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Marcheta Evans

Academic administrator Marcheta Evans was born on July 10, 1959 in Mobile, Alabama to Sylvia Porter and James Luter. She graduated from H.D. Woodson High School in Washington, D.C. in 1976 and attended Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama and received her B.S. in psychology with a minor in history, a M.A. degree in rehabilitation counseling and her Ph.D. degree from the University of Alabama and M.A.Ed. degree in elementary education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

Evans joined the faculty at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama in 1993 and worked there until 1998, at which point she joined the University of Texas System. A year later, she became the program coordinator and graduate advisor for the counseling program at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). In 2002, she founded the Women’s Resource Center at UTSA; and, in 2004, she was named chair of the counseling, educational psychology and adult and higher education department. During her time at UTSA, Evans contributed to the response to Hurricane Katrina and co-led an annual student re-enactment of the Freedom Rides. In 2008, she became provost fellow for the UT system. In 2013, Evans was appointed dean of the School of Professional Studies and the Worden School of Social Service at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She also began serving as vice president of academic affairs at the institution. After three years in these positions, Evans was promoted to the position of provost of Our Lady of the Lake University.

In 2009, Evans was elected as the fifty-ninth president of the American Counseling Association. She has consulted for organizations such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and has served on the development board for the Carver Community Cultural Center. Evans worked with USAID in Malawi and has served as a consultant for various United Way agencies focused on issues of diversity, inclusion and leadership. She has also chaired and served as a committee member of San Antonio’s MLK Scholarship Committee. In 2016, she was awarded the ACA Presidential Award from the American Counseling Association. Evans also served as past president of the Association for Creativity in Counseling, chair of the Carver Cultural Community Development Board, fellow for the American Counseling Association, and past president of the Alabama Counseling Association.

Marcheta Evans was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 9, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.131

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/9/2018

Last Name

Evans

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

University of Alabama

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Howard D. Woodson Senior High School

First Name

Marcheta

Birth City, State, Country

Mobile

HM ID

EVA10

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Attitude Determines Altitude.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

7/10/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Beef Enchiladas

Short Description

Academic administrator Marcheta Evans (1959- ) was selected provost of Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio in 2016. She also was the 59th president of the American Counseling Association.

Employment

Our Lady of the Lake University

UTSA

Auburn University - Montgomery

University of Alabama

Private Practice

Favorite Color

N/A

Vera Ricketts

Pharmacist and civic leader Vera Ricketts was born on October 20, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Sarah Chilton Phelps and Robert Phelps, Sr. There, Ricketts attended Hazel Hart Hendricks School 37 and Crispus Attucks High School where she graduated in 1941. She later went on to attend Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and graduated with her B.S. degree in pharmacology in 1948. As an undergraduate student, she was an active member of the Congress of Racial Equality.

Ricketts began her career as a pharmacist at Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1958, Ricketts became the first female African American pharmacist at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. During this period, she also helped establish the pharmacy at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, where she trained nurse practitioners in pharmacology. Ricketts eventually returned with her husband, William Newton Ricketts, to Washington, D.C., where she worked at the District of Columbia General Hospital pharmacy. In 1960, she and her husband moved to Los Angeles, California, where she worked as an administrator at his medical practice. An active community leader, Ricketts advocated for the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital in Los Angeles’ South Central neighborhood. Ricketts went on to serve as the president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association from 1981 to 1982.

In addition to her professional career, Ricketts was also active in other community organizations in the Los Angeles area. In 1979, Ricketts founded the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and she served as its chapter president from 1983 to 1985. Ricketts also founded the Theta Mu Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Through her membership in the sorority, she volunteered on the board of the Jenesse Center, Inc., a shelter for battered women and children in Los Angeles. In 2017, Ricketts and her husband, William Newton Ricketts, received recognition for their thirty plus years of humanitarian work in Jamaica.

Ricketts and her husband have four daughters: Verlie Ricketts Lockings, Renee Ricketts, Victoria Ricketts Wilson and Wendy Ricketts Greene.

Vera Ricketts was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 23, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.143

Sex

Female

Interview Date

07/23/2017

Last Name

Ricketts

Maker Category
Schools

Hazel Hart Hendricks School 37

Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School

Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

First Name

Vera

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

RIC21

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

Give something back to the community.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

10/20/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Oats, Raisins and Dates

Short Description

Pharmacist and civic leader Vera Ricketts (1922 - ) worked at Howard University Hospital and Duke University Hospital. She also served as president of the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and was a founding member of the graduate chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Employment

Howard University Hospital; Freedmen's Hospital

Duke University Hospital

D.C. General Hospital

Favorite Color

Yellow

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Vera Ricketts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts talks about her parents' move from Clarksville, Tennessee to Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts recalls her early interest in science

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts remembers attending Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts talks about her early racial experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts remembers the everyday amenities of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Vera Ricketts remembers her early career aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Vera Ricketts recalls attending the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Vera Ricketts remembers her challenges at the Indianapolis College of Pharmacy

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts remembers graduating from Indianapolis College of Pharmacy in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts describes her responsibilities as a pharmacist

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts recalls being rejected for a job in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts remembers meeting her husband, William Newton Ricketts

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts recalls working at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts talks about the birth of her daughters

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts recalls her coworkers' support at Duke University Hospital

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts remembers returning to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts recalls joining Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts remembers segregation in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts recalls her work at Lincoln Hospital in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts remembers moving to District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes the process for manufacturing saline solutions

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts talks about her administration work at her husband's medical practice

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts remembers advocating for the Martin Luther King Jr. General Hospital in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts talks about her organizational involvement in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts remembers the founding of the Los Angeles chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts recalls establishing a partnership between The Links, Incorporated and Jamaica, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts recalls establishing a partnership between The Links, Incorporated and Jamaica, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts remembers co-chartering the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Vera Ricketts talks about her public service activities

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Vera Ricketts describes the role of friendship in The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Vera Ricketts narrates her photographs

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Vera Ricketts describes her role as president of the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Vera Ricketts describes her daughter's careers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Vera Ricketts talks about her grandchildren

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Vera Ricketts describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Vera Ricketts shares her advice to aspiring pharmacists

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Vera Ricketts describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Vera Ricketts reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Vera Ricketts talks about her marriage to William Newton Ricketts

Regina Jollivette Frazier

Pharmacist Regina Jollivette Frazier was born on September 30, 1943, in Miami, Florida to pharmacist Cyrus Martin Jollivette, who founded Liberty City’s Community Drug Store in 1948, and teacher Frances Reeves Jollivette Chambers, the youngest daughter of The Miami Times founder Henry E. S. Reeves. Frazier graduated valedictorian from Northwestern Senior High School in 1961, Frazier received her B.S. degree in pharmacy from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1966, and her M.B.A. degree from the University of Miami in 1983.

In 1968, Frazier accepted a pharmacist position at Peoples Drug and the National Association of Retired Teachers & American Association of Retired Persons Drug Service. In 1970, she returned to Miami as senior pharmacist for the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. Three years later, Frazier was promoted to Director of Pharmacy, a position she held until she retired in 2007. As Director of Pharmacy, Frazier also served as a Preceptor for the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy as well as a Clinical Field Instructor for Florida A&M University’s College of Pharmacy.

Frazier served on numerous boards, including the United Way of Miami-Dade, New World School of the Arts, National Coalition on Black Voter Participation, the Commonwealth Institute, YWCA of Greater Miami-Dade, of which she is a life member, Miami-Dade County Addiction Services, University of Miami Medical Sciences Subcommittee for the Protection of Human Subjects, and Breakthrough Miami. She was also chairperson of the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, which awarded her the Thanks Badge, and the Miami-Dade County Zoning Appeals Board.

She joined The Links, Incorporated, in 1970, and served as National President from 1986 until 1990, and is the youngest person to hold the position. While National President, she chartered the organization’s first international chapter in Nassau, Bahamas. Frazier also holds membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Orange Bowl Committee, and the International Woman’s Forum.

Frazier was also active with the Association of Black Health-Systems Pharmacists, from which she received the Pharmacist of the Year award in 1990, the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, and the National Pharmaceutical Association.

Frazier received numerous recognitions, including Florida Memorial College’s Sarah A. Blocker Meritorious Community Service Award; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Beta Beta Lambda Chapter’s Distinguished Community Service Award; Women’s Committee of 100 Trail Blazer Award; Women in Communication’s Community Headliner Award; Bronze Medallion of The National Conference of Christians and Jews; Anti-Defamation League’s Woman of Achievement Award; In the Company of Women Award; United Way Starfish Award; Association of Black Health-System Pharmacists’ Meritorious Service Award; and Red Cross’s Sara Hopkins Woodruff Spectrum Award in Community Service.

She was also cited as one of Ebony magazine’s One Hundred Most Influential Black Americans from 1987 to 1990, and in 1988, as one of Dollars and Sense magazine’s selection of America’s Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women.

Frazier and her husband have three children: Ronald Eugene II, Robert Christophe, and Rozalynn Suzanne.

Regina Jollivette Frazier was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 8, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.049

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/08/2017

Last Name

Frazier

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jollivette

Occupation
Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School

Holy Redeemer Catholic School

Miami Northwestern Senior High School

University of Miami

Howard University

First Name

Regina

Birth City, State, Country

Miami

HM ID

FRA13

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Florida

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere International

Favorite Quote

Service Is The Price You Pay For The Space You Occupy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Florida

Birth Date

9/30/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Miami

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Pharmacist Regina Jollivette Frazier (1943 - ) worked at the University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics in the pharmacy department for thirty-seven years.

Employment

University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics

Peoples Drug

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Regina Jollivette Frazier's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Regina Jollivette Frazier lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her father's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Regina Jollivette Frazier lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her earliest memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about the National Conference of Christians and Jews

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her communities in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers her parents' protectiveness

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes the Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers travelling through the segregated South

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Regina Jollivette Frazier recalls her teachers at Miami Northwestern Senior High School in Miami, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Regina Jollivette Frazier recalls her interest in journalism

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers her maternal grandfather, Henry E.S. Reeves

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers her family's famous guests

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her decision to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about the activism on campus at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers the riots in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers her classmates at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her pharmacy internships

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers her professors at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her graduation from Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Regina Jollivette Frazier remembers joining the staff of the University of Miami Hospitals and Clinics

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her role as the pharmacy director of the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about drug theft prevention

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes the problems with pharmaceutical branding

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about the development of robotic prescriptions dispensary systems

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her responsibilities and colleagues

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her membership in The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her national presidency of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes 'Linkages and Legacies'

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her volunteer work

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her efforts to improve relations between police and the community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about the gentrification of Miami, Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her current volunteer activities

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Regina Jollivette Frazier reflects upon her career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Regina Jollivette Frazier reflects upon the challenges of a pharmacy career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Regina Jollivette Frazier reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her children

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Regina Jollivette Frazier describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Regina Jollivette Frazier narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

