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Lilliette M. Council

Civic volunteer Lilliette M. Council was born on October 18, 1902 in Laurens, South Carolina. Her father, John Henry Dial, was a brick mason for T. C. Windham, the wealthy black contractor who built Birmingham, Alabama’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Council sang in the church choir after her father moved the family to Birmingham in 1907. Council’s mother, Mary Lou "Tensacola" Young Dial, was part Native American and a homemaker. Starting at Birmingham’s Industrial High School, then attending Spelman High School in Atlanta, Georgia, Council eventually returned to Birmingham where she graduated from Brooks Academy in 1921.

In 1921, Council married and moved with her husband, William Hewlett, to Cleveland, Ohio. Council separated from her husband in 1931 and moved to New York City. Employed in the garment industry, Council joined the Union of Furriers Joint Council.

Council joined the American War Mothers during World War II and volunteered more than 5,000 hours at V.A. hospitals in the New York area until she was 92 years old. She has been an active member of the Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church where she was twice awarded Mother of the Year. She is a member of the Order of Cyrenes and the Euclid Chapter Number 48 of the Order of the Eastern Star, Prince Hall Affiliation.

Widowed twice, Council has seven grandchildren and lives in Jamaica Queens, New York.

Council passed away on September 19, 2011 at the age of 108.

Lilliette Council was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2004.

Accession Number

A2004.247

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/3/2004

Last Name

Council

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

M.

Occupation
Schools

Brooks Academy

Spelman High School

First Name

Lilliette

Birth City, State, Country

Laurens

HM ID

COU02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

When You and I Were Young, Maggie (song)

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

10/18/1902

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Death Date

9/15/2011

Short Description

Civic volunteer Lilliette M. Council (1902 - 2011 ) worked as a finisher in the fur industry in the 1930s, and served as the Secretary for the Women's Society for Service and Vice-President of United Methodist Women. In addition, she has volunteered over 5,000 hours at a veterans' hospital.

Employment

Isadore Dover

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1824,31:2244,38:5604,103:6360,115:7116,126:7872,137:8460,147:19690,241:20306,249:20768,257:21307,267:22000,279:22693,290:23386,301:35942,398:44741,537:45252,546:52930,592:57712,695:69878,822:70346,829:71828,864:94160,1052:109580,1189:119154,1285:119458,1290:120066,1302:125842,1425:126298,1432:131618,1588:134658,1714:143200,1819:151574,1938:165530,2107:168866,2152:173650,2257:186964,2360:189316,2405:201269,2553:233050,2899:233394,2905:240880,2999:249920,3102:254680,3156:255040,3161:259860,3238:265440,3269:265876,3274:269550,3299:272817,3347:273411,3375:285118,3453:285629,3462:286140,3473:287235,3494:287527,3499:292558,3590:302494,3739:312890,3808$250,0:1741,33:3658,70:4226,80:20831,336:33274,529:40484,633:44348,694:57796,812:58795,824:71452,947:72100,982:72505,1035:75564,1045:78828,1095:101229,1412:103565,1488:114164,1591:116377,1609:130252,1777:137067,1842:137463,1847:144680,1917:145390,1937:145745,1944:146313,1953:157740,2059
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lilliette M. Council's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lilliette M. Council lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lilliette M. Council describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lilliette M. Council describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lilliette M. Council recalls her father's career as a bricklayer and butcher in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lilliette M. Council remembers attending Industrial High School and Brooks Academy in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lilliette M. Council remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lilliette M. Council describes her childhood neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lilliette M. Council recalls her early childhood in Greenwood, South Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lilliette M. Council recalls attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lilliette M. Council describes her high school experience at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lilliette M. Council talks about her first marriage, moving to Cleveland, Ohio, and participating in Freemason organizations with her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lilliette M. Council describes the end of her first marriage, and her move to New York City, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lilliette M. Council describes the end of her first marriage, and her move to New York City, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lilliette M. Council remembers when a plane crashed into New York City's Empire State Building in 1945

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lilliette M. Council describes her participation in the Council for Negro Women and Brooks Memorial United Methodist Church in Jamaica, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lilliette M. Council talks about her second and third marriages

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lilliette M. Council describes her volunteer work with American War Mothers and her recreational pastimes

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lilliette M. Council reflects upon her life and what she would do differently

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lilliette M. Council talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lilliette M. Council talks about her parents move to Jamaica, New York in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lilliette M. Council reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lilliette M. Council describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lilliette M. Council narrates her photographs with her son, William Maynard Hewlett

