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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.

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

Eleanor Andrews

Civic leader and municipal administrator Eleanor Andrews was born on April 12, 1944 in Los Angeles, California to Jimmie Williams and Muriel Williams Poole. She received her diploma from Compton High School in Compton, California in 1962, and completed courses in general education and public administration at California State University, Los Angeles and the University of Alaska.

Upon moving to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1965, Andrews worked in various part time positions before becoming a youth counselor at the McLaughlin Youth Center for the State of Alaska in 1968. From 1975 to 1979, she served as a union representative and negotiator for the Alaska Public Employees Association. In 1980, she was hired as the union representative and negotiator for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 1547. In this role, she advocated for safety precautions, and fought to preserve the rights of electrical and communications workers, as well as local government employees and health care industry employees. In 1982, Andrews served as manager and director of human resources of the Municipality of Anchorage, where she handled over 3,500 employees. Serving as commissioner of administration for the State of Alaska from 1983 to 1986, Andrews was responsible for managing an annual operating budget of over $250 million, developing policy, and providing administrative support for the state government. In 1987, she established The Andrews Group, which offered assistance to small businesses pursuing U.S. government contracts. Andrews retired in 2007.

In honor of her service, Andrews has received many awards including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Alaska Anchorage and the ATHENA Society Leadership Award from the Anchorage ATHENA Society. Andrews served as a Chancellor’s Advisor to the University of Alaska, Anchorage from 2000 to 2012, and on the Alaska Judicial Council from 2000 to 2007. She helped found the Anchorage Urban League affiliate unit in 2006, serving as its board chair in 2007. Additionally, she served on boards of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Providence Alaska Foundation and Commonwealth North, Inc. In 2014, she was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame.

Andrews was married to Franklin S. Andrews.

Eleanor Andrews was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.101

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/21/2018

Last Name

Andrews

Maker Category
Schools

Compton High School

California State University, Los Angeles

University of Alaska Anchorage

Enterprise Middle School

George Washington Elementary School

First Name

Eleanor

HM ID

AND17

Favorite Season

Fall, Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

France, Mexico

Favorite Quote

What Are They Gonna Do Send Me To Vietnam?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alaska

Birth Date

4/12/1944

Speakers Bureau Region City

Anchorage

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Civic leader and municipal administrator Eleanor Andrews (1944- ) was commissioner of administration for the State of Alaska from 1983 to 1986. She co-founded the Anchorage Urban League in 2006, and was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

Employment

The Andrews Group

State of Alaska

Municipality of Anchorage

IBEW Local 1547

Favorite Color

Red

Jewel Jones

Municipal administrator Jewel Jones was born on December 7, 1941 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Joseph and Jewel (neé Hathyel) Fisher. Jones received her B.S. degree in sociology in 1962 from Langston University in Langston, Oklahoma, and later obtained her M.A. degree in public administration in 1974 from University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Jones taught at the Seidman School, in Los Angeles, California in 1962 and then served as a correctional officer for the State of California Department of Corrections from 1963 to 1965, and as a probation officer for the County of San Bernardino, California from 1965 to 1967. She moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1967 where she was hired as deputy executive director at the Community Action Agency in Anchorage from 1967 to 1970. As the social services director for the City of Anchorage from 1970 to 1987, Jones was instrumental in the establishment of the Anchorage Senior Center in 1981. She was then named social services manager for the Municipality of Anchorage and worked there from 1987 to 2000, and went on to the role of director, health & human services for the Municipality of Anchorage until 2003. Jones served on the sponsoring committee supporting the establishment of the Anchorage Urban League in 2006 and served as interim executive director of Anchorage Community Land Trust in 2007 and accepted the permanent position later that year serving for seven years until 2014.

Jones was inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2013. The Jewel Jones Community Center opened in 2016 in Anchorage’s Mountain View neighborhood, was named in her honor for her advocacy and work in community development.

Jones received the 2003 Anchorage Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award and the Meritorious Service Award for significant public, academic, volunteer or philanthropic service to the University of Alaska community in 2016.

In addition to her public and private service career, Jones has been active on many boards and community groups, including the board of Commonwealth North, United Way of Anchorage and the board of Alaska Center for the Performing Arts. She spent eight years as the chair of the board of the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, where she helped to ensure that senior housing projects were built across the state. Jones has worked to provide opportunities for women and minorities in Alaska and she has been active in the Alaska Black Caucus and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of Alaska Regional Hospital and board member of Cook Inlet Lending Center.

Jones and her husband Maurice have two adult children, Anthony and Carmen.