1$7

DATitle
Regina Jollivette Frazier describes her role as the pharmacy director of the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics
Regina Jollivette Frazier talks about her national presidency of The Links, Incorporated
Transcript
Okay, now what was your position when you came on in 1970?$$I was a staff pharmacist, I think. I'm saying I think because the university [University of Miami Hospital and Clinics, Miami, Florida] was terrific with titles you know. I think I went from staff pharmacist to senior pharmacist, from senior pharmacist to director of pharmacy and I guess I just wasn't creative enough over the years because at one time I opined to someone, I said, "Maybe if I change my title to grand exulted director of pharmacy, I could get more money."$$So you became--I have here that you became the director in '73 [1973], is that true?$$Yes.$$Okay.$$Right. I mean it was a big deal you know. The Miami Herald covered it. I was in my twenties and so.$$Okay. Okay. Well what were--what was the nature of what you had to do and, and--$$As director?$$Yeah, and the conditions that you worked in.$$Well, what I had to do was make sure the pharmacy [at National Children's Cardiac Hospital; UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, Florida] ran smoothly and that it met all of the legal requirements and that the drugs were there when they needed them. So it was, make it work.$$Okay so, so many people who are gonna be watching this have never been a pharmacist, can you just walk us through a typical day as a director of a big pharmacy like this for a hospital (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Well you know the thing is that every day is different. It was, when I started I was filling prescriptions when I--or drug orders. When I ended I hadn't been near filling an order in, in years so when I started the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [Joint Commission] was just a joint commission on accreditation of hospitals and they had one sheet of paper, I think eight and a half by eleven, that wasn't even covered with writing and those were the requirements for hospital pharmacies. When I left there was a book about this thick okay, on the requirements so that's why there was something different every day. I also had the opportunity to serve on the IRB, which is the board, it's the investigational review board [institutional review board] that reviews proposed protocols for the institution that are testing drugs for possible entry into the market. There were just all kinds of things that you did. You know there was designing the pharmacy, there was hiring the staff, monitoring the staff, just whatever, whatever it took.$$So this is a hospital pharmacy--$$Yes.$$--and so the people--$$It had a hospital and it had clinics and it was, it concentrated on cancer therapy after, after a few years.$$Okay. And so how do you best design that, you said part of your job is designing the facility right?$$Well, one of the ways you do that is by attending the mid-year clinical which is held every December. When I went to my first mid-year clinical, I think it was maybe the seventh one they had. There were about maybe twenty five hundred people there. Now, this year was the fifty-first. I stopped going after, after I retired and they probably had twenty, twenty-five thousand people there. So it's the largest meeting in the world and so you get to hear all these speakers. You get to see all these exhibits you know and you get to one of the most important thing for me was the review of the joint commission new requirements so that I was right there knowing exactly what they were going to, to be reviewing when they came by and I never had a problem ever.$Tell us about what are the activities of The Links [The Links, Incorporated] and, and, you know what, what, what did you do, what was your agenda during your term?$$My agenda was to make the, the chain of friendship that encircled the globe not only figurative but literal, and to that end I charted the first international chapter in Nassau, the Bahamas. Subsequently I charted a second international chapter in Frankfurt [Germany]. That did not survive because it was related to the [U.S.] military people who were stationed in Germany and when that ended, people started coming back to the United States and we could not sustain the chap- not we, they could not sustain the chapter there because it was, it was operative for I would say 1990, 2000 at least twenty years I think. And then I had the great pleasure of inducting Leontyne Price as an honorary member. And during my presidency we had four program facets. We now have five, but we had the arts, services to you, national transcend services and international transcend services and our programs are built around those. So we had a program called Project L.E.A.D. High Expectations in which we collaborated with other organizations, national organizations like Sigma Pi Phi, Boule, like Jack and Jill of America [Jack and Jill of America, Inc.] for example and this was to stop--encourage kids not to take drugs you know it was a, it had a just say no component to it and we ran a pilot in, I forget how many cities, and at the time that was the largest grant we had. It would--ended up being about three quarters of a million dollars so those were big programming funds in those days.$$So where did the grant money come from?$$I knew you were gonna ask me that. I wanna think it was NIDA, which is the National Institute for Drug Abuse [sic. National Institute on Drug Abuse] under NIH.$$Okay, National Institute of Health [sic. National Institutes of Health], right okay--$$Um-hm.$$--okay.$$And that program is still going today.$$Okay.$$We call it one of our signature programs.$$Okay. So, now you were--you're president from '86 [1986] until when?$$Ninety [1990].$$Okay. So it's a four year term?$$Yes. Well actually at that--things change, you know the more things change, the more they remain the same, at that time it was a two year term and then I was reelected.$$Okay so it's two, two year terms, okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Um-hm.

Jacqulyn Shropshire

Civic leader and non-profit executive Jacqulyn Shropshire was born on September 15, 1935 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the first member of her family to attend college, and graduated from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1957 with her B.S. degree in business and economics.

Upon graduation, Shropshire was hired by Trans World Airlines, where she became the company’s first African American employee in an administrative position. Shropshire then worked as a teacher in the Kansas City public school system until 1961, when she married Thomas B. Shropshire and moved to New York. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in education from Hunter College, and was hired as a teacher in the New York City public school system. Then, in 1968, Shropshire moved with her husband to Lagos, Nigeria, where she helped organize the first American Women’s Club, and also founded Fancy That, a newsletter for women.

In 1972, Shropshire’s family moved from Nigeria to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she began thirty years of service with the Milwaukee Urban League, first as a volunteer, and then as executive director. Shropshire also founded and served as president of Momentum Unlimited of Milwaukee, a firm specializing in management development, public relations and special event planning. In 2003, she organized and became board chairman of the Las Vegas Urban League, and, in 2012, she helped establish The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Shropshire has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Urban League, University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee); Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (YWCA); The Next Door Foundation; American Red Cross; National Endowment for the Arts Advisory Committee; Milwaukee Historical Society; Greater Milwaukee Convention and Visitors Bureau; African World Festival; Inner City Arts Council; The Curative Workshop of Milwaukee; the Joint Center of Political Studies in Washington, D.C.; and The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. She also organized the first African American debutante cotillion with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and was the first African American female corporate chairman of Wisconsin for the United Negro College Fund.

Shropshire has received numerous awards for her civic work, including the Caucus of African Americans Trailblazer Award; the Alpha Kappa Alpha Outstanding Contributions to the Black Family Award; the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (The Boulé) Judge William “Turk” Thompson Legacy Award; the Las Vegas–Clark County Black History Visionary Award; and the E-Vibe Phenomenal Woman Award. She was also named “A Woman of Excellence” by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation. In 2001, the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee passed a resolution naming a Jacqulyn C. Shropshire Family Literacy Center in Memphis, Tennessee at the Goodwill International School for Boys and Girls.

Jacqulyn Shropshire was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 25, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.349

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/25/2013

Last Name

Shropshire

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Schools

Lincoln University

Hunter College

Lincoln High School

Garrison School

First Name

Jacqulyn

Birth City, State, Country

Kansas City

HM ID

SHR01

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Favorite Quote

Lets Get It On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

9/15/1935

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Civic leader and non-profit executive Jacqulyn Shropshire (1935 - ) served as executive director of the Milwaukee Urban League. In Las Vegas, Nevada she founded the Las Vegas Urban League; and was a founding board member of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Employment

Trans World Airlines

Kansas City Public School System

New York City Public School System

Milwaukee Urban League

Fancy That

Momentum Unlimited of Milwaukee

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:1072,15:1502,21:2104,29:33422,455:36326,508:36678,513:39758,570:40550,584:47938,656:48503,663:53588,770:64130,1002:74470,1144:98114,1607:98758,1619:99126,1624:99494,1629:109795,1774:110175,1797:116934,1885:117206,1890:125170,2053:143850,2252$0,0:219,8:511,13:876,19:1168,24:1825,29:3504,122:5037,151:5475,159:5767,164:6205,171:6935,183:7227,188:7592,194:8103,204:8395,210:10512,253:12702,313:14454,346:20788,370:37266,644:48024,794:52782,881:53758,890:60397,1015:63718,1088:64042,1093:65338,1132:68092,1168:79522,1330:80208,1377:86578,1478:90400,1581:91408,1591:100978,1705:101386,1712:102406,1745:105598,1796:110235,1833:113306,1865:113894,1872:116834,1930:117520,1939:125948,2101:126536,2123:147229,2332:150389,2372:151416,2386:152838,2398:153154,2403:154418,2491:161774,2566:162348,2597:164316,2640:165628,2670:166366,2686:167514,2705:168170,2716:168498,2722:169154,2732:171286,2771:172106,2782:172680,2791:173254,2799:189408,2919:191214,2953:191730,2960:192074,2968:196308,3017:197302,3034:210680,3222:214268,3258:226050,3378
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jacqulyn Shropshire's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her maternal family's relation to Strom Thurmond, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers her neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire lists her aunts and brothers

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers visiting Cedartown, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers her church in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her family's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls her early exposure to the Urban League of Kansas City

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her community in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls being hired at Trans World Airlines in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shrosphire remembers her courtship with her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire reflects upon her experiences in Nigeria

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers the death of Whitney Young

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her husband's career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Lagos, Nigeria, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls joining the Milwaukee Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her work with the Milwaukee Urban League

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Debutante Cotillion

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her experiences in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her husband's relationship with Virgis Colbert

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers the founding of the African World Festival in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her children's education

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers moving to Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls the founding of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her donation to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her community in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her children

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her philanthropy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jacqulyn Shropshire describes her hopes and concerns for the black community in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jacqulyn Shropshire reflects upon her and her husband's legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about her maternal family's relation to Strom Thurmond, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jacqulyn Shropshire talks about Cedartown, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jacqulyn Shropshire narrates her photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

6$6

DATitle
Jacqulyn Shropshire remembers meeting her husband
Jacqulyn Shropshire recalls the founding of the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada
Transcript
You taught for maybe several years. Now how did you meet Tom [Thomas B. Shropshire]?$$Well Tom was traveling with Ebony Fashion Fair at the time with Miller Brewing Company and they always had a dress in the fair. I don't know you know, they always sponsored someone who had one of these beautiful dresses on. I had--I was teaching school [at Booker T. Washington School, Kansas City, Missouri], but Tom was ten years ahead of me and his classmate was also a friend of mine; we all taught together at the same school. So when they came in to do the f- Ebony Fashion Fair, I can't think of my girlfriend's name now, but she passed, she said, "Listen we have a friend coming in for the Fashion Fair. Would you like to go out with us?" So I said, "Oh, no, I gotta go home, work to do," and stuff like that. They said, "Oh, Jacquie [HistoryMaker Jacqulyn Shropshire] you need to get out. Come on, go to the Fashion Fair." So I went to the Fashion Fair, I saw Tom and just right away, you know our personalities just clicked. And we, Tom was (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Just right away?$$Well you know Tom had the kind of personality that you loved him or you hated him; there was nothing in between. But Tom had su- so much fun and then afterward we all went out to dinner and what have you. Now the other two girls are married. I'm not, so they said, "Well you know you and Tom should go to dinner or you and Tom should get to know each other," because they knew each other very well. So I say, "Oh yeah, okay." So I didn't think any more about it. Then the next thing I knew that Tom was calling and said that they would be in town and would I, would I have dinner with him. So I said okay, all right, I'll do that; and then I didn't hear from Tom for a long time. And at the time he was in Brooklyn [New York], you know, they were what they call paper hangers at that time, putting signs up. And you know, we just kind of communicated back and forth and back and forth; and then finally he was, he was going to I think Africa, or going someplace, Africa, so he sent my engagement ring through the mail. He asked me if I would marry him, and I said yes. And he sent my ring through the mail (laughter). I mean that, that's Tom.$Can you talk about your work with the Smith Center [Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Las Vegas, Nevada] 'cause I was very impre- you know, 'cause this is what you're starting to talk about that, you know, having Las Vegas [Nevada] establish a life outside of the Strip [Las Vegas Strip]?$$Um-hm.$$So tell me what, what the Smith Center is? Because--?$$Well when I first moved to Las Vegas, you know, I started the Urban League [Las Vegas Urban League] and we did all of that. And then once everything got started everything was fine, so finally Tommy [Thomas B. Shropshire, Jr.] or Teri [Terilyn Shropshire]--somebody said, "Give my mom something to do." Be sure she has something to do, so I knew that my mother [Bernice Thurman Goodwin] was a light opera singer and she never had the time or the place to sing, so--because Tommy's client was MGM, one of the guys who was involved with thinking about the Smith Center said okay we'll find something for her to do. So they came and they sat over here, and they said, "We want you to be on the board at the Smith Center and we're just starting it out, and we have--we don't have anything--we don't even have a plan yet. We're starting from scratch, but we want you to be involved." So I said okay, you know, I didn't have anything else to do. So we met constantly just talking about the Smith Center. Just thinking about what it's gonna look like and how it's gonna be built. I was with them from the architectural committee all the way through putting the last brick, and as a matter of fact, I have a picture of the last nail that went in over there. It gave me something to do. It gave me an outlet that I felt that we could do a lot of things that we didn't have to do on the Strip, that we could have entertainment, you know, that does not have to be inside of a casino; and there were a lot of things that we could do. So I was the only black and there were only two females on the architectural committee. So we, we have followed all the way through, from beginning to the end. And I'm very proud of that. That is one of the things that--a legacy that I'm very proud of.$$So, the chairman was Don Snyder [Donald Snyder]--$$Yeah.$$--right? And then there was Keith Boman, and Kim Sinatra, and Edward [ph.], and Jacobs [Gary Jacobs] and--so a whole host of people.$$They were on, they were on the architectural committee.$$They were on the architectural committee.$$Um-hm.$$I see, they weren't on the board?$$Not at that time.$$Okay.$$They're on the board now.$$Okay. I see. And then this name comes from--it's named in honor of Fred [Fred Smith] and Mary Smith, right?$$Um-hm.$$So you had to figure out as a group how to raise money, you know, where the money was gonna come from. In fact, I understand that you donated yourself a large sum of money, right?$$Yeah, we all agreed--and we knew going in how much money it was gonna cost. The people on the board--a lot of the people came in after it was built. But we had an architectural committee and we found it and we went out and we solicited people we knew who had money and was willing to put up enough for us build a cultural center and they did--I mean they came from every place. At first, we had--I think I was number sixteen if you see the wall, I'm number sixteen--that grew it into what it is. And now, you know, it speaks for itself.

