry explains the founding and function of the Recreation Wish List Committee

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about early supporters of the Recreation Wish List Committee

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry describes conceiving the idea for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry describes the first phase in development for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Cora Masters describes the first phase in development for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center campaign kickoff event

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry explains how she secured a developer for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the Washington Tennis Foundation's effort to block the development of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about fundraising for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about Mayor Anthony Williams' contribution to the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center grand opening ceremony

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry talks about educational and athletic programming at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry talks about celebrity philanthropists

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Cora Masters Barry talks about educational and athletic programming at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the poverty and socioeconomic issues in Southeast Washington, D.C.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks about receiving an eviction notice from the Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's office, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about receiving an eviction notice from the Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's office, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the involvement of HistoryMakers Dorothy Height and Maya Angelou in defense of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the eviction court proceedings of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center building, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the eviction court proceedings of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center building, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry describes former Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's vision for the Southeast Tennis and Education Center

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry talks about importance of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the talented players at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center and hosting the National Junior Tennis League tournament

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Cora Masters Barry talks briefly about her home church, Union Temple Baptist

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Cora Masters Barry talks about the tenth anniversary of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Cora Masters Barry describes the social services available at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Cora Masters Barry describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Cora Masters Barry talks the future of the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her daughters

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her mother, Isabell Masters' presidential campaign and an interaction with former U.S. president William "Bill" Clinton

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Cora Masters Barry talks about her friendship with HistoryMaker Marion Barry

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Cora Masters Barry talks about how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$2