Jewel Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 21, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.100

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/21/2018

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Jewel

Birth City, State, Country

Oklahoma City

HM ID

JON43

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Oklahoma

Favorite Vacation Destination

New York

Favorite Quote

Sometimes, You Think Good Things Happen To Those That Keep Working At It

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alaska

Birth Date

12/7/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Anchorage

Favorite Food

Tacos

Short Description

Municipal administrator Jewel Jones (1941- ) helped to establish the Anchorage Urban League in 2006, and served as the executive director of the Anchorage Community Land Trust in 2007.

Favorite Color

Teal

Celeste Hodge Growden

Civic leader Celeste Hodge Growden was born on June 23, 1961 in Fort Meade, Maryland to Corene Davis and Ellis Graham. Growden graduated from Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. She went on to receive her A.A. degree in business, economics, and organization management and her B.S.W. degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Growden began working with the City of Anchorage as a word processor in 1982, where she worked in various positions, including as a receptionist with the Public Works Department. She also served as an adjunct professor at Alaska Pacific University from 1985 to 1987. She became the vice president of the NAACP Anchorage branch in 1991, and was appointed president in 1993, serving for eight years. She testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2001, following an increase in violence against communities of color in Anchorage. Growden was then appointed as deputy director and community outreach liaison for the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Equal Opportunity in 2003. Two years later, she was promoted to director. She held this position until 2011, when she was became a political aide to Alaskan Senator Bettye Davis. Growden also served as a committee aide for the Senate Health and Social Services Committee in 2010, and campaign manager for Senator Davis’ 2012 re-election campaign. She also worked with Alaska Senator Mark Begich. In 2012, Growden became executive director for Shiloh Community Development, Incorporated. In 2014, she served on Alaska Governor Bill Walker’s Anchorage transition team; and in 2015, she was appointed overseer to Anchorage mayor elect Ethan Berkowitz’s Homelessness Committee.

Growden served as an advisory board member for the college of education at the University of Alaska Anchorage from 2003 to 2013. She also served on the boards of the Alaskans Against the Death Penalty organization, and the Anchorage Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. Additionally, Growden served as president of North to the Future Business and Professional Women, and was a member of the Hillary for Alaska Leadership Council as well as the leadership team for 90% by 2020. Growden was named an Alaska Freedom’s Sister by Ford Motor Company in 2012; and in 2017, she was among twenty African Americans honored by the Anchorage Assembly during Black History Month.

Celeste Hodge Growden was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 20, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.098

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/20/2018

Last Name

Growden

Maker Category
Middle Name

Hodge

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Celeste

Birth City, State, Country

Fort Meade

HM ID

GRO03

Favorite Season

July

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico

Favorite Quote

Yes We Can.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alaska

Birth Date

6/23/1961

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Anchorage

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Civic leader Celeste Hodge Growden (1961 - ) was the director of the Municipality of Anchorage Office of Equal Opportunity, president of the Anchorage NAACP chapter and executive director of Shiloh Community Development, Inc.

Favorite Color

Cream

Cal Williams

Community activist Cal Williams was born on November 30, 1941 in Monroe, Louisiana. A college graduate, Williams served in Vietnam in the United States Air Force during the early 1960s and participated in the historic March on Washington and was affiliated with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). In 1965, he moved from Louisiana to Alaska, seeking job opportunities, racial integration and a better life. In Alaska, Williams continued his political and civic activism working with the AdHoc Democrats organization in Alaska. He was named President of the Alaska Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He also served as a member of the Alaska Delegation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. In 2012, Williams ran for the Alaska House of Representatives District 17-serving the communities of Mountain View, Airport Heights, and Russian Jack in the Anchorage area, and was defeated by opponent Geran Tarr in the August 28th Democratic primary. Williams served as the Filipino choir director at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, and also as the Chappie James American Legion Post 34 chaplain in Anchorage. He worked as a photographer and also helped to exhibit the collection of the late Alaskan historian George Harper, who documented the history of African Americans in Alaska, including the black U.S. Army troops who worked on the Alaska Highway. Williams was elected to the board of directors for Anchorage Senior Activity Center in 2016.

Williams was named in the Anchorage Municipal Assembly for his contributions to the growth and strength to the State of Alaska. In 2017, Williams was the recipient of the St. Francis of Assisi Award. Williams has served as Grand Knight of the Council of Knights of Columbus at St. Patrick's Church in Anchorage, as well as in 2018, he served as the District 22 chair for the Alaska Democratic Party.