Michelle Gadsden-Williams

Management executive Michelle Gadsden-Williams was born on May 21, 1969. She graduated summa cum laude with her B.S. degree in marketing and her B.A. degree in communications from Kean College in 1990. Gadsden-Williams later enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania and graduated with honors with her M.S. degree in organizational dynamics in 2006.

Gadsden-Williams served as a diversity practitioner for more than twenty years in pharmaceutical and financial services. She held positions of increasing responsibility in the diversity management and staffing functions at Merck & Company, Inc., including as senior university relations and diversity consultant, future-talent program and diversity manager, and manager of diversity programs. Gadsden-Williams also held positions in the human resources division and in product management at Philips-Van Heusen Corporation and Wakefern Food Corporation in New Jersey. In 2006, Gadsden-Williams became the first African American executive director of diversity and inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. She was later appointed as managing director and global head of diversity and inclusion and as a member of the Talent, Branding and Communications Management Committee at Credit Suisse AG based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Gadsden-Williams was appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council on Values for the World Economic Forum, and as a board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., a board member of the SLE Lupus Foundation in New York City, and an executive committee Member of the Women’s Leadership Board of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Gadsden-Williams has been profiled in Black Enterprise Magazine, Diversity Executive, Ebony, Essence, Fortune, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Gadsden-Williams is the recipient of a number of community service awards and accolades for her work as a diversity practitioner. She received Novartis’ Scientific Operations Business Excellence Award in 2004 and its Human Resources Excellence Award in 2003. In 2005, she was honored at the YWCA of Central New Jersey’s Tribute to Women in Industry Gala. She was the 2010 recipient of the Maya Way Award for Diversity Leadership from Dr. Maya Angelou, and has received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Kean University.

Michelle Gadsden-Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 13, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.185

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Gadsden-Williams

Maker Category
Schools

University of Pennsylvania

Kean University

James Madison Primary School

James Madison Intermediate School

John P. Stevens High School

Fashion Institute of Technology

First Name

Michelle

HM ID

GAD02

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Europe

Favorite Quote

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Required.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

5/21/1969

Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Pizza

Short Description

Management executive Michelle Gadsden-Williams (1969 - ) was the first African American executive director of diversity and inclusion at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Employment

Credit Suisse Group AG

Merck & Co.

Phillips Van Heusen

Wakefern Food Corporation

Novartis AG

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:2214,39:3526,72:4264,82:5658,102:6314,111:9026,123:9756,136:10413,148:11873,201:12457,210:13114,222:14793,257:15377,267:21801,373:22166,379:26952,395:27700,407:28040,414:28380,420:28652,425:28924,430:30352,452:32120,486:33004,500:33752,511:36336,558:36608,563:37016,570:39056,617:39600,626:40212,637:42252,724:42728,733:43272,742:47650,747:47906,752:48226,758:48738,768:48994,773:50530,781:51443,795:57556,975:62638,1136:63100,1144:63694,1158:65938,1200:66268,1206:66532,1211:67390,1225:68974,1252:69832,1267:70360,1279:71152,1294:71482,1300:71878,1309:72274,1319:72802,1328:80200,1379:83400,1453:87960,1531:88440,1539:90440,1582:90920,1590:101289,1741:103185,1768:108478,1897:109189,1907:113455,1978:115825,2035:128038,2147:130962,2191:131650,2201:133456,2230:134058,2238:137530,2254:141982,2293:144309,2306:144674,2312:145769,2327:149722,2351:150574,2364:154337,2447:156254,2481:156609,2487:157248,2499:157532,2504:161650,2584:167899,2619:168723,2628:169547,2654:180940,2796:183678,2849:184344,2859:184640,2864:184936,2869:189530,2953:198669,3159:210490,3322:211064,3336:211556,3344:213770,3375:214672,3393:216312,3414:216886,3422:218444,3444:228560,3576:228856,3581:229300,3589:230114,3602:231520,3631:233518,3655:234332,3671:235664,3694:236552,3709:237144,3719:239068,3759:239808,3770:240104,3775:243170,3783:243632,3791:245414,3824:246008,3834:246734,3845:247130,3852:247592,3861:248318,3877:248582,3882:248978,3890:249506,3899:249770,3904:253080,3944$0,0:790,14:1106,19:5056,82:5530,90:6399,115:7031,124:7742,135:9322,164:10981,195:11534,203:13272,237:13588,242:13904,247:21045,361:21693,370:24285,418:24933,428:25500,437:25986,445:26310,450:36594,558:39178,610:39790,622:40810,640:41762,655:42034,660:45162,725:50108,773:51010,786:53060,818:54208,833:54864,871:55848,887:62162,1024:62900,1034:63720,1045:65770,1079:68804,1124:69296,1131:70444,1147:78992,1160:80004,1174:80464,1180:81660,1197:82120,1205:85064,1247:85708,1259:88652,1301:89388,1310:89940,1317:93068,1361:93896,1371:94724,1382:98588,1471:99232,1479:99968,1488:100612,1495:102728,1523:103556,1533:105028,1552:108770,1604:109330,1612:110450,1640:111410,1653:112290,1667:112610,1672:112930,1677:113570,1686:115490,1726:115970,1734:119330,1821:120050,1832:120450,1838:121010,1846:129296,1943:129712,1948:130128,1953:130544,1958:134740,1993:135550,2004:138880,2044:139330,2050:139960,2058:140680,2068:141940,2099:142480,2107:142930,2113:143650,2122:146560,2145:149552,2239:150980,2272:151320,2278:152680,2306:153224,2315:153496,2320:153904,2327:154176,2332:157100,2392:157508,2399:160024,2447:160704,2459:161112,2466:161452,2472:168748,2559:169252,2567:169540,2572:170404,2587:170692,2592:171052,2598:171772,2617:172060,2622:173068,2643:173572,2654:174292,2666:175012,2677:176236,2702:176884,2714:181944,2765:182676,2780:183286,2792:184689,2834:184933,2839:185848,2856:186153,2862:186397,2867:186946,2883:187434,2892:187678,2900:188471,2915:191155,2998:191826,3010:193107,3039:193473,3046:195730,3101:195974,3106:199565,3127:199865,3132:200240,3138:201140,3168:203315,3200:204440,3227:205115,3237:206015,3254:206390,3260:207215,3274:207965,3286:210140,3344:210665,3353:212540,3385:221400,3463:222300,3509:223575,3530:224250,3540:225225,3557:227630,3572
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michelle Gadsden-Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her Gullah ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her paternal grandmother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her early household

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her neighborhood in Edison, New Jersey

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers a typical day in her early household

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her extracurricular activities at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her social life in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her childhood idols

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her experience at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her influences in college

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers her first retail positions

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her management training program at Wakefern Food Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls developing a diversity program at Wakefern Food Corporation

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers joining Merck and Co., Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls meeting her husband, David Williams, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls meeting her husband, David Williams, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her roles at Merck and Co., Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls joining Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about her mentors at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her accomplishments at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams remembers being recruited to Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her diversity work at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams shares her future plans at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams reflects upon her legacy in Corporate America

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams reflects upon the future of diversity work

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams talks about African American representation in diversity outreach

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls her diagnosis with systemic lupus erythematosus

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her husband's support through her illness

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband describes how they met

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about his family background

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband recalls his career at AT&T Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about his support of his wife's career

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband recalls changing his career aspirations

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband reflects upon his marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams' husband talks about having a support system while working in Corporate America