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

7$8

DATitle
Lilliette M. Council remembers the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up
Lilliette M. Council describes her volunteer work with American War Mothers and her recreational pastimes
Transcript
Can you think back to when you were a little kid, to when you were a little girl and tell me what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$Say that again?$$Yes, could you reflect back to when you were a little girl, and give an idea of what were some of the sights and sounds and smells of growing up?$$All I can tell you that I loved to sing, and I sang in the--growing up, I sang in the, in the church choir. I went to Sunday school at 16th Street Baptist Church [Birmingham, Alabama], the same church I told you that was bombed [1963]. And I went to Sunday school. That was one of the "must" that my mother [Mary Lou Young] and father [John Henry Dial] insisted on my sister [Marie Dial] and I attending Sunday school. And I always tried to be (laughter)--I don't know. I was secretary of the Sunday school in growing up. I've always wanted to, I guess, be a secretary. Even when I learned the fur industry, I worked for a man and became the secretary in his, on his job. I don't--all I know that I was a, it was a must that we would--my sister and I would go to, go to Sunday school [phone ringing] and stay for church. My life is not, is not so, so much that was going on, I guess, because my parents were very strict (chuckle).$$Okay, well, give us some idea. Now, this is a historical interview, you know. And so what we're trying to, you know, you're 102 years old now.$$Yes.$$And the things that happened to you when you were a little girl are not happening to little girls and boys now, not the--some of the same things are. But it looked a lot different in Birmingham than it does in New York [New York City, New York]. It smelled a lot different and probably is a lot different. So, if you can tell us what the difference is, that would be instructive.$$The difference is that the children didn't run around on the streets as they do here in New York. They were very strict. You had to be home at a certain time. When you went to school--well, my parents would tell me, when she would send me some place, "Don't stop for nobody. You come straight home." I have a scar in my head now. She had sent my sister and I on an errand. This is in Birmingham. And there were, you know, they were prejudiced. And this Negro girl--of course, you know, they didn't call 'em Negroes, they called 'em black, was playing with these white people. And we called them white trash. So we didn't pick up the ball. They started throwing rocks, and one of them hit me the back of my head. And, of course, the doctors said had it been a little bit lower, it would have broken my neck. Now, that's one of the incidents. As I said before, when my mother sent us a place, we dare not stop. Come straight home, and I remember one of the (chuckle), one of the things--I didn't know no better. I was in school. I believe I was in high school. And one of the girls says, come on, we're going to the show. I'd never been to the show in my life. And I did not know that it was going to be dark when we came out. And when we came out of the show, it was dark. And my mother was working. "Where have you been?" I didn't know anything to say but I was kept in school. My father was working in Texas at that time. And when my father came home, my mother told him that. And they called the teacher and she told them she did not keep me in school. And I remember the only beating that I ever got from my father on my neck and back, is I said to them now, if that happened now, my parents would have been arrested because you are not allowed to beat your children. But that's one of the incidents, and I never, I never--I'm very careful about how, what I say because I didn't wanna lie about anything. That was--that taught me a lesson. I try to be as truthful as I can.$Tell me about your work with the veterans--$$With the what?$$With the veterans, with the--what kind of things would you do to volunteer to help the veterans [with American War Mothers]?$$Volunteer work?$$Yes, ma'am.$$Really, it actually would be anything that they asked me to do, the nurses would ask me to do. I fed patients. I saw that they had ice water beside their beds, and you write letters. And at one time I was down in, in--I don't know what called, a room, making--you see them--when the doctors get ready for the operation, you have those big pants on them with all the things that they to work with, wrapped. I did that. That's when--one of the rooms that they did work like that. But on the ward, that's what I did was, I fed the patients, saw that they had water, maybe take them to, for a walk up and down the hall, whatever they asked me to do, that's what I would do.$$Okay, so you did a lot of volunteer work. I see you have some awards from the City and some awards from the church and--(simultaneous)--$$I have five thousand hours of volunteer work in the veterans' hospital. It's really over five thousand. I was trying her to bring the pin to show you. I don't (unclear), they--I don't know where she is, but I told her to get it so you could see it.$$Well, that's all right. We can see afterwards. But, now, tell me, now, you did all this volunteer work, what did you do for recreation? What did you do for fun? What did you like to do?$$What did I like to do?$$Yes, ma'am.$$I joined the bowlers after I moved in over here [Jamaica, New York], from my house. I sold my house and I came to this apartment. And I joined the bowlers. You see some of my trophies up there.$$Yes, right, yeah.$$I was an old bowler. But I loved it. It was something. And another thing that I loved, I said before, I--at that time, I had a voice. I loved to sing, but I don't have a voice now.$$Well, what--did you have a favorite song?$$Favorite song?$$Um-hum.$$"If I can help somebody as I pass through, my living will not be in vain."