DATape

2$6

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Cora Masters Barry describes her experience at Pasadena City College, and explains how she got to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri
Cora Masters Barry describes conceiving the idea for the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Washington, D.C.
Transcript
After high school [Paseo High School, later, Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri], then where did you go--$$Went back to Pasadena [California], went to Pasadena City College [Pasadena, California] and promptly flunked out.$$Now what do you attribute that to?$$Not being interested. I made an A and--let me see, I made an A, and a F, and the rest were Ds. I think the A was in a cappella choir and the D was in the gym--the F was in gym, which it meant, of course, that I never went. The D was in all the rest of it.$$Okay, so what did you after that?$$You mean what did my mother [Isabella Arch Masters] do?$$Yeah, what did your mother do?$$She told me I was going to get a college education or get a job, which, of course, terrified me the thought of getting a job.$$All right. So what did your mother--(simultaneous)--$$Well I was quite all right with flunking out because I really--they used to have a thing at Pasadena College called, The Wall. I used to spend a lot of time on it.$$This is w-a-l-l?$$You know where you hang out and talk, and just, you know. I was having a ball. The problem was a lot of my friends from high school were going to PCC [Pasadena City College]. You know, Pasadena City College was probably the highest rated junior college in the United States at that time. I mean Pasadena was--you know.$$This is '62 [1962], '63 [1963]?$$Yes. But her thing was, "You're going to get a job or you're going to get back into college," which, of course, the job thing kind of terrified me because I wasn't used to that. So she wanted me to go to Langston [University, Langston, Oklahoma]. I did not want to go to Langston because everybody in my family--my mother graduated from Langston, my father [Alfred Masters] graduated from there, my uncle, my aunt. I wasn't going to do the Langston thing. So she--I think they turned me down anyway. I think she applied. My grades were so bad. She said, "You apply as a freshman, forget that first disastrous year," which I told her I was going to do, but I never did. So my brother, which I hadn't mentioned, was a child preacher, started preaching three years old. So he was on the road a lot. I used to travel with him, singing a lot.$$This was an older brother?$$Baby brother.$$Okay.$$He's a bishop right now in West Palm Beach, Florida. But he used to travel all over the country and he was a preacher and I was the singer. There's a lot of stuff in my life. I can't remember all of it at one time.$$Now, you sang gospel?$$Mm-hmm.$$Okay.$$So were on the road that summer. Mother stopped talking to me about what--I don't know I probably lied and said I had applied and had not heard back or whatever. So were just traveling around the country and then we got to St. Louis, Missouri and we were on the way to Kansas City, Missouri, I think he preached in St. Louis we were on our way to Kansas City, Missouri which is where my aunt lived, which I'm sure he had some appointments to preach there also. And when we got to a place called Jefferson City, Missouri, my mother drove up this long hill and we were at this school called Lincoln University [Jefferson City, Missouri]. She went inside the building, the administration building, came back out with the dean of students, and took my suitcase out and said, "You're going here to college."$$And what happened?$$I had a fit. I wouldn't talk to the man. She had not warned me. But, see, I had graduated from a high school in Missouri and this was a state school, so if you graduated, it didn't matter. You could just-and she had told him all this and he said, "Contingent on her records, I'm going to take your word for it that she is a graduate from a school in Missouri, so we can take her now because we're having freshman orientation." My mother dropped me off in the middle of nowhere at Lincoln University. They took me over to a dormitory hall called Anthony Hall, which was nothing but freshman and she took me to my room. I was furious. I didn't want to speak to her. I didn't even say good bye. She dropped me and my little suitcase off in the middle of nowhere is where I describe it. She went on about her business. Well, she tells the story that she went to Kansas City, where she was heading. Jefferson City, Missouri is almost in the middle between St. Louis and Kansas City, so like maybe 130 miles from one and about 140 miles from the other. So she went to Kansas City, Missouri and her plan was to check back and if I was still in that mode, she would come back and get me. So she left me there. She called back about seven or eight o'clock. I don't know what time. I didn't have time to talk to her. I had met some kids from Cincinnati [Ohio], from Chicago [Illinois], from Dallas [Texas], and from Oklahoma City [Oklahoma], and one of our friend's father--her name was Jamilla Gibson[-Bell] . Her father [Joseph Deighton Gibson Jr.] was Jockey Jack and they used to call him "Jack, the rapper." Before he died, everybody knew him around the country, he is well-known. But, at the time, he was with Motown. So she had this portable battery-operated record player and they had all the advanced, pre-released versions of all Motown songs and another girlfriend that I met from Oklahoma City named Sandra Biggers [ph.] had a jug and on it wrote "medicine," but in it was wine. So between the records and the wine and the cards I was having a ball. So my mother called back. I was like, "I'm having fun." You know, "Alright thank you, talk to you later." So that's how I ended up at Lincoln University.$Okay, so you had projects all over the city [Washington, D.C.] at first. And then--so when did you focus in on this particular project here?$$Well, I really didn't focus on it as a project initially, not to the extent that it is now. One day I was riding down the street and I saw this property, this land, and there were a lot of young people hanging out, looking like they could get themselves in a little trouble and I saw these poles that looked like they were tennis things. And I checked and said, "Yeah, there used to be courts there." They used to be called The Hart Court because it's right next to Hart Junior High School [later, Hart Middles School, Washington, D.C.], and I said, "I wonder if we renovate or build some courts, will the kids come?" So I did a little cursory marketing survey. We built six courts, and all the tennis organizations starting playing courts on them and having programs. The Washington Tennis [and Education] Foundation started using it for their Arthur Ashe [Children's] Program, the (unclear) Tennis Council used it, Totally Tennis, Tennis at Shiloh, all those different organizations that had junior tennis programs started using these courts and myself used to come and play tennis with my husband [HM Marion Barry] and also my coach was Dr. Arnold McKnight. And I would come and play tennis with Marion and then be coached by Arnold, and I started playing with some of the kids and I just took an interest in them. And I found out that through playing tennis with them and watching them--they could really play tennis because many of them were playing with the Washington Tennis Foundation at that time because they had an inner-city program, although they were up on 16th Street. They had a sort of busing situation, but those kids would settle their difference or their beef on the corner at the tennis matches or they would be flipping the birdie at each other, or call each other names. I began to do what I considered informal mentoring. For example, I would give them assignments. For instance, I would say, "Today, I want you to write when you go to school, good attitude, good results, bad attitude, bad results. Give me five things you did that when you had a good attitude, what happened, and five things that happened when you had a bad attitude." Then I'd be there the next day to collect it and talk with them. Finally, one day, I was standing on the corner with Dr. McKnight and I said, "You know what, doc?" I just put the racket--I just dropped my racket, and I said, "You know what? I want to build a building." I really believe to this day and I will believe it until the day that I die that was a vision from the Holy Spirit; just something came over me and said, "You should build a building." He looked over across there and he said, "What do you mean?" I said, "This is not enough. Tennis is not enough for these kids. These kids need--they need mentoring; they need homework assistance, they need guidance, they need more in their life. Tennis is not going to get them where they're going, not from this community." He always laughed because he said, "Okay, that's great but right now we gotta finish this tennis lesson because I gotta go," he was a principal up at [Ferebee-Hope Elementary School, Washington D.C.] and he needed to get to school. It was early in the morning. And that was my first inspiration about doing something here on this property that we are sitting in right now.$$Now about what year was that?$$That was probably about 1995.