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michelle Gadsden-Williams narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Michelle Gadsden-Williams recalls developing a diversity program at Wakefern Food Corporation
Michelle Gadsden-Williams describes her diversity work at Credit Suisse Group AG
Transcript
And by the time you leave what is your position (unclear)?$$Well once I graduated from the Leaders in Training program, he offered me a role in his function in HR [human resources]. I could have gone anywhere else in the organization and I told him that I wanted to work for him and no one else. So I was a HR administrator once I graduated.$$Okay.$$I then talked to him about diversity as an opportunity that I think that most companies who want to really distinguish themselves and differentiate themselves that they do this affirmative action diversity work really well and that we should consider having such a function within the company. He said to me, "Michelle [HistoryMaker Michelle Gadsden-Williams] if you can create a business case that makes sense for this company maybe you can create a new job for yourself." And I said, "Okay," so I went to IBM [International Business Machines Corporation] and visited with Ted Childs [HistoryMaker Ted Childs, Jr.] and I went to PepsiCo and I visited with the head of diversity there. I went to Texaco [Texaco, Inc.] and I visited with Ed Gadsden [Edward N. Gadsden, Jr.] who is a distant cousin. So I made my way around to different companies doing some investigative reporting, so to speak, to really build a case for my company. Long story short, I built the business case. Ernie [Ernie Bell] helped me to package the presentation that I was going--he was going to allow me to present to the executive committee. I presented that information to the committee and I was able to create a job for myself once they said yes this is what we want to do. They then--Ernie said to me, "So Michelle do you want the job?" And I said, "Absolutely, yes." So that's when I entered into the diversity arena.$$Okay. So what did you learn about those other programs and you know, you mentioned Ted Childs--$$Yeah.$$--and he's very well known in the corporate community. I saw that you count him as one of your mentors.$$Yes.$$So what are you learning when you're seeing these different programs and did you see things--one what you're learning; and two did you see things that you thought were not good programs?$$Well, being a novice at the time, not necessarily understanding or knowing what good was. When I met with Ted what I saw was the power of the human condition, the power of influencing an organization that did well without diversity practice that then embraced it and then turned the corner and did even better. I, I think that IBM at that time was one of the frontrunners in the diversity space. So that was one of my first interviews, so to speak. So everyone else had similar types of programs but not to the degree to which what IBM was doing. So I saw, from my perspective not understanding what good looked like, it looked like everyone else was doing well at it. These were companies that were clients of Wakefern [Wakefern Food Corporation, Keasbey, New Jersey]; we used their products. So I said if our clients are using them in doing this (unclear) (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Then we should do something like this.$$Then we should do something like this.$$So how long did it take to get the diversity program?$$Six months.$$Okay, and so what did you accomplish with the program and how much of a pipeline were you able to initiate?$$Well given that we were so embryonic at it, init- what we wanted to address first was increasing diverse representation in the company. So we wanted to hire diverse individuals so that's one of the things that we did first. So in I'd say the first year, we were able to increase our pipeline, I'd say maybe by 6 percent and we utilized that Leaders in Training programs as a pipeline to do that. So children, not children--students out of university were able to recruit individuals of diverse profiling utilizing that as an entree into the company. So we were able to leverage that program to bring in diverse individuals.$What had they been doing in the diversity space?$$Not a lot, just the traditional type of work. They had employee research groups who were putting on these events around theme months like Black History Month and Women's History Month. They were doing a lot in the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] community. They were doing a lot for women but for everyone else, not a whole lot going on. So they really wanted to turn the corner, they really wanted to go from good to great and they asked me if I would help them and I said yes.$$So you're in human resources.$$I am in human resources.$$Okay so what is the structure and how does it differ from what you did before and what have you been able to do in the two years and what are your plans?$$In terms of the structure, I work in the talent branding and communications division [at Credit Suisse Group AG], which is led by Pamela Thomas-Graham. So HR is part of the talent umbrella within TB&C [Talent, Branding and Centre of Excellence]. I sit on the human resources management committee which is the leadership committee for HR and I report to the head of talent development and strategy. I have a fairly small organization. I have in total there's thirteen of us globally who work in the diversity function. We are a forty-eight thousand person organization and we are in about thirty-six countries around the world. So it's a far cry from what I came from [at Novartis Pharmaceuticals AG]. A two hundred thousand person organization in two hundred countries versus forty-eight thousand in thirty-six. So for me less can be more because it's a very--it's a smaller organization where you can have more intimate conversations and dialogue and make the kind of impact that you want to make in a shorter amount of time because you're not travelling around the world fifteen times in order to meet everyone and to meet the leadership team and thus and so. So in terms of what I've been able to do are several things. To design the diversity 2.0 strategy, so they've done great work up until the time that I entered. It's now time to start thinking about diversity in the context of the business because we're talking about a Wall Street firm. These guys have been successful without diversity all these years, so why now? So it's starting from having that conversation, why they need to embrace it. The clients are asking about it. I spend a lot of my time speaking to clients and asking their questions. They want to know, "So what are you doing on the diversity front?" So the bankers will bring me in to talk about that. You know, I just think that this is a firm who's starting to understand that if they don't do it what is the consequence, that they won't be competitive. So I think they are starting to understand that a lot better and they are also starting to wrap their arms around the true business case in understanding, look if you don't treat your talent well, if you're not inclusive, if you have any unconscious bias in your decision making around promotions and hiring and all that, no one is going to work here. There are too many other firms out on the street--Wall Street and people have too many choices so we've got to do something different. So I think that they are starting to understand that a lot better.$$So what is your budget and what are your plans then? So you talked about the need.$$Yeah$$Um-hm.$$Budget--total budget I'd say it's minimal--six million [dollars].$$Um-hm.$$And that includes salaries and all the operating costs and all of that to run it.

Jeanette Jones

Biologist Jeanette Jones was born in Peach County, Fort Valley, Georgia. After graduating from Fort Valley State University in 1972 with her B.S. degree in biology education, Jones enrolled at Ohio State University and went on to receive her M.S. degree in botany and mycology in 1973 and her Ph.D. degree in botany and mycology in 1976. Jones pursued further study at the University of Nevada, the University of California Medical School (San Francisco), the National Centers for Disease Control-Atlanta, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge).

In 1976, Jones was hired as an assistant professor of biology at Alabama A&M University and became a member of the graduate faculty. Jones was named full professor of biology in 1986 while serving concurrently as an adjunct professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University where she worked on a special project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1991, Jones became the first female appointed as the vice president of research and development Alabama A&M University. Jones then was appointed as the director of the Center for Biomedical, Behavioral and Environmental Research at Alabama A & M University. In 1992, she was appointed to U.S. Army Science Board by the U.S. Secretary of the Army, Togo West, served until 1998, and was reappointed in 2004 as a member of the U.S. Army Science Board under U.S. Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey. Jones moved to Jackson State University in Mississippi where she served on the Research Centers in Minority Institutions’ External Advisory Committee. She has also acted as consultant for federal agencies on training programs to attract women and minorities to STEM disciplines.

Jones was listed in the World’s Women Who’s Who (1975) and she was named an Outstanding Young Woman of America in 1978. Jones received the distinguished service award from the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society and the Significant Service Award from the NASA Space Life Sciences Training Program. In 2003, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave her its Extramural Associate Research Development Award. At Alabama A&M University, she was bestowed the Outstanding Leadership Award, a Resolution for Distinguished Service from the Board of Trustees, and was named Woman of the Year in 1990 and 2006.

Jeanette Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on 4/10/2013.

Accession Number

A2013.101

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/10/2013

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Fort Valley State College

The Ohio State University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jeanette

Birth City, State, Country

Peach County

HM ID

JON34

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Spain

Favorite Quote

Marvelous.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alabama

Birth Date

9/19/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Huntsville

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peaches

Short Description

Biologist Jeanette Jones (1950 - ) , the first female vice president for research and development for approximately seven years at Alabama A & M University, is the director of the Center for Biomedical, Behavioral and Environmental Research at Alabama A & M University.

Employment

Robins Air Force Base

Fort Valley State University

Forestry Experimental Laboratory

Ohio State University

Alabama A&M State University

Florida A&M University

National Institute of Health (NIH)

Center for Biomedical, Behavioral and Environmental Research

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jeanette Jones's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about her mother's growing up in Fort Valley, Georgia and her education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones talks about her father's growing up

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jeanette Jones talks about her father's leg injury

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jeanette Jones talks about her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jeanette Jones talks about her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jeanette Jones describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones describes the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about her childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her involvement in the church growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about her father's influence on her math skills and helping her father work on his car

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about her elementary school and her favorite sixth grade teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones talks about her early interest in science and fascination with nature

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jeanette Jones talks about her academic performance in school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jeanette Jones talks about her reading interests during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jeanette Jones talks about her interest in music growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones talks about her preparation in science and her decision to attend Fort Valley State University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about her experience and her decision to major in biology education at Fort Valley State University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her memories of the Civil Rights Movement and her involvement in voter registration politics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about her studies at The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about her experience during her first semester of graduate school

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones reflects on her experience at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about Dr. Frank Hale and his initiatives at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her emerging interest in mycology, the study of fungi

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about diseases caused by fungus and the distinction between fungi and bacterium

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about fungi and the difficulty in treating fungal diseases

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones talks about fungal diseases and her concerns about spore dispersal and their lifespan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jeanette Jones talks about black piedra and how fungal infections can be contracted

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jeanette Jones talks about her dissertation research on Piedraia and the response to her research on Candida albicans

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones talks about antibiotics, anti-bacterial products, bleach, and mold

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about her recruitment to Alabama A&M University, candidiasis, and her interest in teaching

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about the graduate degree programs at Alabama A&M University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about her professional activities

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about her work with the Army Science Board and the variations of fungi between Alabama and Florida

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones talks about fungal growth

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jeanette Jones talks about studying fungal immunology at the Centers for Disease Control and her visit to Japan and China

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jeanette Jones talks about mushrooms and their nutrient content

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones talks about influential mycologists and the use of technology to study fungi

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about her textbooks for her courses

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her experience at Florida A&M University

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about the NASA Space Grant Fellowship Program at Alabama A&M University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about fundraising for Alabama A&M University

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones talks about The Links, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jeanette Jones talks about her professional activities

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jeanette Jones talks about her goals for Alabama A&M University

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jeanette Jones reflects on her life choices and legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jeanette Jones talks about her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jeanette Jones talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jeanette Jones talks about the presidents of Alabama A&M University

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jeanette Jones talks about how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jeanette Jones describes her photos

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$3

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Jeanette Jones talks about fundraising for Alabama A&M University
Jeanette Jones talks about her experience during her first semester of graduate school
Transcript
Now, as you were saying before you did mostly administration between 1989 and '96' [1996], right?$$Um-hum.$$So what's the, I guess the highlight of, or the--of that year?$$Well, one, one of the reasons I accepted that when the president at that time suggested it was because I had learned a lot at NIH [National Institutes of Health] in terms of what other institutions were doing in terms of supporting us, basic research, sponsor programs. Our institution did not have many of the kinds of support things in place, and having been a research person with grants, I wanted the office to be user friendly, to be a place where faculty could go and get the kind of support they needed to apply for grants and contracts. And so between that time, I put a lot of effort in trying to make it that. And so we were able to move the research enterprise at A and M. In 1989, I think we had about 4 million when I went in. And we moved it from that to about--and that's four million a year. But we moved to about $20,000,000 a year when I left. But we had a total portfolio of about 60 million, meaning multi-year awards. So it took a lot of effort, a lot of consortia, collaborations with other institutions to build it up to that. And so I was, that was the highlight that we were able to form relationships, to show that together, you could attract more money and so, that's what we did and before it became real popular to collaborate and to partner, we were doing that back then, so. But it really takes a lot of energy.$And it's one, its one story about graduate school I'll never forget, and I talk about it--$$Okay.$$--because it was a person--and I guess I have to talk about a class first to let you know. It was a different class. There were only eight in it. There were three students who were Masters students, me, a white female and a white male. And the other five were PhD candidates. And every time we--we had different things to do, but every time we would have papers, the teacher--I would sit here, and there white female, who was Kathy, a good friend of mine, she was sitting across from me. It was a long table. When the professor handed out papers, he would hand Kathy her papers, and he'd hold them until she grasped the papers. When he handed to me, when my hand went out, he would drop the papers before I got them. So, and he did that for maybe three times. Then I picked up on what he was doing, and then whenever he'd hand papers out, I would turn my head away, and I wouldn't look until he laid them down. And then I'd get my paper and then pass them on. So it was, it was something that he did. And that carried over into the class, you know. Kathy and I worked on all of our things. It was an experimental class so we had projects. And we worked together. All of the labs we did together. But whenever I got my lab back, I had a minus one, and she had a perfect paper. So I got nine and she got 10. And she said, why did you get the nine? I said, I don't know. And this all, 'cause we worked together on it. So the final, we did that all semester, and so the final exam in the class was for us to read five papers. When I was in school, I had a photostatic memory, you know, because I was, I was in Ohio, and my folks were in Georgia. I didn't have anything else to do. I studied. And so, I did the five papers, and so we scheduled--only had one hour to take the exam. When I went for my one hour exam, I go in, and he says to me that, he said he wanted to ask me some questions. And he said, you're my first experience with a black person. Do you mind if I ask you questions? And I'm, I'm 20 years, and I said, okay, I don't mind you asking questions. I'm naive. He said, well, I notice that you have friends, you have black friends that come to the lab, and you have friends, you're friends with Kathy, and you have white friends. And he said, if your friends were going--which friends would you go with if you were going somewhere? Who would you choose to go with? And I said, it depends on where they're going. And he said, well, say for instance a party. I said, well, if they're going to a party, I'd probably go with my black friends because we like the same kind of music, and I've been to some of the other parties, and I'd probably go with my black friends. He said, okay, that's fine. And then he went on to ask me, what was my--what did I think about whites in the North and whites in the South? What was the difference? And I said, well, I've experienced both, and I said, basically, I don't see--there's no difference. There's some feelings that are covert, some things are covert and some things are overt. Now, where did I get that from? I had been looking at the Watergate series, and so those two terms came up, overt and covert actions. And so, and I was really experiencing that. And so then he went on to drill me on, until about 30 minutes. And then he said, okay, let's go for the papers. And we had to talk about the papers. So he asked me questions about the papers. I answered them all. So I said, okay, Dr. Hoststetter, (ph.) at the end. He said, well, thank you, Jeannette. And I said, oh, what did I make? And he said, well, you got a B-plus. I said, I got a B-plus? I said, how did I get a B-plus? He said, well, some of your questions, you answered them, but you left a little bit to be desired. And I said, oh, okay, how could I challenge that? It was just subjective opinion. So, at the end of the semester, I got all A's and one B-plus from him. So it was my, that was my first experience at Ohio State, and it was challenging. It was the toughest semester, and the rest were fine.