Alexine Jackson

Alexine Clement Jackson is active in volunteerism and community service for the African American community. Jackson was born in Sumter, South Carolina, on June 10, 1936. Jackson's mother, Josephine Clement, was active in North Carolina politics and business and volunteered her time to a number of civic organizations. Her father, William A. Clement, was an insurance executive who devoted great amounts of time to civic and fraternal organizations. Jackson earned her B.A. from Spelman College in Atlanta and an M.A. in speech pathology and audiology from the University of Iowa.

Jackson has devoted her life to civic organizations. She is the former national president of the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and in that capacity she traveled to the Middle East as part of a fact-finding mission in 1996. Jackson led the American delegation to the 1999 World YWCA Council in Cairo and was a delegate in the 1995 Council in South Korea. Prior to that, she had been chosen as a development education consultant by the YWCA to explore issues relating to women in poverty, and traveled to the Philippines, Mexico and Kenya, as well as participating in the International Learning Center in Hawaii. The Taiwanese Minister of Foreign Affairs invited Jackson, along with six other leaders of women's organizations, to visit the country in 1985 and speak to different groups.

After a fifteen-year battle with breast cancer, Jackson served on the board of the Cancer Research Foundation of America and was the chairperson of the Intercultural Cancer Council, where she focused her energies on minority cancer education and prevention. In 2009, Jackson became the chair of the board of directors for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. With more than twenty-five years of work in civic organizations, Jackson has garnered numerous awards for her work. She has been awarded the 2001 Community Service Award by the Black Women's Agenda, the Woman of Courage and Distinction Award by the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, and was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine. Her husband, Aaron, is the chief of the Division of Urology at Howard University Hospital.

Accession Number

A2003.156

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/15/2003

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Clement

Schools

David T. Howard High School

Oglethorpe Elementary School

Whitted Elementary School

Hillside High School

Spelman College

University of Iowa

First Name

Alexine

Birth City, State, Country

Sumter

HM ID

JAC08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

6/10/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Indian Food

Short Description

Civic volunteer and foundation chief executive Alexine Jackson (1936 - ) is a former YWCA national president. After a fifteen-year battle with breast cancer, Jackson served on the board of the Cancer Research Foundation of America and was the chairperson of the Intercultural Cancer Council.

Favorite Color

Black, Jewel Tones

Timing Pairs
0,0:5138,97:5878,109:6322,115:7358,128:8542,148:10244,181:10540,186:11206,196:12982,232:13278,237:13944,247:17340,259:17628,264:18420,278:18924,286:19284,292:20220,308:23388,372:23748,378:24396,398:24756,404:25332,413:28068,460:28572,469:30012,491:30660,501:31884,521:32964,541:33612,556:34332,584:39291,598:39753,605:40292,613:43295,690:45220,720:48377,779:53286,825:53874,833:55554,864:56058,871:56394,876:57150,886:58158,901:58914,912:59502,920:62190,963:63282,984:63954,996:67766,1016:68686,1029:69882,1046:80095,1169:80865,1183:81173,1188:81481,1193:83098,1231:83483,1237:83791,1242:85023,1269:85562,1278:87718,1320:88719,1335:93740,1383:94084,1388:94772,1398:95546,1410:97524,1443:101910,1529:102684,1542:103200,1548:108966,1613:109390,1619$0,0:6794,208:7584,222:7900,227:8216,232:9796,272:10191,279:11297,298:12008,326:12482,333:13746,350:14299,361:14773,369:15168,375:15563,381:16037,390:17064,409:17617,417:18486,435:21725,491:30012,517:30792,528:32196,548:37032,625:38046,643:39450,677:39996,685:41010,705:41322,710:43662,745:44208,753:56883,887:57499,896:58038,904:59886,951:60502,960:61118,971:61426,977:62196,989:62889,1000:63505,1039:71051,1218:71359,1223:81302,1301:82764,1347:87408,1422:89128,1454:89988,1465:91622,1488:92052,1494:92482,1504:94632,1527:100960,1562:101416,1568:102252,1577:102784,1586:103088,1591:103392,1596:104912,1622:105368,1628:107572,1668:107952,1674:109548,1733:110232,1744:111752,1789:115172,1881:115552,1887:125768,2023:126096,2028:126588,2036:130688,2113:135120,2151:135840,2163:140720,2236:141040,2241:148260,2305:149060,2314:151760,2346:152960,2361:153560,2368:156060,2405:160290,2434
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alexine Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about her maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson talks about her paternal great-grandfather, Rufus A. Clement, who donated land to build a school in Cleveland, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson talks about her paternal grandfather and the Presbyterian faith in her paternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson talks about the history of her paternal family's employment at the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson describes her parents' personalities and their civic engagement in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes segregation and the African American business community in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson describes her maternal family in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alexine Jackson describes her maternal family in Atlanta, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Alexine Jackson explains how she skipped a grade in elementary school when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson lists the schools she attended in Atlanta, Georgia and Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson describes the activities she enjoyed as a child in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson describes the type of student she was at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina and at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson describes influential teachers and reflects upon the positiveeffects of segregation