Alvin Brooks

Political and civic leader Alvin L. Brooks was born on May 3, 1932 in North Little Rock, Arkansas to Thomascine Gilder and Wilbur Herring. He was adopted by Estelle and Cluster Brooks, and they moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Brooks attended Dunbar Elementary School, R.T. Coles Vocational High School, and Lincoln Junior College. He went on to receive his B.A. degree in history and government in 1959 and his M.A. degree in sociology in 1973, both from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

From 1954 to 1964, Brooks served as a district police officer and later a detective with the Kansas City Police Department. In 1964, he left the police department and joined the Kansas City School District as a home school coordinator in the department of pupil services. After one year, Brooks joined the staff of the division of urban education as coordinator of parent, student and community interpretation. In 1968, after Kansas City's riot, Brooks was appointed to organize the first Kansas City Human Relations department and became the first Black department director in Kansas City government. Brooks served as human relations director until 1972, when he was appointed assistant city manager, where he served until 1991. In 1977, Brooks founded the grass roots, community-based organization the AdHoc Group Against Crime (AdHoc) in response to violent crimes in the African American community, where he became director in 1991. Brooks was later appointed by President George H.W. Bush to a three-year term on the President's National Drug Advisory Council. In 1999, Brooks was elected to the Kansas City council representing the 6th District At-Large and was appointed mayor pro-tem. He was re-elected in 2003. In 2010, he was appointed to the Kansas City Police Department's Board of Police Commissioners, and served as president for two years, before being elected as a director on the Hickman Mills C-1 School Board.

In 1976, Brooks was appointed to serve as chairperson on the Missouri Human Rights Commission. From 1980 to 1986, he served on the Missouri Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP.

Brooks was named one of America's 1,000 Points of Light by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and an Outstanding Kansas Citian by the Native Sons and Daughters in 2017. He received the Carl R. Johnson Humanitarian award from the NAACP in 2001, the Annual Peace Award from the Crescent Peace Society in 2007, the Harry S. Truman Service Award from the City of Independence in 2016, and the Kansas Citian of the Year Award by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in 2019. He has received honorary degrees from Park University, Rockhurst University, University of Southern Missouri, and William Jewell College. In 2016, the Kansas City council declared May 3rd as Alvin L. Brooks Day.

Brooks and his late wife Carol Rich Brooks (of sixty nine years), are the parents of six children, seventeen grandchildren, forty-one great-grandchildren, and seventeen great-great grandchildren.

Alvin Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 5, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.126

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/5/2019

Last Name

Brooks

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Middle Name

Lee

Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School

R.T. Coles Vocational Junior High School

University of Missouri, Kansas City

Lincoln High School

First Name

Alvin

Birth City, State, Country

North Little Rock

HM ID

BRO71

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas

Favorite Quote

I've Only Just A Minute, Only Sixty Seconds In It. Forced Upon Me, Can't Refuse It, Didn't Seek It, Didn't Choose It, But It's Up To Me To Use It. I Must Suffer If I Lose It, Give An Account If I Abuse It, Just A Tiny Little Minute, But Eternity Is In It - Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

Speakers Bureau Region State

Missouri

Birth Date

5/3/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Kansas City

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Broccoli

Short Description

Political and civic leader Alvin L. Brooks (1932- ) served as a Kansas City, Missouri police officer for ten years, worked for Kansas City government for twenty-seven years, and founded the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime in 1977.