Angela Dodson

Newspaper, magazine and books editor Angela P. Dodson was born on May 24, 1951 in Beckley, West Virginia to parents William Alfred, Sr., and Kira Evelyn. Dodson received her B.A. degree in journalism in 1973 from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia and her M.A. degree in journalism and public affairs in 1979 from American University in Washington, D.C.

Having served as an intern at the Charleston Gazette, she accepted a full time position as a reporter for the Huntington Advertiser and later as a news correspondent with its parent company Gannett Co. Inc. at Gannett News Service in the Washington, D.C. bureau, and later for the Rochester Times Union. She also worked for the Washington Star, and the Courier Journal of Louisville, Kentucky. In 1983, Dodson moved to the New York Times as a National Desk copy editor and was soon promoted to editor for the “Living” section and head of the Style Department. In 1992, Dodson became the first African American woman promoted to be a senior editor at The New York Times.

After leaving the New York Times in 1995, Dodson contributed articles and served as an editor for various publications, including Essence and Black Issues Book Review, before being named executive editor of the book review in 2003. In 2007, she became a freelance editor, writer and publishing consultant, contributing frequently to DIVERSE: Issues In Higher Education. Dodson has edited and ghost-written many books for major publishers and numerous self-published authors. In 2012, she founded Editorsoncall LLC.

Dodson has been a consultant for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and Hampton University and is the host of an award-winning radio program, Black Catholics, Yes!, for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. She has taught workshops on writing and editing for many organizations including the National Black Writers Conference, the National Association of Black Journalists, the American Press Institute, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and the Maynard Institute’s Editing Program. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Mercer County Community College.

Dodson was honored at Marshall University as the Black Alumna of the Year in 1998 and as a Distinguished Alumna in the School of Journalism in 1989. Dodson received a Black Achiever in Industry Award from the Harlem Y.M.C.A. in 1990 and the Feature Writing Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists in 2000.

Dodson lives in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband, Michael I. Days, editor of the Daily News of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They have four adopted sons.

Angela Dodson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 7, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.060

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/7/2013

Last Name

Dodson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

West Side Elementary School

Meyersdale Area Middle School

Woodrow Wilson High School

Marmet Junior High School

East Bank High School

Marshall University

American University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Angela

Birth City, State, Country

Beckley

HM ID

DOD05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

West Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Favorite Quote

If You Can Keep Your Head When All About You Are Losing Theirs And Blaming It On You, If You Can Trust Yourself When All Men Doubt You, But Make Allowance For Their Doubting Too.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

5/24/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Trenton

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Calamari

Short Description

Newspaper editor and magazine editor Angela Dodson (1951 - ) was the first African American woman appointed as style editor of The New York Times, where she later became a senior editor. She also served as executive editor of the Black Issues Book Reviews.

Employment

Charleston Gazette

Gannett News Service

Rochester Times-Union

Washington Star

Louisville Courier-Journal

New York Times

Essence Magazine

Black Issues Book Review

Mercy County Community College

Huntington Advertiser

Editorsoncall, LLC

Black Catholics YES

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Angela Dodson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson describes her family's move to West Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angela Dodson describes her father's education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angela Dodson talks about her parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Angela Dodson describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson talks about her father's college education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson remembers the Second Baptist Church in New Castle, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson remembers Westside Elementary School in New Castle, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson talks about Meyersdale Area High School in Meyersdale, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson talks about her early exposure to books and media

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson talks about her high school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson recalls her social environment in East Bank, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson talks about her influential high school teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson remembers her time at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson remembers covering the crash of Southern Airways Flight 932

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson remembers the aftermath of the Southern Airways Flight 932 crash

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angela Dodson talks about the personal impact of the Southern Airways Flight 932 crash

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson talks about the media representation of the Southern Airways Flight 932 crash

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson recalls being hired as a reporter for The Huntington Advertiser

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson remembers covering the black community in Huntington, West Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson recalls lesson from her time at The Huntington Advertiser

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson remembers meeting Robert C. Maynard

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson talks about the founding of the National Association of Black Journalists

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson recalls becoming the assistant news feature editor at the Gannett Company, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angela Dodson describes the structure of the Gannett Company, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angela Dodson remembers President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter's administration

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson talks about her master's degree program

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson describes her time at the Rochester Times-Union

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson recalls her time at the Washington Star

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson talks about her decision to move to Louisville, Kentucky

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson remembers the Janet Cooke scandal, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson remembers the Janet Cooke scandal, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson talks about the portrayal of African Americans in the media

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angela Dodson recalls the aftermath of the Janet Cooke scandal

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angela Dodson talks about the founding of USA Today

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angela Dodson recalls joining the staff of The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson describes her experience on the national desk of The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson recalls working the living section of The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson talks about her time as style editor of the New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson talks about her reasons for the New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson recalls her lawsuit against The New York Times

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson recalls her time at Essence magazine

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson talks about her company, Editorsoncall, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson describes the impact of technology on the publishing industry

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson shares her advice to aspiring journalists

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson describes her concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Angela Dodson reflects upon her contributions to journalism

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Angela Dodson talks about her book reviews

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Angela Dodson reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Angela Dodson talks about her adopted children

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Angela Dodson talks about her children

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Angela Dodson shares her advice to parents considering adoption

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Angela Dodson lists her siblings

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Angela Dodson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Angela Dodson narrates her photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Angela Dodson narrates her photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Angela Dodson describes her father's education
Angela Dodson recalls becoming the assistant news feature editor at the Gannett Company, Inc.
Transcript
Now what stories did your father [William Dodson, Sr.] tell about growing up? I mean what was his, what was he doing and how did he, you know, what kind of occupation did he want to pursue?$$My father had a very interesting history. He often told stories about working in the mines and going to high school [Byrd Prillerman High School, Amigo, West Virginia] at the same time. He would go to school a couple of days and to the mines the other days and of course, you know, being from such a large family they were poor. He said he never owned a schoolbook, they--he had to borrow schoolbooks and he was a very, very good student. My mother [Kira Walthall Dodson] always said that she was too embarrassed to borrow schoolbooks so she wasn't as good a student. But he--my father apparently had been a pretty good athlete also in high school in a number of sports and he was a boxer, amateur boxer. I, we met somebody just in the last few years that said oh she knew my family, she asked her mother about the family and she said, "Oh yeah one of them was a boxer," and I said, "That would be my father." And then he went to the [U.S.] Navy and or first he went to the shipyards in Newport News, Virginia and then into the Navy and studied electronics at some point while he was there. I believe on the campus of Hampton University [Hampton Institute; Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia]. He talks about--or used to talk about that. And, he studied electronics in the Navy but when he--when the war [World War II, WWII] was over he came home and worked in the mines again and met, or actually re-met my mother who was home supposedly temporarily from Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] to see her brother graduate or something. And he continued to work in the mines maybe for about two or three more years but at that point the mines became unstable work. It was the coal seam or something that they were working on that was not as productive and they were laying off men, you know, left and right. So my fam- a lot of family started looking for other places to move to and my family ended up moving to western Pennsylvania to a town called New Castle mainly because some of the Bashams had settled in that area.$In '77 [1977] you were promoted to assistant news feature editor at Gannett [Gannett Company, Inc.], right?$$Um-hm.$$And you served there from '77 [1977] to '79 [1979]. I mean what--tell us about that promotion and--$$I, well I asked for it--someone who had been the in office editing, getting things on the wire and all that announced that she was leaving for I think the Knight Ridder papers or something. And I, and I knew that they had hired a new woman to come to the bureau who had been an editor and I figured that they might have her in mind for that job. But I went to the bureau chief, John Curley, and asked him if he had thought about how he was going to fill the job. And he grumbled, "No I just found out about that (unclear)," but I convinced him that I needed to do this job 'cause I wanted to be an editor and at that time the technology was changing. We had just--in the bureau we had just gone to computers. Huntington [The Huntington Advertiser] had already switched to computers but a lot of places were not using computers yet. And I--$$Yeah.$$--I was fascinated by the technology; I am my father's [William Dodson, Sr.] child. And (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) By, by computer you mean the?$$Ter- you know, the terminals.$$Copy graphic terminals they use to have--$$Yeah.$$--to do typesetting and all that, and?$$So, you know, to be able to, you know, learn about the new computers and how that was going to affect the copy, and you know, and to learn about the technology and to work with the wires and all that just fascinated me.$$Now, let's go back a little bit.$$Um-hm.$$Just, like before how was it, reporters just used typewriters, and?$$Yeah.$$Almanac and a typewriter (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) We were trained, you know, we were trained to use the typewriter, I learned--at Marshall [Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia] we had to learn to type if you are a journalism major so I, you know, I did. In the newsroom you would have your typewriter, you had paper what we called--most papers had what you called carbon sets. It was two or three stacks of paper with carbon paper between them so that you made copies. You had a copy for yourself, the desk had a copy and then one copy went up to the printer after it was edited. So at some point Gannett had used Huntington as an experiment, partly because it was a small paper, to bring in the computer terminals and see how it worked in a real life newsroom. But it wasn't long before I left, it might have been in the last six months I was there or something like that. When I got to the bureau, the bureau was still on paper and we would fax our stories up to Rochester [New York] and they would typeset them and put them on the wire or whatever they did with them. So because the bureau was fairly small it was also easy to com- to computerize it, long before some newspapers had switched over. And to be on the cutting edge of that and, you know, to learn how to do it and how to format the stories and that sort of thing, I think really interested me more, more than reporting did, so.$$Okay. All right, so--$$Although report- you know, reporting was fun there, so.

Norma Pratt

Entrepreneur Norma Russell Pratt was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 17, 1945 to Mildred Newberry and Fred L. Russell. Pratt's family moved to Philadelphia where she attended West Philadelphia High School, graduating from there in 1962. Pratt then attended Cheyney University, where she graduated with her B.A. in education in 1966. After working as a school teacher, Pratt became a travel agent for Rodgers Travel, Inc., a company that was co-owned by her father. With her father's passing in 1980, Pratt was named President and CEO of Rodgers Travel. In the 1990s, Pratt enrolled her company, which she incorporated years earlier, into the Small Business Administration's (SBA) 8(a) business development program. With infrastructure assistance from the federal program, Pratt was able to secure a $10 million yearly contract with Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County, Illinois in 1991, Rodgers' first federal government contract.

Through the SBA 8(a) program, Rodgers won a variety of federal government and municipal contracts from the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services, the Department of Defense, as well as several military bases across the country and Lajes Field in Portugal. Under Pratt's leadership, Rodgers Travel, Inc., which has been in business for sixty years, became a multi-million dollar business.

Pratt has been recognized for her leadership of Rodgers Travel, having garnered the Eastern Pennsylvania Minority Small Business Person of the Year award and recognition from publications such as the Philadelphia Daily News, USA Today and Black Enterprise. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Link, Inc. Pratt lives in the suburban Philadelphia area and has two adult children.

Norma Pratt was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 21, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.132

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/21/2012

Last Name

Pratt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

R.

