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Hattie B. Dorsey

Founder and former president of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), Hattie Beleatha Dorsey was born the eldest of eleven children on May 31, 1939 in Teachey, North Carolina. When Dorsey was an adolescent, her family moved to New York City where she attended Charles Evan Hughes High School. As a high school student, Dorsey took courses in fashion design and interior design. The Dorsey Family moved to Atlanta where she attended David T. Howard High School. Her father was the residing pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Atlanta and chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Operation Bread Basket. She is a first cousin to the father of gospel music great Thomas A. Dorsey.

After attending Spelman College, Dorsey transferred to Clark Atlanta University. In 1964, Dorsey graduated from Clark Atlanta University with her B.S. degree in secretarial science. Dorsey performed secretarial work for various companies, until she became an administrative assistant for the National Urban League. Dorsey continued her civil rights work by working on the NAACP’s legal defense team throughout the 1970s and 1980s, helping to bring landmark legal suits against those who practiced housing discrimination. Dorsey worked for Stanford Mid - Peninsula Urban Coalition on Affordable Housing in San Francisco, California before becoming director of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership.

As president of ANDP, Dorsey worked to solidify Metro Atlanta neighborhoods and community development corporations. Under Dorsey’s leadership, issues related to public housing became a regional priority. A larger part of Dorsey’s success as ANDP’s president resided in her ability to develop financial resources from all sectors – private, public and philanthropic. In 1995, ANDP launched a $16 million capital campaign to accelerate housing construction and innovation in preparation for the Olympic Games.

Dorsey has received many awards and honors including the 2005 Spelman College Local Community Service Award; Atlanta Woman magazine’s nominee for Woman of the Year; Georgia Trend magazine’s “2004 Notable Georgians”; 2001 Honoree of Women Looking Ahead; 2003 Inductee into the Atlanta Business League’s Women Hall of Fame; The Georgia Black Caucus Grace Towns Hamilton Leadership Award; and the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Golden Glasses Award.

Dorsey and her daughter, Victoria “Michelle,” live in Atlanta.

Dorsey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 13, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.259

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/13/2007

Last Name

Dorsey

Maker Category
Middle Name

B.

Schools

Ps 26 Jesse Owens School

Bayard Rustin Education Complex

David T. Howard High School

Charity Middle

Spelman College

Clark Atlanta University

First Name

Hattie

Birth City, State, Country

Teachey

HM ID

DOR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

5/31/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Civil rights activist and community development executive Hattie B. Dorsey (1939 - ) is the former president of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. As president, she worked to solidify Metro Atlanta neighborhoods and community development corporations.

Employment

U.S. Department of the Interior

U.S. Congress

National Urban League

Model Cities

City of Atlanta

Cannonlene Company

Stanford Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Voter Education Project

Atlanta Economic Development Corporation

Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

Favorite Color

Blue, Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Hattie B. Dorsey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of visiting her family in rural North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her white heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her father, Rev. Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about music in her family, and her first cousin once-removed, gospel singer Thomas A. Dorsey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her father, the Reverend Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls being hospitalized at the Roslyn, New York Home for Cardiac Children from 1949 to 1951

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her childhood illness and the treatment she received at the Roslyn, New York Home for Cardiac Children

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls her family and home life in 1940s Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey lists her ten siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her neighborhood growing up in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her elementary school years at P.S. 26 in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes attending P.S. 26 in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls her mother's strict discipline

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her classes at P.S. 26 in Brooklyn, New York, and her interest in sewing

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her favorite books as a child, and her decision to attend Straubenmuller Textile High School (later Bayard Rustin Educational Complex) for fashion and interior design

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about moving from Brooklyn, New York to Teachey, North Carolina at age fifteen

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes attending Charity High School in Rose Hill, North Carolina until her father, the Reverend E.H. Dorsey, moved the family to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about moving to Atlanta, Georgia and attending David T. Howard High School there

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls her friends and extracurricular interests at David T. Howard High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey recounts her decision to attend Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, then to transfer to Clark College (now Clark-Atlanta University)

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes attending Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) in Atlanta, Georgia from 1958 to 1962

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey explains her father, the Reverend Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey's role in the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes the Atlanta, Georgia home of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s family

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about the Atlanta, Georgia chapter of Operation Breadbasket, headed by her father, the Reverend Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about marrying her first husband, Samuel Thomas, and moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes her first job as an administrative assistant at the U.S. Department of the Interior

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about working for Representative Charles L. Weltner (D-Georgia)

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes working for the National Urban League in Washington, D.C. with HistoryMakers Sterling Tucker and John E. Jacob

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about returning to Atlanta, Georgia after her 1968 divorce, working for the federal Model Cities Program and then for Mayor Ivan Allen

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes working for Atlanta, Georgia mayor Ivan Allen after the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 assassination