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon the limitations of her experience growing up in Durham, North Carolina during the Jim Crow Era

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson describes the activities she participated in and her social experience at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson lists the presidents of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia from 1953 through the 2003

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes memorable professors from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson talks about graduating from college, earning a master's degree and then starting a family

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson talks about the birth of her first children in 1959 and moving to Greenwood, Mississippi in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson describes the town of Greenwood, Mississippi where she moved with her husband in 1963

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about giving birth to two of her children in Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about starting a daycare center in Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson describes the tactics used in Greenwood, Mississippi to intimidate African American voters during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson talks about her husband's medical career in Greenwood, Mississippi and his urology residency at the University of Iowa in Iowa City

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson compares and contrasts her experiences living in Iowa City, Iowa and Greenwood, Mississippi

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson talks about her social life in Iowa City, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson explains how her husband became chief of the Division of Urology at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson explains her involvement in the YWCA and her family's history of involvement in the organization

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson talks about her work with the Intercultural Cancer Council and the disparities in cancer rates within minority communities

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson explains the early history of YWCA USA

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about HistoryMaker Dorothy Height and YWCA USA's one imperative of eliminating racism

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson talks about the aspect of YWCA USA's mission that promotes the empowerment of women's leadership

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson talks about the economic status of women in corporations and female entrepreneurs

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson describes the worldwide disparity in women's access to economic resources

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson talks about the efforts of international organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World YWCA to educate women

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alexine Jackson describes the purpose of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and the problems facing day laborers

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alexine Jackson describes the many civic and non-profit organizations in which she is involved

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alexine Jackson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her racial identity, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her racial identity, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alexine Jackson talks about volunteerism and philanthropy in the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alexine Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alexine Jackson considers what she would do differently in her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alexine Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alexine Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alexine Jackson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