Schools

West Philadelphia High School

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Henry C. Lea Elementary School

Andrew Hamilton School

William L. Sayre High School

First Name

Norma

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

PRA02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

1/17/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Transportation chief executive Norma Pratt (1945 - ) was the president and CEO of Rodgers Travel, Inc., the oldest African American travel agency in the nation.

Employment

Rodgers Travel, Inc.

Favorite Color

Black, Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Norma Pratt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt talks about the lynching of her maternal great uncle in Hawkinsville, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt describes her maternal family's relocation to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Norma Pratt talks about her mother's educational background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Norma Pratt describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Norma Pratt remembers her paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Norma Pratt talks about her family's legacy with Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Norma Pratt recalls her paternal grandmother's family history

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Norma Pratt describes her father's educational aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt recalls how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt talks about her early household

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt remembers her family's relocation to the Southwest Philadelphia neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Norma Pratt describes her neighborhood of Southwest Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Norma Pratt recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Norma Pratt describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Norma Pratt shares a story about her father's work at North Philadelphia Station

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Norma Pratt talks about her father's position with Rodgers Travel, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Norma Pratt describes the history of Rodgers Travel, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Norma Pratt talks about the discrimination against African American travelers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Norma Pratt remembers the decline of the black travel industry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt talks about her father's legacy at Rodgers Travel, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt recalls attending Henry C. Lea Elementary School and Andrew Hamilton Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt remembers her father's guidance in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt recalls her experiences at West Philadelphia High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Norma Pratt remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Norma Pratt describes her family's emphasis on college education

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Norma Pratt recalls attending Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Norma Pratt remembers her parents' views on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Norma Pratt remembers her father's travel arrangements for Leon Sullivan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Norma Pratt recalls her experience at Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt remembers meeting her first husband, Kenneth Hamilton

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt talks about her teaching positions in the School District of Philadelphia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt remembers training at Rodgers Travel, Inc.'s office in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt recalls joining the Society of Travel Agents in Government

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Norma Pratt describes her second husband's background

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Norma Pratt remembers meeting her second husband, Gregory Pratt

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Norma Pratt recalls her decision to manage Rodgers Travel, Inc. remotely from California

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Norma Pratt remembers her first government contract

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Norma Pratt describes Rodgers Travel, Inc.'s government contracts

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Norma Pratt talks about Rodgers Travel, Inc.'s leisure business

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Norma Pratt describes the necessity of travel agencies in the 21st century

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt describes the responsibilities of travel agencies with government contracts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt talks about the challenges of modern day travel

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt talks about the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the travel industry

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt describes the clientele at Rodgers Travel, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Norma Pratt talks about the state of small business travel agencies

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Norma Pratt describes Rodgers Travel's international business

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Norma Pratt talks about the airline industry

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Norma Pratt talks about the future of leisure travel

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Norma Pratt describes her friend, Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Norma Pratt reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Norma Pratt describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Norma Pratt reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Norma Pratt talks about her family

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Norma Pratt describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Norma Pratt narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
Norma Pratt remembers her first government contract
Norma Pratt recalls her decision to manage Rodgers Travel, Inc. remotely from California
Transcript
But at that point, that's when I wrote my first proposal for government. Scott Air Force Base [Illinois], and I believe it was--it was in 1991 and I believe that was when Adam--oh my god, what was the general's name that--$$Colin Powell [HistoryMaker General Colin L. Powell].$$Colin Powell I think might have been in charge around that time. And the [U.S.] Air Force wanted to--wanted to use small businesses. Women owned, minority owned, and they--and they were one of the first branches of government that was trying to give women and minorities, and small business, in general, a chance. So Scott Air Force Base was a $10 million a year account. And I wrote the proposal. My husband helped me write the proposal too, and we sat down there and wrote our first government proposal, keeping in mind that I had been going o- going to these meetings [of the Society of Travel Agents in Government; Society of Government Travel Professionals] in Washington D.C. I'd probably had been to ten of those meetings just meeting people, just trying to understand the acronyms and things. You know, 'cause government has all that stuff that I didn't really understand. And I got to meet people and know people and--and understand the nature of that business and I wrote the--I wrote the proposal when it came out for bid. They went out to bid for small business. So I was the first African--I was the first minority woman business [Rodgers Travel, Inc.] to win a government account, and that was in 1991, I believe, maybe--maybe 1992, during that period. I won that. It was a--it was a wonderful time, but you--as I said, it wasn't a credit card account, they didn't have that then. So I had to have seven hundred thousand dollars a month in order to sponsor that. Well, Greg [Pratt's second husband, Gregory Pratt] didn't ha- Greg didn't have that much. You know, he came ov- he ga- gave me about four hundred thousand. So I was about three hundred thousand short and after I won it. You know, you--you know how you say to yourself, now you wanted this thing, now can you really do it? He gave me the four hundred thousand dollars, Greg gave me four hundred, because most of his money was in stock and all that. So, so he was able to come up with four hundred thousand dollars to give me, and one of his--Jack Tramiel--actually was Dick Sanford [Richard D. Sanford] I think, which was one of the other guys in there [Atari] lent me three hundred thousand dollars. Can you imagine that, you know, looking back on that, I said, you know, somebody has enough money to just give you three hundred thousand dollars based on the fact that you say you're gonna do this. I got three hundred thousand dollars for sixty days and I paid him back the entire three hundred thousand dollars in--in the sixty days. Because at the time, we were making 10 percent commission. So it didn't take me long to be able to--at the time, the airlines don't pay commission now. But at the time, the airlines were paying 10 percent commission. So 10 percent of $10 million a year of course is a million dollars. And after two months, I had got enough profit that I could pay--pay him back. And that was the start of it. But I could last thirty days, but I couldn't last thirty--I couldn't last thirty days and one second (laughter), you know what I mean, I had to have. And--and the government was very kind to me and that's why I don't--I'm not angry with the government. You know, when you--you get--you know, you hear a lot of things about the government, but you know what they did for me, they started paying me every two weeks instead of every thirty days, and they made sure I got paid every two weeks. That got me out of the--they made sure that I succeeded. They did not want me to fail as I was the first woman minority business, you know what I mean, to get a government contract in travel. So I--basically that's the phase of--and that's how I actually got started.$Now to get back to me.$$Now this is Greg Pratt?$$Greg Pratt.$$Pratt.$$Greg Allen Pratt [Pratt's second husband, Gregory Pratt].$$Okay.$$He d- he and I are not together now either, but he lives in Bowie, Maryland and still doing well. You can look him up, he's still doing great. But what we did, when we moved to--to get back to how we got in the government. Greg was making a whole lot of money then. So I was living in California and there's another story I got that leads into this. I didn't want to leave Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]. I was living in West Chester [Pennsylvania] at the time. I had my--my business and I wanted to continue with my business. But Greg had moved to California and we were married, and we're supposed to be a family. I'm living in Philadelphia and he's living in California. So after a year or so, he came back--he came and he said, "Okay you gotta make up your mind what you wanna do. You know, are you coming to California with me or you gonna st- stay here and run your business?" It was only a small bus- for his comparison. Rodgers Travel [Rodgers Travel, Inc.] was a small business. So, I went to California. But you know God works in mysterious ways. I sat there and I thought that the travel agency couldn't do--work without me. I thought that it couldn't operate without me. I went in everyday, you know, and. So I--in fact, Rosenbluth [Rosenbluth Vacations] was an example to me. I said well I had read that Rosenbluth was--also a Philadelphia corporation and the grandfather was a friend of my father's [Fred Russell, Jr.]. I said, how do they run seventeen hundred locations? Mr. Rosenbluth [Harold Rosenbluth] ain't at seventeen hundred locations, he probably hasn't even been to them all. You know, he's probably never even set foot in them. So I said now if he can do seventeen hundred locations from a distance, I can certainly do one. That was really a turning point in my business life. Because I had to figure out a way how to run my business without being there. And I did. In fact, the--I've had fifteen travel agency offices at certain periods of time. Now that's dwindled down and I'll tell you why.

Elynor Williams

Corporate executive Elynor A. Williams was born on October 27, 1946 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Albert and Naomi Williams. She graduated from Central Academy in Palatka, Florida before receiving her B.A. degree in home economics from Spelman College in 1966. Williams then joined Eugene Butler High School in Jacksonville, Florida as a home economics teacher. In 1968, she became an editor and publicist for General Foods Corporation in White Plains, New York. Williams received her M.A. degree in communication arts from Cornell University in 1973. At Cornell, she worked as a tutor for special education projects.

Following the completion of her education, Williams became a communication specialist for North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service. In 1977, she became a senior public relations specialist for Western Electric Company in Greensboro, North Carolina. Williams served as director of corporate affairs for Sara Lee Corporation’s Hanes Group in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from 1983 to 1986 and director of public affairs for the Sara Lee Corporation in Chicago, Illinois from 1985 to 1990. Then, she was promoted to vice president of public responsibility for the Sara Lee Corporation, becoming the company’s first African American corporate officer. During William’s time at Sara Lee, she directed the Sara Lee Foundation, served as executive secretary of the Employee and Public Responsibility Committee for the board of directors and founded the Frontrunner Awards to honor the achievements of outstanding women. After leaving the Sara Lee Corporation, Williams served as president and managing director of Chestnut Pearson and Associates, an international management consulting firm.

Throughout her long career, Williams has demonstrated a continued commitment to her community, becoming involved with numerous local and national organizations. She is a founding board member of the Executive Leadership Council and Spelman College Corporate Women’s Roundtable. Williams has served on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society Foundation, Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Chicago Sinfonietta. She is also deeply dedicated to the advancement of women, especially minority women and has worked with the National Women’s Economic Alliance, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., the International Women’s Forum and the President’s Council of Cornell University Women. Williams has been recognized many times by national media including being named one of the 50 Top Black Executives in Corporate America by Ebony ; Magazine and one Chicago’s most powerful women by WBBM-TV. She has received the Drum Major for Justice Award from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was named a National Headliner by Women in Communications. Williams lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Elynor A. Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 19, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.048

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/19/2012

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Occupation
Schools

Central Academy

Spelman College

Cornell University

W.H. Council Elementary School

First Name

Elynor

Birth City, State, Country

Baton Rouge

HM ID

WIL57

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

This Too Shall Pass.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

10/27/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Crab, Shrimp, Lobster

Short Description

Corporate executive Elynor Williams (1946 - ) became Sara Lee Corporation’s first African American corporate officer serving as vice president for public responsibility.