Cal Williams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.097

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/19/2018

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Grambling State University

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles City College

First Name

Cal

Birth City, State, Country

Monroe

HM ID

WIL84

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans

Favorite Quote

That's What I'm Trying To Tell You

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alaska

Birth Date

11/30/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Anchorage

Favorite Food

Cat fish

Short Description

Community activist Cal Williams (1941- ) named chair of the Alaska Democratic Party District 22 in 2018, had served as President of the Alaska Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Employment

Municipality of Anchorage

Alaska Housing

State Farm Insurance

Favorite Color

Yellow

Ed Wesley

Community activist Ed Wesley was born on January 9, 1951 in Bolivar County, Mississippi.  He graduated from Pace Elementary in 1965 and then his family moved to Chicago, Illinois where he attend Forestville High school. 

In 1972, he was drafted into the United States Army stationed at Fort Greely, Alaska as a military police officer.  He attained the rank of Specialist 4 and his general equivalency diploma (GED) from the state of Illinois, and was honored twice as Ft Greely’s post soldier of the month.  He separated from the military in 1974 with an honorable discharge.

From 1974 to 1977, he worked as security officer on the Trans Alaska Pipeline.  In 1977, attended University of Alaska at Anchorage. Wesley’s career and work experience includes forty years in several industries in Alaska to include real estate and insurance brokers and tax advisor. He retired in 2015.

Wesley was credited for his leadership as president of the Anchorage NAACP and his role in the creation of the historic thirteen-point, two-page agreement with the Anchorage Police Department on the use of deadly force and related issues against the citizens of the Municipality of Anchorage in 1981.  In 1988, he was also credited with helping presidential candidate Jesse Jackson win the Alaska Democratic Presidential Caucus, subsequently served as whip for the Alaska Jesse Jackson delegation at the Democratic convention in Atlanta, Ga.  In 2016, Wesley was elected as national committeeman for the Alaska Democratic Party and ran an unsuccessful bid as a Democratic candidate for district J of the Alaska State Senate.  

An active community member, Wesley has served on the boards of numerous organizations such as treasurer for the Anchorage Council of PTAs, Deacon of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Worshipful Master of Mt McKinley Lodge #2 and Grand Jr Warden of Prince Hall Masons State of Alaska and its’ jurisdiction, chairman of the 3rd great Alaska high school basketball classic tournament, Municipality of Anchorage Zoning Board of Examiners and Appeals, vice president, Anchorage Board of Realtors, president of Alaska Black Leadership Conference, president of the African American Business Council, president of the African American Historical Society (sponsor of Juneteenth) and Board of Trustees for the State of Alaska Personnel Retirement System.
A veteran’s advocate for many years, Wesley has served on the Veterans Volunteer Committee at the Alaska Veterans Administration Hospital. He is past commander of American Legion Post 34, where he sponsored activities for Veterans. He has raised funds for local Disabled Veterans to attend the National Wheel Chair Games. He has worked towards and championed youth activities continually in Anchorage. Wesley has been honored by the Alaska State Legislature as a nation builder for his community service and the National Association of Black State Legislators for his community service.

Wesley and his wife Frances, have five adult children, Wendell, Cynthia, Chairita, Kiala and Tamika.

Ed Wesley was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 19, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.096

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/19/2018

Last Name

Wesley

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Ed

Birth City, State, Country

Bolivar County

HM ID

WES14

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Visiting Relatives Out Of State

Favorite Quote

When We Come Into This World We Are Greeted By Family And Friends. When We Depart, Family And Friends Come Together To Send Us Off. And, If We’re Smart, We Stay Connected In Between.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Alaska

Birth Date

1/9/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Anchorage

Favorite Food

Southern Cuisine

Short Description

Community activist Ed Wesley (1951- ) served as president of the Anchorage NAACP, credited for his role in the creation of the historic thirteen-point, two-page agreement with the Anchorage Police Department on the use of deadly force and related issues against the citizens of the Municipality of Anchorage in 1981.

Favorite Color

Brown

Patricia Banks Edmiston

Program manager and consultant Patricia Banks Edmiston was born on April 27, 1937 in New York City to Sadie Banks and Joseph Banks. After graduating from Aquinas Academy in 1955, Edmiston enrolled at Queens College, where she studied psychology. She then completed her flight attendant certification at the Grace Downs Air Career School in New York City in 1956. Edmiston went on to earn her B.A. degree in psychology from SUNY Empire State College in 1975.