Employment

Ad Hoc Group Against Crime

City of Kansas City

Kansas City School District

Kansas City Missouri Police Department

Favorite Color

Blue

Mattie McFadden-Lawson

Civic leader Mattie McFadden-Lawson was born on June 1, 1952. She received her B.A. degree from Brooklyn College in 1974 and her M.A. degree from Howard University in 1974. She later obtained her M.P.A. degree in public administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1977.

After serving as a research associate for McKinsey & Company, McFadden-Lawson was hired as a staff member for the United States Senate Budget Committee. In 1980, McFadden-Lawson and her husband, Michael A. Lawson, moved to Los Angeles, California, where she became involved in supporting various community and philanthropic efforts. She founded the MML Design Group in 2001 and oversaw the restoration of an historic Los Angeles mansion, formerly owned by Muhammad Ali.

McFadden-Lawson served on numerous boards including the Music Center/Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Ford Theater Foundation, and the GRAMMY Museum Board. She served as co-vice chair of the 50 X 50 Leadership Circle of the Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center for International Scholars. McFadden-Lawson was a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and a founding member of the Dance Council of the Colburn School. She served as vice chair of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and as director of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her to the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In 2016, McFadden-Lawson served as a superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention from California.

In 2011, Mattie McFadden-Lawson was honored with a Drum Major Award at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at Los Angeles’ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. She was also presented with the “Service Above Self” award at the first annual Music Box Awards in 2011. In 2013, she received the Music Center Philanthropy Award from Center Dance Arts and The Music Center. The following year, she was the recipient of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award from the Los Angeles Urban League; and, in 2015, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors presented McFadden-Lawson with the Excellence in Leadership Award. In 2016, she received the Leadership and Community Service Award from the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, and the Women of City Club Award from the City Club of Los Angeles.

McFadden-Lawson and her husband, Michael A. Lawson, have two adult children, Michael Jr. and Jonathan.

Mattie McFadden-Lawson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.015

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/8/2019

Last Name

McFadden-Lawson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Carver High School

Brooklyn College

Howard University

Harvard Kennedy School

First Name

Mattie

Birth City, State, Country

Clarendon

HM ID

MCF02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Migel

Favorite Quote

No One Can Block Your Blessings Because Your Name Is Written On Them

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/25/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Civic leader Mattie McFadden-Lawson (1952 - ) served as founder and president of MML Design Group, co-vice chair of the 50 X 50 Leadership Circle of the Women in Public Service Project–Wilson Center for International Scholars, and on the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Employment

The MML Group

Bankers Trust Company

U.S. Senate Budget Committee

U.S. House District Committee

McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Favorite Color

Black

Linda Whitlock

Civic leader and corporate executive Linda Whitlock was born on December 3, 1947 in Richmond, Virginia to Kenneth Edward Whitlock and Sarah Johnson Whitlock. Whitlock attended Virginia Union University’s Lab Nursing School, Mary Scott Elementary School, Chimborazo Elementary School, Randolph Junior High School, and Maggie L. Walker High School. She received her B.A. degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College in 1972. In 1981, Whitlock received her M.A. degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. 

In 1980, Whitlock served as an instructor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as director of the Massachusetts Government Land Bank. Three years later, she was appointed director of the Massachusetts Office of Real Property. In 1984, Whitlock joined Tufts University as an instructor in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy. She served as vice president of Harvard Real Estate, Inc. in 1989. In 1990, she was hired by Concord Academy as assistant head for marketing and associate director of admissions. Two years later, she joined Buckingham Browne & Nichols School and became assistant head for enrollment management. From 1999 to 2008, Whitlock served as the Nicholas president and chief executive officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. In 2008, she founded and was principal of The Whitlock Group, through which she served as senior advisor to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, senior advisor to John Fish, CEO of Suffolk, and strategic advisory board member of AesRx LLC.

She was a board member of numerous companies, including Cambridge Trust Company, and was the first Lead Director in 2011. She also was on the boards of the Red Sox Foundation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Princeton Review, National Association of Corporate Directors New England, Museum of Afro American History, and Brandeis University.  Whitlock was co-chair of Women Corporate Directors Boston, and a member of The Boston Club’s Executive Advisory Council, the Boston Women Leaders Network, and the Boston Library Society. She was appointed to commissions by Democratic and Republican Governors and Mayors, and served as associate finance director for Dukakis for President in 1987, co-chaired Obama Victory Trustees in 2012, and was a leading national fundraiser for Hillary for America in 2016.