6$9

DATitle
Alexine Jackson talks about the history of her paternal family's employment at the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company
Alexine Jackson explains her involvement in the YWCA and her family's history of involvement in the organization
Transcript
When was your father [William Clement] born and--$$My father was born in 1912 and he was born in Charleston, South Carolina. My grandfather was, he worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, now, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company for many years was the largest black business in the country. It's headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. And in those early years, in the early founding years when they were beginning to build up the company, they had districts in different cities. And so, my grandfather was the manager of the Charleston [South Carolina] district. My father started working for North Carolina Mutual [Life Insurance Company] in the summers of college. And he continued to work at North Carolina Mutual and retired after fifty-some years there as executive vice-president. His brother also worked for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company as the manager of several districts in the--around the country. So, that was sort of the family, the family pattern. My father had a sister who was a teacher and lived in Baltimore [Maryland], married, and moved to Baltimore. But my grandparents lived in Charleston. And when we moved away from Charleston, I lived in Charleston the first five years of my life, and then after my father married again, he was then, he was transferred to Atlanta [Georgia]. And we lived in Atlanta for five years and then he was promoted and we moved to Durham, which was the headquarters--became an officer of the company, and so I really say I'm from Durham, North Carolina--$$Okay.$$--'cause they lived there for more than fifty years.$A lot of things to get involved in Washington [D.C.].$$Oh, yeah, yeah.$$You're--this is basically your career (simultaneous)--$$This is my--this is true, that's true.$$Volunteer, super volunteer, and--$$Yep, that's true. It's been since here, you know, I always say it's been a privilege. And my husband [Aaron Jackson] has always encouraged to do this. And when we first moved here, he said, you know, we decided that a lot of the social things that we would do, we would do through our charitable, you know, our charitable giving. And I did, once the kids were about--my youngest was maybe third or fourth grade and in school all day, I started getting more involved. I started getting involved in arts organizations. And then I started getting involved with the YWCA [USA] here. And, you know, ultimately through, with, through that path, I became president of the YWCA of the National Capital region [sic, area]. Then I was elected to the national board, and then, ultimately, became the National President of the--we call the president, now we call the Chair of the Board [of Directors] for the national organization.$$Now, now, your, your family has a long history with the YWCA (simultaneous)?$$Yes, it does actually. Both my grandparents were--my grandmothers were both involved. My grandmother Dobbs [Ophelia Thompson Dobbs] in Atlanta [Georgia] was in, in those times, the YWCAs were segregated in the South. But even at that, those segregated facilities gave women, black women, an opportunity to develop leadership. And my grandmother in South Carolina also was very much involved with the YWCA in South Carolina. So I always used to say, I'm third generation. And my mother [Josephine Dobbs Clement], too, because my mother in Durham [North Carolina] was on the board of the segregated YWCA. And then when the integration came about, she was one of the first members of the integrated board of the YWCA. And she always had me involved in the teen activities, Y-Teen [Y-Teens Youth Program] and that kind of thing. So I kind of--it was natural when I was asked to, to be a part of it that I, you know, that I join. And I have to say that I, I always attribute any leadership qualities that I've gained had come through my activities with the YWCA. And it's been a wonderful personal experience for me. Much of the travel and the people that I've met has really enriched my life through that experience.

Dorothy Runner

Civic volunteer Dorothy Runner was born on May 6, 1920, in Nitro, West Virginia; she attended segregated Dunbar Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia. Runner was an active member of the B-Squares girls service club in a high school, where a significant number of teachers had graduate degrees from Columbia University. Runner graduated from Henry Highland Garnet High School in 1937; that same year, she entered Howard University. While at Howard, Runner joined Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and was elected Ms. Gridiron. Runner was mentored by Howard's noted theologian, civil rights activist and mystic, the Reverend Howard Thurman. Earning her B.A. degree in social work in 1941, Runner went on to pursue graduate study at the University of Chicago under the guidance of Robert Hess.

While in Chicago, Runner met and married Dr. Charles Runner; she then worked briefly at Provident Hospital before beginning to raise a family. In 1951, Runner moved to Germany where her husband was stationed as an Army physician. While raising her two daughters, Runner's parental activities led her to heightened civic involvement. Active as a member of the AKA's, the Girlfriends, and other women's organizations. Runner developed her friends and associates into a useful network for social change.

Runner served as a board member of the Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Urban Gateways; through her participation as a member of the New Provident Foundation, she raised $100,000 for Provident Hospital's Building Fund. Runner received the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 1985. Runner was a founding member of the South Side Auxiliary of Planned Parenthood and helped establish the 63rd Street Outpatient Clinic; she was also a founding member the Hyde Park\Kenwood Auxiliary of the Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society. As a member of the board of advisers of the Museum of Science and Industry's annual Black Creativity Exhibit, Runner continued to be a valuable contributor to the community.

Accession Number

A2003.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/17/2003

Last Name

Runner

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Walker

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Dunbar Elementary School

Dunbar Primary School

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Nitro

HM ID

RUN01

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/6/1920

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beef, Vegetables, Fish, Chicken

Death Date

7/17/2010

Short Description

Civic volunteer Dorothy Runner (1920 - 2010 ) was an organizer for women's and health issues. Runner was a founding member of the South Side Auxiliary of Planned Parenthood and helped establish the 63rd Street Outpatient Clinic.

Employment

Provident Hospital

Favorite Color

Bright Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Runner Interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Runner's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Runner details her family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Runner discusses her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Runner remembers a racist incident in her youth

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Runner gives more information about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Runner shares her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Runner reflects upon her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Runner details the strong neighborhood bonds of Charleston, West Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Runner recalls a Jim Crow experience on the train

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Runner remembers her elementary school days

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Runner discusses the impact of neighborhood segregation on education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Runner recalls her involvement in school and church activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Runner recalls a high school mentor

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Runner discusses Dr. Howard Thurman's guidance in her life

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Runner describes the racism she experienced at the University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dorothy Runner reflects upon a childhood study she conducted at University of Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dorothy Runner discusses her involvement with several organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Runner talks about how she met her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Runner recalls her daughters' early educational experiences and later success