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about moving to Oakland, California in 1971 to work for the Urban League, then the Stanford, California Urban Coalition; and marrying James Harlow

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes working for the Stanford, California Urban Coalition

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey recounts her fundraising work as the Stanford, California Urban Coalition's Director of Resource Development

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes the Stanford, California Urban Coalition's education and training programs, and its independence from federal funding

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about working for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in New York City and adopting her daughter Michelle

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her friendships with HistoryMakers Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Julian Bond, and Xernona Clayton; and Atlanta, Georgia mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Hattie B. Dorsey describes working at the Atlanta Economic Development Corporation in Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about founding the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership in Georgia

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Hattie B. Dorsey lists some of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership's projects

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Hattie B. Dorsey recalls the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, and the role of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Hattie B. Dorsey explains the benefits of mixed-income urban communities, and the need for affordable housing

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Hattie B. Dorsey reflects upon the communities her Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership has strengthened, and the challenges they face

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Hattie B. Dorsey reflects upon her legacy, and what she would like to tell future generations

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Hattie B. Dorsey talks about her involvement with 100 Black Women in America and her hopes for HistoryMaker Barack Obama

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Hattie B. Dorsey narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

3$3

DATitle
Hattie B. Dorsey explains her father, the Reverend Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey's role in the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia
Hattie B. Dorsey talks about founding the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership in Georgia
Transcript
Now the Civil Rights Movement was heating up during this time. Were you involved in any of the activities as a student?$$Observation for the most part, my father [Edward Henry "E.H." Dorsey] was very involved. He was friends with the King family. In fact if you ever passed the Historic Center, you would see the house with the family, you know was where the Kings grew up and I use to have dinner in that house, so you know and I taught Sunday school at Ebenezer [Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia] for Mrs. King.$$Okay well tell me about some of those times.$$Daddy was like involved in the Civil Rights Movement, he was the first Chair of Operation Breadbasket which was the predecessor to [HM Jesse L. Jackson's] Operation PUSH and all, but he and, and because Daddy King [the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr.] was instrumental in bringing him back, my father mentored A.D. [Alfred Daniel Williams King] 'cause he was at Morehouse [College, Atlanta, Georgia] and Daddy was taking some refresher courses at Morehouse so Cameron Alexander, Reverend A.D. King and Carl Moncrieff were young ministers going to school there. So Daddy mentored that, Daddy was a, known as one of the few people that could manage A.D. because A.D. had a, a drinking problem and so Daddy was like the person that could, you know if A.D. was acting up or whatever, Daddy was sent to help him. He was very instrumental in, in like starting up Head Start programs and stuff here in Atlanta. He believed in buying property to house members of his congregation who you know couldn't afford to live in other places. So Daddy was, as, as I look back at some of my, the stuff that sort of changed my way of thinking, was that daddy had a profound impact without knowing it on what I do today or what I did in my profession. I would have to go to church, you know, pastor's daughter, you had to go to church. I went to church and I would put on big hats and sit in the back, you know getting over Saturday night (laughter). So but I was absorbing what was happening in high school you know, and I don't know but I was absorbing what was happening in high school and not in high school but in, what my father was doing during Civil Rights, the marches, the saying to your congregation, "You're gonna wear last Easter's hats 'cause we're gonna boycott Richard's Department Store. We can't eat at their counters, we can't shop. We can't try on clothes in their dressing rooms, we can't buy". So he basically stopped a whole lot of stuff you know with reference to his congregation.$All right and you began that organization [the AEDC Neighborhood Development Department] in what year, '91 [1991]?$$That operated under the umbrella of AEDC [Atlanta Economic Development Corporation], the Neighborhood Development [Department]. Maynard Jackson came on board as the mayor again and he felt AEDC should be a pure economic arm and housing had no role there. Now we argued about housing being a part of the economic drivers, as we all see the economy is in a mess because of our housing issues, but at any rate, we argued about that, and so I had a grant from the Ford Foundation to begin the community development corporation movement in Atlanta [Georgia]. So I went to them, I said what do you think about my spinning out? And so we spun out and formed the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. The best move possible, 'cause AEDC was quasi-public and had public funds, and never had done any fundraising until I came on board, and so with me having worked for a foundation, having worked with the private sector, raising money from a corporate network, knew how to raise money, and so nobody believed that this could happen. So I formed ANDP, and I think in their minds they probably said, "Whew, that'll be gone in a year you know. She can't survive, they're not gonna respond". But it was untapped resources, and so again you remember the lessons learned, the storehouse, pulled that forward and I started a capital campaign just like you would if you were building you know a monument or whatever. I started a formal campaign, and raised, and I would say from that point to this almost a hundred million dollars in investment loans and grants over the period of time that I headed up ANDP.$$And what period of time was that?$$We formed it in 1991, that was the birth date even though the activities before--was before that until I retired last year in 2006 at the end of the year.