In 2009, Whitlock was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Bostonians by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. In 2003, she was named one of the Most Powerful Women in Boston by Boston Magazine, and was the Boston Municipal Research Bureau’s Shattuck City Champion. In 2008, she received the National Service to Youth Award from Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as the Woman of Valor Award from the Anti-Defamation League New England. In 2011, she received the Advancing Women Award from the Boston Business Journal; and, in 2017, she received the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus. Whitlock received honorary doctorates from Babson College, Suffolk University, and Pine Manor College.

Whitlock and her husband, Marc Cumsky, have two children, Jake and Leah, and seven grandchildren.

Linda Whitlock was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.090

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/23/2019

Last Name

Whitlock

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Mary Scott Elementary School

Chimborazo Elementary School

Randolph Junior High School

Maggie L. Walker High School

Mount Holyoke College

University of Michigan

First Name

Linda

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

WHI27

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard and Italy

Favorite Quote

One Foot In Front Of The Other

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

12/3/1947

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newton

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Spinach

Short Description

Civic leader and corporate executive Linda Whitlock (1947- ) served as the Nicholas president and chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston from 1999 to 2008.

Employment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Government Land Bank

The Whitlock Group

Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston

Buckingham Browne and Nichols School

Concord Academy

Harvard Real Estate, Inc.

Dukakis For President Campaign

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Tufts University

University of Michigan

Favorite Color

Red

E. Ginger Sullivan

Civic leader E. Ginger Sullivan was born on July 30, 1933 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Catherine Caesar and James Williamson. Sullivan attended Craneville Elementary School and Pittsfield High School. In 1955, Sullivan received her B.A. degree from Northeastern University. She later received her J.D. degree from Woodrow Wilson College of Law in the 1970s.

While attending Northeastern University, Sullivan served as a hepatic research technician at Yale School of Medicine. In 1958, she moved to New York, where she worked as a medical assistant. She later joined Massachusetts General Hospital as a cardiovascular researcher. An active member of Christ Church in Boston, Massachusetts, she helped plan the church’s trip to attend the March on Washington in 1963. In 1975, Sullivan’s husband, Dr. Louis Sullivan, was appointed dean of Morehouse College Medical Education Program. During his deanship, Sullivan clerked for a Fulton County Superior Court Judge and founded the Friends of Morehouse School of Medicine. After President George H.W. Bush appointed Dr. Louis Sullivan U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1988, Sullivan served as a spokesperson for the National Cancer Institute on the early detection and treatment of breast and prostate cancers in 1989. During this time, Sullivan also joined the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships for three years. In 1993, Sullivan and her family returned to Atlanta, where Dr. Louis Sullivan served as president of Morehouse School of Medicine until 2002.

Sullivan served as founder and co-sponsor of The Sullivan 5K Run/Walk Road Race for Health & Fitness on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. She has also served on the boards of the High Museum of Art, the Alliance Theatre, True Colors Theatre in Atlanta, Wolf Trap, the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the Arthritis Foundation of Georgia, and was a strong supporter of Medical Education for South African Blacks (MESAB) and Africare. A member of the Buckhead Cascade Chapter of Links, Inc. and the auxiliaries to the Atlanta Medical Association and the National Medical Association, Sullivan was active in the Atlanta community.

Sullivan and her husband, Dr. Louis Sullivan, have three children: Paul, Shanta, and Halsted.

E. Ginger Sullivan was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 22, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.087

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/22/2019

Last Name

Sullivan

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Craneville Elementary School

Pittsfield High School

Northeastern University

Atlanta Law School

First Name

E. Ginger

Birth City, State, Country

Pittsfield

HM ID

SUL03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard or South Africa

Favorite Quote

The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

7/30/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Bluefish

Short Description

Civic leader E. Ginger Sullivan (1933- ) founded the Friends of Morehouse School of Medicine and served as a spokesperson for the National Cancer Institute from 1989 to 1993.

