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CivicMakers have contributed substantially to their communities either by working for local governments, leading nonprofit organizations, or through activism and other forms of civic leadership and engagement. HistoryMakers in this category include civil rights activists, community volunteers, civil service workers, firefighters, social workers, and nonprofit leaders and emloyees, among many others.

Argelia Rodriguez

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2019.002

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/21/2019

Last Name

Rodriguez

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Argelia

Birth City, State, Country

Havana

HM ID

ROD07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Cuba

Favorite Vacation Destination

London, England

Favorite Quote

Results Without the Drama

Bio Photo
Birth Date

5/12/1959

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Roasted Pork

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Red

Patrisse Cullors

Activist Patrisse Cullors was born on June 20, 1983 in Van Nuys, California to Cherisse Foley. She graduated from Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, California and received her B.A. degree in religion and philosophy in 2012 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Cullors also attended the Roski School of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Southern California.

In 2001, Cullors joined the Bus Riders Union, a Los Angeles-based advocacy group. She later launched Dignity and Power Now, a coalition designed to fight police brutality. In 2012, Cullors curated her first performance art piece addressing the violence of mass incarceration, STAINED: An Intimate Portrayal of State Violence. Then, she co-founded the #BlackLivesMatter movement in 2013; and, the following year, Cullors completed an Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership fellowship, and prepared and led a think tank on state and vigilante violence for the Without Borders Conference. She also produced and directed POWER: From the Mouths of the Occupied, the first in a series of theatrical pieces.

In 2016, Cullors delivered the keynote address at over a dozen colleges and universities including American University, The University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell. In 2018, she coauthored When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, and expanded her Los Angeles based coalition work with the advocacy groups Justice L.A. and Reform L.A. Jails. In 2018, Cullors became an adjunct professor at Prescott College in the Social Justice & Community Organizing program.

In 2006, she was honored by receiving the Mario Savio Young Activist Award. In 2015, Google awarded Cullors with the Racial Justice Grant, the Justice Teams for Truth and Reinvestment. Cullors was also named by the Los Angeles Times as a Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century, she received the Sydney Peace Prize for her #BlackLivesMatter work. In 2016, Cullors was named a Leading Edge Fund Fellow by The Rosenberg Foundation, a Senior Fellow for Maternal Mortality by MomsRising, a Kick-Ass Woman of Color by DLG Media, and received the Defender of the Dream Award from the AFL-CIO Executive Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights, the Revolution Award for Freedom from ImageNation Cinema Foundation, the Justice Award from National Center for Lesbian Rights, the Community Change Agent Award from BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., and the Glamour Women of the Year Award for The Justice Seekers.

Cullors received honorary doctorate degrees from Chicago’s South Shore International College Preparatory High School and Clarkson University.

Patrisse Cullors was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.222

Sex

Female

Interview Date

12/10/2018

Last Name

Cullors

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Patrisse

Birth City, State, Country

Van Nuys

HM ID

CUL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Someplace Warm and Tropical/Miami

Favorite Quote

Black Lives Matter

Bio Photo
Birth Date

6/20/1983

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Indian

Short Description

Activist Patrisse Cullors (1983- ) was cofounder of Black Lives Matter. She served as adjunct professor in the Social Justice & Community Organizing Master’s degree program at Prescott College.

Favorite Color

Purple

Robert Parris Moses

Civil rights leader and educator Robert Parris Moses was born on January 23, 1935 in New York City to Louise Parris and Gregory Moses. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1952, and enrolled at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he received a Rhodes scholarship. After receiving his B.A. degree in philosophy in 1956, Moses later earned his M.A. degree in philosophy from Harvard University.

Moses began teaching mathematics at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx, New York in 1958. In 1960, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement, joining the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC) branch in Harlem. The following summer, Moses traveled to Atlanta where he worked for the SCLC and registered members for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) fall conference. In 1961, Moses resigned from his teaching position at the Horace Mann School and returned to the South, where he worked to register black voters in McComb, Mississippi. Moses then became the co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO), and helped to launch the freedom vote, a mock gubernatorial election to register black voters in Mississippi.

In 1964, Moses helped to organize the Freedom Summer campaign, recruiting hundreds of student volunteers to conduct a black voter registration drive in Mississippi. That summer, Moses and others organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) to challenge the all-white representation of the state at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly after, Moses was actively recruited by the Vietnam draft board, but fled to Canada to avoid the draft. He spent two years in Canada working odd jobs until moving to Tanzania and working for the Ministry of Education. There, he served as chairperson of the mathematics department at the Same Secondary School. Moses returned to the United States in 1976, under President Jimmy Carter’s amnesty program for draft resisters. Moses settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he resumed his doctoral studies at Harvard University and taught mathematics at a local high school.