Employment

Eugene Butler High School

General Foods Corporation

Western Electric (AT&T)

North Carolina Agricultural Extension

Hanes Group

Sara Lee Corporation

Chestnut Pearson & Associates

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:657,21:1095,27:3650,67:11828,217:19145,396:38380,720:42300,801:52368,973:53241,1010:60350,1092:69198,1259:72832,1530:84520,1623:101498,1784:108390,1977:126128,2261:132122,2441:132527,2447:133013,2461:136415,2523:141500,2532:147548,2634:163030,2833:187835,3215:191500,3241:195224,3322:214410,3629:221010,3669:229224,3757:230093,3905:237221,4062:245927,4178:247428,4373:257568,4595:283987,4800:293020,4923$0,0:438,4:2263,45:14030,144:23173,254:31099,333:40875,504:60612,924:64500,1025:69756,1274:85320,1429:94459,1476:94824,1482:102781,1649:107870,1720:119584,1911:120130,1919:138556,2155:138991,2161:162480,2461:164480,2530:166400,2641:167520,2660:174950,2768:176470,2788:177430,2813:182070,2911:194190,3014:194793,3026:195396,3037:198813,3110:200153,3140:202431,3196:203034,3217:217872,3396:220302,3448:222370,3465:222811,3476:227385,3539:231627,3584:231982,3591:232337,3597:260232,3965:278200,4146:287869,4294:297520,4465:302944,4545:324402,4898:336512,5127:343669,5232:344154,5240:349959,5381:353116,5449:360080,5546
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Elynor Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams recalls how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams talks about her parents' educational backgrounds

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Elynor Williams describes her parent's personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Elynor Williams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams remembers her early neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams talks about her early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams recalls her favorite subject at W.H. Council Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams describes her early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams remembers moving to St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams talks about the race relations in St. Augustine, Florida

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Elynor Williams talks about being bullying as a young child

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Elynor Williams remembers attending Central Academy in Palatka, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams remembers enrolling at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams recalls attending Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams talks about her civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams remembers her influential professors at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams recalls her plans after graduation from Spellman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams remembers teaching at Eugene J. Butler Junior Senior High School in Jacksonville, Florida

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams recalls being hired at General Foods Corporation

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Elynor Williams remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Elynor Williams talks about being featured in Ebony magazine

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams talks about the benefits of affirmative action

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams recalls receiving a scholarship to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams remembers encountering a racist professor at Cornell University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams talks about her master's thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams describes her experiences at Cornell University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams talks about working at North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams remembers being hired by Western Electric Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams remembers running for the North Carolina House of Representatives

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams talks about the corporate politics at the Western Electric Company

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams recalls being hired at Hanes Group

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams talks about advocating for women's groups at Hanes Group

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams describes her experiences at Hanes Group

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams talks about diversity at Sara Lee Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams recalls accepting a position at Sara Lee Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Elynor Williams remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams talks about her experiences with sexual harassment at Hanes Group

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams remembers co-founding the Executive Leadership Council

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams talks about her women's initiatives at Hanes Group

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams remembers the Frontrunner Awards at Hanes Group

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams talks about retiring from Sara Lee Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams recalls her decision to retire

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Elynor Williams reflects on her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Elynor Williams talks about her acquaintances with black female business executives

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Elynor Williams reflects on her life

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Elynor Williams talks about her family, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Elynor Williams talks about her family, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Elynor Williams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Elynor Williams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$6

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Elynor Williams talks about working at North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina
Elynor Williams talks about her women's initiatives at Hanes Group
Transcript
Okay, so you went to North Carolina after you graduated, right, is that true?$$Oh yes. I told General Foods [General Foods Corporation] I was coming back. And then, I got this call from this guy from General Foods, from North Carolina Agriculture Extension Service [North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service], and he said, "I want you to come down here for an interview." He was a graduate from Cornell [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York]. He got his Ph.D. there. And I said okay, because I had never been to Greensboro [North Carolina] before, so I went down there and came back, because I was going to go work for J. Walter Thompson and, who was the other one, Ebony. J. Walter Thompson wouldn't spend the money to take me down, bring me down to New York if I didn't have any way to get there, so I'd even go for the interview for that. Another one I went to, ad agency and they wanted me to write a couple of stories, which I refused to do, and Ebony, they just didn't like me because I didn't have experience, and so that left General Foods, which I didn't really want to go back to, and so when I went to the interview at North Carolina Agriculture Extension Service, when I landed the airport was in the middle of this field and there were cows over there. I thought, oh god, I can't come and live here. So, I went back to Ithaca [New York] and didn't think anything of it, and then this guy called me. I can't remember his name, but he was cool. He called me and he said, "Are you going to take this job or what?" I said, "Excuse me?" He said, "Are you coming down here to work for us or what?" I said, "Oh." He sounded like my dad [Albert Williams], so I said, "Yeah, yeah, I'm coming." (Laughter) He gave me the riot act, so I ended up working there. I started the department of communication arts at the agri school at A and T [North Carolina Agricultural Technical State University, Greensboro, North Carolina].$$So, was that the, don't mumble that through because this is important.$$Oh, I'm sorry. You know, we were having a conversation. I forgot he was taping. I am so sorry.$$Yeah, now don't mumble that through. This is something, you started the department.$$Yeah, but it was just for the ag school.$$And the idea was that he was coming and you were brought there to start this department thing, is that true?$$It was just me and a secretary. I mean, we did the publicity for Ag Extension and the black school [HBCU] which is the 1890 university schools, you know. They had the separate pieces and, so I didn't really start, I started department--we're talking about two people--I was the first one that they hired to do the job, and I started and I started doing publicity for them and there was a photographer who I hired a lot, and he was cool, and he said to me, "You should join the chamber of commerce [Greensboro Chamber of Commerce]." I said, "Okay." So I did. I got in the eight o'clock club and got really active with them and I had a mentee. This is interesting. I was dating this guy because, see, I went to North Carolina on a mission. I was going to save people's lives. I was going to teach them how to cook and how to clean, how to sew and how to make their lives better. That was my mission, and I was going to have a boyfriend just to be on the side, just so I could, whatever. Anyway, he had a roommate that he said was a Vietnam [Vietnam War] vet. This guy was a runaround. I mean, I knew that. I didn't give a, I didn't care. I mean, he was a womanizer. I didn't care. The guy, his roommate, had me go with him for lunch and he said, "Did you know that this--," and I said, "Yeah, I know that. I don't care." He said, "But you're so much better than that." I said, "I know that." I said, "He's not important to me." We got to be best of friends. We're still friends. He was right, he was not a Vietnam vet. He was a student at UNCG, University of North Carolina at Greensboro [Greensboro, North Carolina]. The guy didn't want me to know he was rooming with a guy that was that young and, anyway, I got him to take a job. I said you're too smart to stay here. We got to be friends, too, because he, anytime I sent him an article or something, I used to call him up, I said, "Maurice, you know you ought to print this for me." I said, "We got a lot of stuff in the paper because of that." And, so I got him out of there and I got him to move to New York, and he just is retiring now as vice president of PepsiCo. One of my success stories. I had a lot of those.$$This is Maurice-$$Maurice Cox.$$Okay.$$From PepsiCo. Yeah. And he, to this day, he said, "If it hadn't been for you." 'Cause I used to rag at him all the time. I said, "What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do with your life? You gonna work at this paper forever?" Anyway, that was my first real mentee. I had some other people, but I was, I stuck with him.$Was there any incident that precipitated the crisis, that made you want to leave?$$I'm sure there was, but I can't remember exactly what it was because I just really had had it, because I wasn't being respected by the people, my boss at the time. I was getting slammed down for my ideas, and this was after. I came to, and I'm all around the map but let me go back one moment. When I came here I had done a program at the Hanes Group [Hanesbrands Inc.] called the Women of Hanes [ph.] and it ended up being a brochure and they wanted me in it and I said, "No, this is for them." And Paul [Paul Fulton] said, "No, you should be in it." So I said, "I'll take a picture on the cover." So, I took a picture on the cover and it had little vignettes of the women in Hanes of different levels, so when I got here, I said, "Well that's something else to start with." Because first of all they wanted me to be director of urban affairs and I said, "Unh-uh. This isn't what I do." You know. "I'm not here to be an urban affairs person. I'm here to be director of public affairs." So, I told him what title I would take and they wanted to make me senior manager because the director in the regional office was equivalent to senior manager in corporate, and I said, "No, I'm a director. That's what I've been. That's what I've known, that's what I've known in this company." So, I fought them on that and I won. So, I got to be director of public affairs and I'm making this sound easy. It wasn't. It was like painful and it was hard. I was selling pencils on the street in a cup (laughter). I was going through the whole nine yards, but I had people at my back, Bob Brown [Robert J. Brown], Paul Fulton, who never spoke to me once we moved up here, because he knew he had to put some distance between us and he was the president and I was where I was, but I helped to save the company. So, I brought the idea of women being their sole customer to the corporate office, and then I decided I wasn't just going to do this booklet, I was going to do a program. This is one of my proudest achievements in my life. And, I taught the vice presidents of human resources, because I was reporting at that time to the vice chairman; no, the vice president of corporate affairs, that's who I was reporting to. He was reporting to the vice chairman, and I said, "I'm going to go and sell this idea." He didn't care what I did, because he didn't really want me up there in the first place, up here in the first place. So, I learned that at Western Electric [Western Electric Company], you get people to buy in. When I ran for office, you get people to buy in. That's the key thing for success. You get them to buy in, and once they bought in you got 'em. So, I made these presentations that I wanted to do this program, a booklet on the women in Sara Lee [Sara Lee Corporation], but I wanted them to nominate these women, and then I wanted them from the plant level all the way up to the vice presidents of each company, to select the woman that's going to represent them, and then those names would come to corporate and I had a team of people that would review them and pick the ones the ten that we would, would choose. And I had the categories of management, secretarial, we had, in the end, Bill Clinton [William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] sent a letter when he was governor of Arkansas to this woman who had won it from Arkansas. It was an amazing program, because it still brings tears to my eyes at every level. We gave women an opportunity to be recognized and we ended up with a truck driver, she was one of the winners, an executive secretary from one of the divisions, one of the women, one woman who had done, gotten another degree through the corporate education program and she was now manager and she had started out as a secretary. Of course, we had to have some diversity in there. I mean, I told my committee what I wanted from them. We had women in so many small cities getting keys to the city. There was one women who wrote me a letter. You have changed my life. She didn't think anybody noticed. The truck driver, she's like eighteen pounds soaking wet--118 pounds soaking wet, a little bitty thing, driving an 18-wheeler. She had no dresses. The company, her friends got money together to buy her some clothes to come to Chicago [Illinois]. The division president heard about that. They bought her luggage. They bought, it was just amazing. Even women who didn't win. So, I said okay. This is good. So, what I want to do is, we aren't gonna just do this booklet. We're gonna have them present it at the annual meeting, and then I got a video tape done of all their stories. Then we did the booklet, and then we, we had them meet the board of directors. Every time I kept pushing, pushing, pushing because we only, there was a pot of money in the annual meeting budget for public responsibility, but they were always sharing something that they were doing at the foundation. I said, "No, this is more important. Give me that money." So, they gave it to me and we took them out to dinner, we got them in box seats. Some of them hadn't even travelled out of their city. I mean, it was just, I just loved it for what it did for the people's self-esteem, even, you know, even if they didn't get to come to Chicago. I was very proud of that program, and I did it with no money at all. I had just enough money to do a brochure and I kept finding little pockets of money that I could squirrel together.

The Honorable Eva M. Clayton

U.S. congresswoman Eva M. Clayton was born in Savannah, Georgia on September 16, 1934. In 1955, Clayton received her B.S. degree in biology from Johnson C. Smith University. She then obtained her M.S. degree in biology and general science from North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina in 1962. With the encouragement of civil rights activist and attorney Vernon Jordan, Clayton sought election to Congress in a north-central North Carolina district. Despite a losing bid, Clayton’s initial run generated black voter registration. In the early 1970s, she worked for several public and private ventures, including the North Carolina Health Manpower Development Program at the University of North Carolina. In 1974, she cofounded and served as the executive director of Soul City Foundation, a housing organization that renovated dilapidated buildings for use as homeless shelters and daycare centers. Clayton worked on the successful gubernatorial campaign of Jim Hunt, who later appointed Clayton the assistant secretary of the North Carolina department of natural resources and community development. Clayton served in that capacity from 1977 until 1981. In 1982 she won election to the Warren County Board of Commissioners, which she chaired until 1990.