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Runner discusses her involvement in various Chicago organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Runner describes her interest and involvement in the arts

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Runner details her concerns for black urban youth in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Runner shares the role of religion in her life and in the community

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Runner discusses her relationship with the Illinois Humane Society

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Runner explains parental involvement and its influence in early childhood education

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Runner offers her opinion on corporal punishment of children

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Runner shares her methodology for avoiding child abuse

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Runner shares her hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Runner discusses the Black Creativy program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Runner reveals she isn't much of a politician

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Runner contemplates her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Runner considers how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and husband Charles Runner, wedding day, 1945

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and members of the Urban Gateways, ca. 2001

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Dorothy Runner, John Hope Franklin and others

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and husband Charles Runner

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and members of The Girlfriends, 2003

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and members of the Girlfriends, ca. 2000

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Ann Collins and unnamed officers of The Girlfriends

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's mother Lillian Walker, ca. 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Photo - Ricardo Millett's daughter Maya and unidentified woman

Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Photo - Anne Steptoe and Hanna Gillespie

Tape: 4 Story: 17 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and unidentified group of women

Tape: 4 Story: 18 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's husband Charles Runner

Tape: 4 Story: 19 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and Margaritte Hodge, Germany, ca. 1953-1954

Tape: 4 Story: 20 - Photo - Portrait of Dorothy Runner

Tape: 4 Story: 21 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and her daughter boarding an airplane, ca. 1950s

Tape: 4 Story: 22 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and members of the regional office of Soc. Serv. Mental Hygene, Chicago, Illinois 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 23 - Photo - Dorothy Runner and unidentified girl

Tape: 4 Story: 24 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's friend Veonas Bera

Tape: 4 Story: 25 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's parents Hobert and Lillian Walker

Tape: 4 Story: 26 - Photo - Alvin Ailey dancer Denise Jefferson

Tape: 4 Story: 27 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's daughter, Dr. Susan Runner

Tape: 4 Story: 28 - Photo - Dorothy Runner's grandson Benjamin

Tape: 4 Story: 29 - Photo - Dorothy Runner

Tape: 4 Story: 30 - Photo - Collage of Dorothy Runner and other Northeasterners

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Dorothy Runner recalls a Jim Crow experience on the train
Dorothy Runner discusses her involvement in various Chicago organizations
Transcript
But during the winter, I'm, we were in school all the time. I could sit in the, in the--I do remember when I was in high school that I had to go on the streetcars, they called it then, to [Henry Highland] Garnet High School [Charleston. West Virginia]. And that was a long way, which I suppose at my age, going to high school, that might not have been so good at that time. But I never had any problems. I never realized that until, one time decided to take the train from, take the train to--from Howard [University, Washington, D.C.] , I think it was, to West Virginia. And I felt, I got into the train and I was seated, and a black curtain fell down in front of my face when I got to Virginia because of segregation.$$They actually dropped a curtain?$$Oh, yes. A big black curtain came down to separate you. And when, you know the thing happened to Rosa Parks [civil rights pioneer], is when she wouldn't get seated, I said, oh, my goodness. But interestingly enough, the next time I took that train, I didn't sit down. I just walked the aisle. And the porters on the train encouraged me but I never was ever hurt or anybody ever said anything to me.$Now, tell me about some of your activities, because you've had, an extensive, I guess, an extensive list of volunteer activities that you've been involved with.$$Well, I'm, on the Board of Trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago [Illinois]. And I'm on the Women's Board of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am on the Board of Directors of Urban Gateways of Chicago [youth art education foundation]. And this Holy Family Lutheran School [Chicago, Illinois] that I work with. I'm on the Vesting Committee of the School of Social Work where I graduated from at the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois]. And I wrote them all down too. My husband [Charles Runner] is on the Lyric Opera [of Chicago] Board of Trustees. And we're very much interested in things that they're doing in terms of outreach. But the thing that is so exciting I think, is the kind of thing that I have been doing with black creativity at the Museum of Science and Industry [Chicago, Illinois], where we try to--I'm on that advisory board. And what we do is to be sure that, that the public is aware of the contributions that blacks have made in science. And now some of the larger museums have taken on an outreach program, which they had never did before, when I first came to Chicago. And just recently they had one of the most outstanding programs of, which is very similar to what we did at the Museum of Science and Industry, where the contributions of black Americans in the arts. And my husband and I are very much interested in the arts too.