In 1982, Moses received a MacArthur Fellowship, and launched the Algebra Project to improve mathematics competency for low-income students and children of color. By 1985, the Algebra Project was officially recognized by the Cambridge School Committee, and was incorporated in 1990. Two years later, Moses launched the Delta Algebra Project in Mississippi. In 1996, The Young People’s Project was founded in Jackson, Mississippi to train, employ and support high school students to become mathematics tutors. Moses also taught algebra and geometry at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi, and published his 2001 book entitled, Radical Equations. In 2006, Moses was named a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of ’56 Professor at Cornell University. That same year, he was awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Harvard University.

Moses and his wife, Janet Jemmott, have four children: Maisha, Omowale, Tabasuri and Malaika.

Robert Parris Moses was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 16, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/16/2018 |and| 11/18/2018

Last Name

Moses

Maker Category
Middle Name

P.

Organizations
First Name

Robert

HM ID

MOS08

Favorite Season

In Boston, Fall.

Favorite Vacation Destination

Friend's island in middle of a lake in Maine.

Favorite Quote

Take Care.

Bio Photo
Birth Date

12/23/1935

Favorite Food

Cereal, his home baked biscuits. Beans, rice. Ugali (Tanzanian dish)

Short Description

Civil rights leader and educator Robert Parris Moses (1935 - ) launched the Algebra Project in 1982, to improve mathematics competency for low-income students and children of color.

Favorite Color

Blue

Anne Williams-Isom

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2018.203

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/26/2018

Last Name

Williams-Isom

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Anne

Birth City, State, Country

Queens

HM ID

WIL87

Favorite Season

Holiday Season

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Birth Date

11/17/1967

Birth Place Term
Favorite Food

Carribean

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Purple

Charles "Fred" Hearns

Municipal official Charles “Fred” Hearns was born on November 28, 1948 in the Bronx, New York to Grace Tillman Clark and Samuel Hearns. He attended College Hill Elementary School, Booker T. Washington Junior High School and George S. Middleton High School in Tampa, Florida. Hearns went on to receive his B.A. degree in English journalism from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1970 and his M.A. degree from Springfield College Tampa Bay in 2011. He later obtained his second M.A. degree, this time in African American studies from the University of South Florida in 2014.

In 1970, Hearns briefly worked as a newspaper reporter for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida before returning to Tampa to accept a position as general news editor at the Florida Sentinel Bulletin. In 1971, Hearns became the sports information director for Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He remained there until 1974, when he returned to Tampa to work in the city’s Department of Community Affairs. Hearns worked for the city in this department for over thirty-two years, beginning as a community relations representative and working his way up to director. During his tenure, Hearns worked on several major projects including the reestablishment of his high school alma mater, and as a consultant for the revitalization of the Perry Harvey, Sr. Park project. He was also a founding member of several civic organizations in the city such as the 78th Street Improvement Association, the Ada T. Payne Friends of the Urban Libraries and the Robert W. Saunders Library Foundation, Inc. In 2005, Hearns started his own tourism business, Fred Hearns Tours, LLC, which included both bus and walking tours of Tampa’s African American history. The next year, he wrote an autobiographical book, ‘Getting It Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick By Brick.’ 

Hearns served as president of the local chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and was a longtime member of the NAACP, the Tampa Urban League and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He also worked as a consultant for the ENCORE housing project in Tampa. Hearns served on the Friends of the Riverwalk committee and on the Florida Advisory Committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2014, he was awarded the Robert Saunders Award for Community Service.

Charles “Fred” Hearns was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 11, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.187

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/11/2018

Last Name

Hearns

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Bronx

HM ID

HEA02

Favorite Season

Thanksgiving

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York, New York

Favorite Quote

Friendship Is Essential To The Soul.

Bio Photo
Birth Date

11/28/1948

Birth Place Term
Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Turkey

Short Description

Municipal official Charles “Fred” Hearns (1948- ) served as director at the City of Tampa, department of community affairs. In 2005, Hearns started his own tourism business and wrote an autobiographical book, ‘Getting It Done: Rebuilding Black America Brick By Brick.’ 

Favorite Color

Purple

Terri Lipsey Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2018.186

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/11/2018

Last Name

Lipsey Scott

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Terri

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

SCO09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

By God.

Bio Photo
Birth Date

4/13/1959

Birth Place Term
Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Red

The Honorable Harriet Elam-Thomas

Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas was born on September 15, 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts to Robert and Blanche Elam. She attended William P. Boardman Elementary School and graduated from Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls in Boston, Massachusetts. Elam-Thomas went on to receive her B.S. degree in international business in 1963 from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and her M.A. degree in public diplomacy in 1981 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