When Representative Walter Jones, Sr. announced his retirement in 1992, Clayton entered the Democratic primary to fill his seat. She eventually won the special election to fill the last two months of Jones’s unexpired term in the 102nd Congress (1991–1993) and defeated Republican Ted Tyler for a full term in the 103rd Congress (1993–1995). Clayton became the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress in North Carolina. In her subsequent four bids for re-election, she won comfortably, with 60 percent or more of the vote. Clayton served with distinction for ten years as the U.S. Representative of North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. While in Congress, she served on Agriculture and Budget Committees and as ranking member of the Agriculture Department’s Operations Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittees. Clayton is the past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2003, her name was put forth as a possible Democratic vice-presidential candidate. Clayton completed a three year-assignment with the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy in 2006 as Assistant Director-General and Special Adviser to the Director-General. In this post, Clayton helped to establish national alliances and partnerships in over 24 countries to fight hunger and poverty including the United States of America. She currently serves as the chairperson of Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW (PCPAN), a project of the Pharmacy Choice and Access Now (PCAN) coalition, which fights on behalf of patients to preserve access to quality and affordable health care and pharmacy services.

Clayton is the mother of four adult children, Joanne, Theaoseus, Jr., Martin and Reuben. She is married to Attorney Theaoseus T. Clayton, Sr. and they are proud grandparents of six grandchildren.

Eva M. Clayton was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.059

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/22/2012

Last Name

Clayton

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

North Carolina Central University

Johnson C. Smith University

Ursula Collins Elementary School

Lucy C. Laney High School

North Carolina Central University School of Law

University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill

First Name

Eva

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

CLA18

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mountains, Beaches

Favorite Quote

That Too Shall Come To Pass. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

9/16/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Raleigh

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn, Cabbage, Okra, Tomato, Fried Chicken, Fish

Short Description

U.S. congresswoman The Honorable Eva M. Clayton (1934 - ) was the first black woman elected to U.S. Congress from North Carolina, serving with distinction for ten years as an advocate for programs for disadvantaged African Americans and rural and agricultural interests in her district.

Employment

Soul City Foundation

North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development

Warren County Board of Commissioners

United States Congress

UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:282,6:10810,249:13912,290:16826,332:17484,385:26226,478:26793,487:27117,492:30519,586:31410,605:40887,777:41292,790:46071,865:64615,1006:64955,1011:69260,1059:75157,1118:77896,1165:81133,1248:89300,1372:89924,1381:90938,1397:109675,1672:110645,1684:119798,1782:129440,1896:133180,1926:139340,2073:153033,2335:154707,2363:156567,2394:163566,2454:164394,2461:178174,2642:179827,2667:180175,2672:181045,2690:181393,2695:187344,2762:217498,3108:221540,3263:226466,3311:227303,3323:227861,3361:241670,3533:242470,3545:242870,3551:243510,3560:243830,3565:244230,3571:247590,3670:251356,3730:259343,3834:265349,3934:266259,3943:267078,3958:267715,3966:268079,3971:268443,3976:279394,4053:280231,4064:283207,4104:287174,4131:289910,4177:290366,4182:303240,4317:303814,4325:306205,4427:324347,4618:329750,4658:337750,4753:347542,4830:348270,4844:348550,4850:351630,4899:352345,4912:353190,4926:353515,4932:358682,4970:359174,4979:359666,4986:359994,4991:360486,4998:366308,5088:366882,5097:368932,5124:369588,5133:375047,5185:377801,5247:378125,5252:382658,5280:393790,5437$0,0:4474,65:6072,95:8234,111:9832,129:14908,262:32320,411:56722,690:62664,776:77826,1015:83450,1210:83982,1218:84666,1233:85654,1248:107576,1507:122050,1756:124898,1815:125254,1820:132184,1907:132539,1913:133036,1922:136152,1996:164362,2293:164920,2303:169894,2374:189564,2636:191944,2676:201143,2791:211807,2927:217810,3009:224835,3112:225770,3125:226875,3150:242847,3364:250294,3491:250630,3496:260280,3645
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Eva M. Clayton's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her parents' community involvement

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls public school, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Steed Street School in Augusta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her role models

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls matriculating at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her influences at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her early awareness of politics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her introduction to civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her work with the American Friends Service Committee

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her graduation from Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers James Brown

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers moving to Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the political leadership in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the importance of black institutions

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls moving to Warrenton, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. remembers becoming a community organizer

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls attending the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Eva M. recalls her first campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - The Honorable Eva M. describes her economic development work in North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about Soul City, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her role at the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her commissionership of Warren County, North Carolina

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her decision to run for the U.S. House of Representatives

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her first term in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the Republican Revolution of 1994

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the U.S. Congress under President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about her leadership in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers the class action lawsuit of Pigford v. Glickman

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls the solidarity among black women in the U.S. Congress

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton talks about the impact of Hurricane Floyd

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her decision not to seek reelection

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls her service at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton recalls projects from her terms in Congress

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes the Eva M. Clayton Fellows Program Act

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes her children

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Eva M. Clayton describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her first term in the U.S. Congress
The Honorable Eva M. Clayton remembers her decision not to seek reelection
Transcript
Well, this must have been exciting, going to [U.S.] Congress?$$Oh, it was exciting.$$So--$$It was a brand new--as you say you live several lives. There was a--it was a brand new life, a brand new opening, brand new awareness. And, also a very new opportunity to serve, share, and, and to give back.$$Okay, so you come in with the Clinton [President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton] administration, right?$$I did.$$Same time, so, so, just explain what was--how did you--well, what was your first day like in Congress?$$Well, I can't even remember, but exciting. So, you know, it was full of--well, the first day of my inauguration, you know, when everybody else came, was full of excitement and people giving briefings, and you getting to know new people. As I said, I met three of the people who had served as county commissioners so that started as a basis. There were a number of Afro Americans who were elected, more then than before so that was the highest number coming in at one time in 1993. Also significant, it was the largest number of women coming at one time to Congress in 1993. And, I think as a result of a combination of that, I was elected president of my class both with the women vote and I guess the black. I didn't go there to--in fact I didn't even know there was such a, an office as being president of the freshman class, but, anyhow, the freshman class was large freshman class. And, with a number of newcomers, and I was honored to serve as the president in--as co-president along with--now, Jim Clyburn [HistoryMaker James Clyburn] ran for it. I didn't, but both of us served as co- (unclear), we worked a compromised since I had the most votes, that we would serve as co-presidents of the freshman class. He's gone on now to be the whip, you know, Jim Clyburn is now the whip of the Democratic Party, Democratic congresspersons and is doing an exceedingly good job.$$That's true. Now, also, elected--was this Mel Watt's [HistoryMaker Melvin L. Watt] first term too?$$It was, two of us came from North Carolina.$$Mel Watt comes from Charlotte [North Carolina], right?$$Yeah, and he was very supportive of me and I supportive of him. We kind of were a tag team. I adopted him as my older, oldest son. You know, not that I'm that much older than he was. He, he's, he's doing a good job and we both came at the same time, both went through what we call redistricting here where our district (unclear) started off having about twenty-eight counties partial, you know, counties. He was gerrymandered obviously. And then they reduced it down to twenty-four, now it has twenty-two and, by the way, it's being redistricted again this year. It's going more urban now, it's moving more to Durham [North Carolina]. Before it came to Granville County [North Carolina] back to the coast and down. And the current congressman stops westward at Granville County and goes to (unclear). Now, he's losing the coastal counties and he's gaining 40 percent of his new congressional district will be in Durham, which would change the dynamics of the district. 'Cause, basically, when I went to Congress it was a rural area and I served on the agriculture committee [U.S. House Committee on Agriculture]. One, because we were a rural area and, of course, that served me well 'cause most of our people were in rural areas and we, we were able to do some things through agriculture.$$Okay, now, one of the things--now, this is the 103rd Congress?$$Um-hm.$$And, one of the things that you did was you voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement.$$I did.$$And, now, why did you vote against that? I know there were big demonstrations against it in Seattle [Washington] I think. Wasn't that in Seattle?$$Could've been. There were also demonstrations, smaller ones throughout, you know, the United States. Basically, I saw it as kind of a giveaway (unclear) the presidency away where it was, and, also the unions and the workers here were being put at a disadvantage I thought. And, the, and working with them I, I thought we should find ways of not outsourcing the jobs. And that's the real reason I voted for, 'cause I saw it as losing jobs here in the United States.$$Okay, did it adversely affect North Carolina?$$Oh, I thought it did. I mean, I saw there were a number of textile industries, a number of the manufacturer in furniture, others now find its way into foreign countries that could be produced there far less expensive. The workers cost less and they can ship it here. So, if you look through rural eastern North Carolina, you will find cotton mills, you will find textile industries no longer there because these jobs are now somewhere else.$$Okay, okay. Now, you're a, you're a member of the House agricultural committee like I said before and you were a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, right?$$I was, right.$$Now, what was the condition of Congressional Black Caucus when you arrived in Congress?$$Well, it became very strong because you had so many new ones come on at that time as, as one. And, the--I think they were not only a force but they also expanded their power in terms of exerting it. Obviously, it worked within the Democratic framework and to the extent that they were, you know, influencing change, they're more of the progressive arm of the Democratic Party, so I think that made a big, big difference in terms of the number of the bills they had.$Two-thousand one, now this is, I guess this is after the, a year after I guess the election of George Bush as, George W. Bush as president [President George Walker Bush], you declined to seek re-nomination for a sixth term.$$Um-hm.$$So, what, what was the--what went into your thinking about--$$In 2002 when I declined?$$Um-hm.$$Well, when I ran for congressman initially, I think I said publicly and privately that I did not run to serve a life term. I was gonna probably serve eight or ten years. Well, eight years came--oh, I think I might have paraphrased said I was gonna serve eight or ten years or as long as I was making a contribution and and enjoying it. Well, 2002 came I was still enjoying it and I was still making a contribution. But, if I was gonna kind of keep my word to myself and publicly, I thought it would be a--ten year made a good period of time that I would just step away and see what else the good Lord had for me to do.$$Now, this attitude is different from the attitude of a lot of people.$$Oh, sure.$$And, I guess (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I'm Eva Clayton [HistoryMaker Eva M. Clayton]. I'm not everybody else.$$That's right, yes ma'am, but you know, you look at African countries, the presidents are elected and they stay until there is a coup d'etat, you know--$$That is so true.$$--so many times, you know, not everybody, Nyerere [Julius Kambarage Nyerere] stepped away, you know, other people have stepped away but, but--$$It's hard, you know, I empathize that it's, it's--it wasn't easy and it would be harder for me now to step away if I'd been there now eighteen years. I think that's what it would have been, eighteen. It's harder at eighteen years or twenty years than it is ten, you know, so I, I understand when people stay there longer. You, you see so much happening and you are engaged in and then you wanna, you wanna keep serving. But I do think there is something both for the individual and for the office. Both for me as the individual I think I've grown, having stepped away I miss it sometime but not much. And I, and I--it was a wonderful experience. I made a--and I made a significant contribution, you know. History would bear that out, but, and, also it was--it helped me. I grew in many ways. But, taking on a different challenge, I also found that I've had opportunities to new growth in a much broader way, honestly, than I could have done in [U.S.] Congress. Or, or put it another way because I had the experience of being a congressperson, I now had other opportunities to grow in a different way and, and to make a contribution. And, also for my district [1st Congressional District] I think people say they you know miss me and I believe they are sincere but they also have been benefitted by having people to follow me, that we do have other good people. And part of democracy is not that we just have one person who can serve but we have several people who are good. That doesn't diminish my value because you now have value, you know, and, and what we need to do is create a variety of places to serve, a variety of platforms to make a contribution, not just the elected positions, if that makes any sense, you know. At least it makes sense to me, may not make sense to anybody else.$$Okay, it makes sense to me.$$And especially someone who's had many lives, right? Like you have, I got you.$$All right, so, now, so, what did you do after not--well who took your place first of all? Who took your place in--$$Frank Ballance, oh yes (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) did, did you endorse them?$$Oh yes.$$Okay.$$I sure did.$$All right.$$I sure did.