Employment

Yale School of Medicine

Massachusetts General Hospital

Superior Court of Fulton County

National Cancer Institute

Favorite Color

Blue

Nancy McKeever

Civic leader Nancy McKeever was born on June 8, 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri to John
Clarke and Maddy Edna Richardson Clarke. She migrated to Chicago, Illinois, where she lived with her aunt and uncle and attended Hyde Park High School. After graduating from Loretto Academy in 1954, McKeever received her degree in teaching from Chicago Teachers College in 1958.

After graduating from college, McKeever moved to a military base near Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, Lester McKeever. In 1960, while her husband finished his military service, McKeever returned to Chicago and began her career in education as a third grade teacher at Forestville Elementary School, which later became Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School. She also served as parent coordinator for the PTA and ran the Forestville Special Trips Committee, which took students on trips around the country during school breaks. In 1971, McKeever joined the auxiliary board for Chicago’s ETA Creative Arts Foundation, which provided training and performance opportunities for youth and adults. McKeever eventually became chair of ETA Creative Arts Foundation’s board of directors, where she planned fundraising events that raised several million dollars for an endowment, before leaving the board in 2014. In the early 1970s, McKeever and her husband purchased and managed a high rise building in Hyde Park. In 1976, the couple purchased Oglesby Towers, a 25-story high-rise apartment building in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood, which she managed until they sold the building in 2008.

McKeever was a member of the Northeasterners and the Contempos social clubs. She also helped establish the Mother’s Club, a group of African American women who went horseback riding together. In 2007, McKeever received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Chicago State University for outstanding achievement in the Arts. She was recognized for her work with the Big Shoulders Fund and Catholic Charities by the Chicago Archdiocese with the Bishop Quarter award in 2008. McKeever has also served as a member of Woman's Board for Art Institute of Chicago.

McKeever and her husband, Lester McKeever, reside in Chicago, Illinois and have two adult children: Steve and Susan.

Nancy McKeever was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.061

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/9/2019

Last Name

McKeever

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Hyde Park Academy High School

Chicago State University

First Name

Nancy

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

MCK18

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bahamas

Favorite Quote

As You Grow Older, You'll Learn

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

6/8/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Watermelon

Short Description

Educator Nancy McKeever (1936- ) was a school teacher for Chicago Public Schools before becoming an auxiliary board member of ETA Creative Arts Foundation in Chicago, where she would go on to be named chair of the board of directors.

Employment

Carter G. Woodson Elementary School

Oglesby Towers

Favorite Color

Blue

Andrea Frazier

Civic leader Andrea Frazier was born on September 21, 1956, in Harlem, New York to Wilhelmina Young and James Wilkerson. Frazier attended John H. Finley Elementary School and Manhattanville Junior High School before graduating from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in 1974, where she participated in the youth symphony orchestra. She then attended Tufts University and graduated from there in 1978 with her B.A. degree in political science with a concentration in international studies. Frazier subsequently received her M.A. degree from The City University of New York in 1980.

In 1978, Frazier was hired as a researcher at the Ralph Bunche Institute before attending graduate school. After graduation, Frazier briefly worked in the human resources department at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital recruiting and hiring various personnel. She was subsequently employed at New York University School of Law from 1981 to 1985, first as a coordinator of recruitment, pairing students with various law firms and offices, before being promoted to placement director in 1983. In 1986, Frazier was briefly employed with the law firm of Fox Rothschild as a recruitment administrator for new hires, and was later hired by Cigna Insurance to work as a program manager. In 1988, she and her husband, Kenneth Frazier, partnered with Jim Sweet to found the Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she also served on the board of directors. In 1991, Frazier started her own interior design firm called “Frazier Design,” where she specialized in custom made pieces for local historical houses, including the home of Betsy Ross.

In 2012, Frazier joined the board of directors of the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and, the following year, she joined the board of directors of the American Heart Association to bring awareness to prevalent heart conditions in women. Frazier has also served on the advisory board for the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music located in the Musician’s Village in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Frazier and her husband have two children, Lauren and James, and reside in Newton, Pennsylvania.