From 1963 to 1965, Elam-Thomas worked as a secretary at the U.S. Department of Army in Washington, D.C.; and later in 1965, she worked at the American embassy in Paris, France, where she served for three years. Elam-Thomas returned to the U.S. in 1968 and secured a position in the White House as special assistant for appointments under President Richard Nixon. In 1971, she resigned from her position in the Nixon administration and was hired at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs as a Foreign Service officer in Washington, D.C. In 1975, she was sent to Dakar, Senegal. From 1977 to 1979, Elam-Thomas served as a Foreign Service officer in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. In 1981, she was selected to serve in Athens, Greece as a cultural affairs officer. Within one year, she was sent to Athens where she worked from 1983 to 1987. Elam-Thomas transitioned to the position of desk officer in Turkey, Greece and Cyprus. In 1990, she was assigned to Turkey as the U.S. branch public affairs officer, then Elam-Thomas returned to the U.S. in 1994 and was accepted into the U.S. State Department’s Senior Seminar, a year-long intensive program on foreign policy and diplomacy. In 1995, she was named public affairs officer in Brussels, Belgium where she served for two years. She then became a counselor at the United States Information Agency (USIA) and oversaw the merger with the U.S. Department of State. In 1999, Elam-Thomas was selected by President Bill Clinton to become U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Senegal, and served from 2000 to 2003. She later became the first ambassador-in-residence at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida. In 2005, Elam-Thomas retired from U.S. Foreign Service at the rank of career minister.

Elam-Thomas has received multiple awards and honors for her work. She received the Superior and Meritorious Honor Award for Informational and Cultural Diplomacy and the Greek and Turkish Governments’ Award for improved U.S. cultural relations. She also holds honorary doctorate degrees in public service from Simmons College and the University of Central Florida, an honorary doctorate of law from Richmond College and The American University in London, and an honorary doctorate in public administration from Suffolk University.

Elam-Thomas is married to Wilfred Thomas.

Harriet Elam-Thomas was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.177

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/8/2018

Last Name

Elam-Thomas

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Harriet

Birth City, State, Country

Boston

HM ID

ELA04

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

You Never Touch Someone So Lightly That You Do Not Leave A Trace.

Bio Photo
Birth Date

9/15/1941

Birth Place Term
Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas (1941 - ) was U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Senegal and was the first ambassador-in-residence at the University of Central Florida.

Favorite Color

Yellow

Leslie A. Morris

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2018.117

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/27/2018

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Long Branch Middle School

Simmons College

Boston College

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

First Name

Leslie

Birth City, State, Country

Long Branch

HM ID

MOR19

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Disney World

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

4/30/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Trenton

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Green Salad

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Orange, Black

Toni Carter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accession Number

A2018.129

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/19/2018

Last Name

Carter

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Toni

Birth City, State, Country

Bessemer

HM ID

CAR40

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

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

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Minnesota

Birth Date

6/20/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Favorite Food

Chicken

Short Description

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

Favorite Color

Violet

Aaronetta Pierce

Civic leader Aaronetta Pierce was born on January 8, 1943 in Somerville, Tennessee to Clementine Lofties Hamilton and David Aaron Hamilton. Pierce’s father was dean of the Tennessee State University School of Agriculture and Home Economics. Pierce attended Tennessee State University where she studied French from 1959 to 1961 and transferred to The University of Iowa where she received her B.A. degree in English and social science in 1963.

From 1964 to 1967, Pierce taught in the San Antonio Independent School District in San Antonio, Texas, before she moved to Germany for three years. In the 1970s, Pierce began volunteering in the San Antonio community. In 1980, she joined the docent corps at the San Antonio Museum of Art as well as the board of the San Antonio Museum Association. In 1983, she also became active with the incorporation of the Southwest Ethnic Arts Society. In 1985, Governor Mark W. White, Jr. appointed Pierce as the first Black woman to serve on the Texas Commission on the Arts. San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros selected Pierce to chair the founding Martin Luther King City/County Commission, which planned and executed the city’s inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in 1986. Two years later, Mayor Cisneros appointed Pierce chair of the San Antonio Blue Ribbon Committee on the Arts. The committee’s report led to the creation of the San Antonio Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs. In 1990, Pierce and her husband founded Premier Artworks, Inc. to promote the work of African American artists and authors across the country.

Pierce has been recognized at the municipal and state level. In 1984, she was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame, and in 1993, she was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. The United Communities of San Antonio, Inc. awarded Pierce its Humanitarian Award, which recognizes individuals who promote understanding and respect among all races, religions and cultures, in 2007. In addition to holding long term membership in The Links, Incorporated and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Pierce served on boards for numerous organizations including Fisk University, the San Antonio Performing Arts Association, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Pierce and her husband, Dr. Joseph A. Pierce, Jr., have two sons, Joseph Pierce and Michael Pierce.

Aaronetta Pierce was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 8, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.120

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/8/2018

Last Name

Pierce

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Occupation
Schools

Tennessee State University

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

University of Iowa

First Name

Aaronetta

Birth City, State, Country

Somerville

HM ID

PIE03

Favorite Season

Christmas and Fall

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Find the Good and Praise It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

1/8/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

San Antonio

Country

United States of America

Favorite Food

Fish

Short Description

Civic leader Aaronetta Pierce (1943 - ) co-founded Premier Artworks, Inc. and chaired high profile commissions that enriched the cultural landscape of San Antonio, Texas.

Employment

San Antonio Independent School District

Favorite Color

Green