Andrea Frazier was interviewed by The History Makers on June 20, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.042

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/20/2019

Last Name

Frazier

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

P.S. 129 John H. Finley School

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

City University of New York

Manhattanville Junior High School 43

First Name

Andrea

Birth City, State, Country

New York City

HM ID

FRA19

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Nice, France

Favorite Quote

Never give up.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

9/21/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Whitehouse Station

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lasagna

Short Description

Civic leader Andrea Frazier (1956- ) co-founded Cornerstone Christian Academy in Philadelphia in 1988 and launched an interior design firm called Frazier Designs in 1991.

Employment

Saks Fifth Avenue

St. Luke's Hospital

New York University Law School

Fox, Rothschild

Cigna Insurance

Frazier Design

Favorite Color

Red

Johnnetta Betsch Cole

College president, museum director and civic leader Johnnetta Betsch Cole was born on October 19, 1936 in Jacksonville, Florida to John Thomas and Mary Frances Lewis Betsch. She was admitted to Fisk University at the age of fifteen, and later transferred to Oberlin College where she received her B.A. degree in sociology in 1957. Cole earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1959 and 1967.

In 1970, Cole accepted a faculty position at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she served as a professor of anthropology and Afro-American studies. In 1982, Cole joined the faculty at Hunter College and served as the director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was named the first black woman president of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1987. During her tenure as president, she led a campaign that raised over $113 million dollars, attracted higher student enrollment, and improved Spelman’s overall ranking. In 1992, Cole served on President Bill Clinton’s transition team as cluster coordinator for education, labor, and the arts. After leaving Spelman in 1997, Cole joined Emory University as a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women Studies and African American studies. From 2002 to 2007, she served as the president of Bennett College. There, she led a $50 million campaign, raised funds for an on-campus art museum, and initiated the women’s studies and global studies programs. In 2009, she was named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C.

Cole authored and edited numerous books including All American Women: Lines That Divide,Ties That Bind (ed.) in 1986, Anthropology for the Ninties (ed.) in 1988, Conversations: Straight Talk with America’s Sister President in 1994, Gender Talk – the Struggle for Women’s Equality in African American’s Communities in 2003, edited with Beverly Guy-Sheftall,Who Should Be First? Feminist Speak Out On The 2008 Presidential Campaign, edited with Beverly Guy-Sheftall in 2010, and Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion in Museums, edited with Laura L. Lott in 2019.

Cole has served on the boards of Coca Cola Enterprises, Merck & Co., Home Depot, the Rockefeller Foundation, and United Way of America. She also served as chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College, and she served as the President of the Association of Art Museum Directors. She is currently the chair and president of the National Council of Negro Women.

She has received numerous awards, including the 1988 Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the 2013 Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award, the Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award from the American Council on Education, and the BET Honors Award for Education in 2015. Cole has been awarded sixty-nine honorary degrees and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Cole is married to James D. Staton, Jr. She has three sons, one step-son and three grandchildren.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on February 11, 2019.

Accession Number

A2019.016

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/11/2019

Last Name

Cole

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Betsch

Schools

Fisk University

Oberlin College

Northwestern University

Boylan-Haven School

First Name

Johnnetta

Birth City, State, Country

Jacksonville

HM ID

COL37

Favorite Season

Autumn

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

American Beach On Amelia Island

Favorite Quote

When Women Lead, Streams Run Uphill

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

10/19/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood, Peanut Butter

Short Description

College president, museum director and civic leader Johnnetta Betsch Cole (1936 - ) became the first African American female president of Spelman College in 1987 before being named director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in 2009.

Employment

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hunter College

Spelman College

Emory University

Bennett College

National Museum of African Art

Washington State University

Bill Clinton Administration

Favorite Color

Red and Black

Terri Lipsey Scott

Civic leader Terri Lipsey Scott was born on April 13, 1959 in Savannah, Georgia to Dessie and Ralph Lipsey, Junior. Lipsey Scott attended Pearl Lee Smith Elementary School, Bartlett Junior High School and HV Jenkins High School where she graduated from in 1977. Lipsey Scott enrolled at Savannah State College and in 1981 relocated to Saint Petersburg, Florida where she would later receive her B.B.A. degree in business administration in 2004 from Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg.

Lipsey Scott served as an intake counselor for Saint Petersburg Housing Authority from 1982 to 1985 and a loan officer at Saint Petersburg Credit Union from 1985 to 1987. Lipsey Scott then joined local government as an office administrator at the City of Saint Petersburg Office of the Mayor and City Council, where she worked for five mayors over a twenty seven year period from 1987 to 2014.

Lipsey Scott has served on local boards that include Aids Services Association of Pinellas, the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP, Co-Chair of Community Alliance, and Convener of St. Petersburg Together. Lipsey Scott served as board chair of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African-American History Museum from 2008 to 2017 and was credited for her role and significant efforts to preserve the museum. From 2012 to 2014, she served as a board member for Alpha House of Tampa, the organization focused on services for homeless pregnant women and mothers with young children. From 2015 to 2017, she also served as board member for Women on the Way, a resource and support center developed to help women succeed in college. She was also active in the Junior League, Women of the Word, St. Petersburg Chapter of the Links, Inc., St. Petersburg Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Colours of Culture.

Lipsey Scott has been honored by several organizations including the YWCA – Phenomenal Woman of the Year; Studio @ 620 - Studio Honors Award; The Gathering of Women – Woman of Distinction Award, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Role Model of the Year, H.V. Jenkins High School “Hall of Fame,” and Watermark’s “One of the Most Remarkable People of 2017” award. Her writing was recently published as the Foreword in the newly released Salt Creek Journal.

Terri and her husband Clarence Scott have two adult children and two grandchildren.

Terri Lipsey Scott was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 12, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.186

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2018

Last Name

Lipsey Scott

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Terri

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

SCO09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Quote

By God.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

4/13/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Tampa

Country

USA

Short Description

Civic leader Terri Lipsey Scott (1959- ) was named executive director of the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum in 2017.

Favorite Color

Red

Toni Carter

Civic leader Toni Carter was born on June 29, 1954 in Bessemer, Alabama. She attended Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 1971, and later received her B.S. degree in K-8 education from Concordia University in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2000.

Carter served as an IBM systems engineer in technical marketing in 1978 before leaving to teach at Crosswinds Middle School in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1990. Carter then spent twelve years as a marketing representative, systems support manager and communications and arts consultant.

Carter was elected to the Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education, where she served as member and chair from 2001 to 2005. She was then elected Ramsey County Commissioner for District 4, in Saint Paul, becoming the first African American to serve on a county board in Minnesota and serving the following terms: 2005, 2010, 2014 and 2019. During her tenure, she focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of county services, eliminating disparities in outcomes for diverse populations, and raising grassroots awareness of county decision-making processes and systems.

Active in the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), she served on the board of directors and also as its president. A member of the board of directors of the National Association of Counties (NACo), she served as chair of NACo’s Healthy Counties Initiative. She also served as co-chair of the Minnesota Human Services Performance Council and the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Stakeholder Committee. Carter was also the chief local elected official on the Ramsey County Workforce Investment Board.

Carter has worked and volunteered in the Twin Cities arts community for over three decades, acting professionally with Saint Paul’s Penumbra Theatre, in television and radio commercials and industrials, as talent for print media, and as co-founder and founding director of ARTS-Us.

Carter has served on numerous community boards, including the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Library Service Agency (MELSA), the Walker West Music Academy, the West Side Community Health Center, the Saint Paul YWCA and the Jeremiah Program.

Carter has received numerous awards for her work in the community and in the arts and arts education, including an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Concordia University – Saint Paul.

Her son, Melvin Carter, III was elected mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2018.

Carter and her husband, Melvin Carter, Jr. have three adult children including Anika, Melvin, III and Alanna, six granddaughters and two grandsons.

Toni Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.129

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/19/2018

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Toni

Birth City, State, Country

Bessemer

HM ID

CAR40

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

Love Many, Trust Few. Learn To Paddle Your Own Canoe

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

6/20/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

Civic leader Toni Carter (1954- ) elected to the Saint Paul Public Schools Board of Education where she served as member and chair from 2001 to 2005, the was the first African American to serve on a county board in Minnesota as the Ramsey County Commissioner for District 4, in Saint Paul. Her term of service were 2005, 2010 and 2014.

Favorite Color

Violet