After graduating from Grace Downs Air Career School with high marks, Edmiston applied for flight attendant positions at Trans World Airlines, Mohawk Airlines, and Capital Airlines. Edmiston was informed by a chief hostess at Capital Airlines that the airlines did not hire African Americans in flight capacities. In 1956, she consulted with Adam Clayton Powell and filed a complaint against Capital Airlines with the New York State Commission Against Discrimination. In 1960, the New York State Commission Against Discrimination ruled in Edmiston’s favor, and ordered Capital Airlines to hire her within thirty days or it would go to the supreme court. Edmiston completed the Capital Airlines stewardess training program later that year, and became the first African American to work as a flight attendant on a commercial airline for a southern carrier for Capital Airlines in 1960. However, she resigned one year later to pursue her education. She went on to work as a counselor at the Addicts Rehabilitation Center in New York City from 1970 to 1972. She was then hired as a program manager on the New York City Manpower Planning Council. In 1974, Edmiston became a program manager at the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services. She then returned to the Addicts Rehabilitation Center in 1999, serving as a consultant until 2015. Edmiston also worked with American Airlines Medical Wings International from 2000 to 2002 providing medical services to underserved populations around the world.

Edmiston served on the board of directors for the Black Flight Attendants of America Incorporated. She also served as captain of the disaster team for the American Red Cross from 1999 to 2001. Edmiston was inducted into the Black Aviation Hall of Fame at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee in August 2010.

She also holds a black belt in Shotokan martial arts.

Edmiston has two children, Sherman III and Lisa, and seven grandchildren.

Patricia Banks Edmiston was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 26, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.081

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/26/2018

Last Name

Edmiston

Maker Category
Schools

Queens College, City University of New York

State University of New York / Empire State College

New York University

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

EDM06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Aruba

Favorite Quote

Live Today As If You're Going To Die Tomorrow And Learn As If You're Going To Live Forever.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/27/1937

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Favorite Food

Baked Chicken Wings

Short Description

Program manager and consultant Patricia Banks Edmiston (1937 - ) became one of the first African American flight attendants to work for Capital Airlines in 1960. She went on to work in the substance abuse rehabilitation field for over thirty-five years.

Employment

ARC Addicts Rehab Center

New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse

New York City Manpower Planning Council

Addicts Rehab Center

Capital Airlines

Con Edison

Favorite Color

Orange, Purple

Munir Muhammad

Community activist Munir Muhammad was born on March 27, 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama to Mary Henley Waller and Robert L. Waller. After graduating from Wenonah High School in 1968, Muhammad moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he first worked in the shipping and receiving department for DeMert & Dougherty, a hair care product and grooming supply company. Then, in 1970, Muhammad became an assistant code enforcer for the City of Chicago.

Muhammad joined the Nation of Islam in 1972, and began reading the texts of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Although he left the Nation of Islam following the death of Elijah Muhammad in 1975, he co-founded The Coalition for the Remembrance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) in 1987, along with Halif Muhammad and Shahid Muslim. The organization started as a small group of individuals meeting at Muhammad’s home on the South Side of Chicago to study and discuss Elijah Muhammad’s teachings and speeches. In 1994, C.R.O.E launched C.R.O.E TV; and in 1997, the organization established the C.R.O.E. TV Production Studio in the West Englewood neighborhood. Muhammad served as the executive producer for C.R.O.E. TV. He also hosted several television programs, including The Munir Muhammad Show and Muhammad and Friends, in addition to radio programs Political Talk and The Muhammad Speaks Radio Show. Muhammad interviewed a number of notable individuals, including Minister Louis Farrakhan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois Representative Gus Savage, and actor Harry Lennix. C.R.O.E. TV’s programming broadcast in many cities across the United States, including in Chicago, Atlanta, New York City, and Charlotte. Muhammad and Colonel Eugene Scott also initiated an editorial partnership between The Chicago Defender and C.R.O.E. TV in 2001. In 2018, C.R.O.E. held its 31st Annual Founders Day celebration, which was attended by news anchorman John E. Davis, Judges Anne Burke and Dorothy Brown, and Reverend Al Sampson. Muhammad also served as the business manager of C.R.O.E. for over thirty years.

Muhammad served on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and was also appointed to the Cook County Board of Corrections in 2004.

Munir Muhammad was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2018.

Muhammad passed away on July 9, 2019.

Accession Number

A2018.093

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/5/2018

Last Name

Muhammad

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Munir

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

MUH03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Anywhere People Are

Favorite Quote

The Uniting Of Knowledge And Finances And Wisdom Would Be Good For Us As A People.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/27/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Salmon

Death Date

7/9/2019

Short Description

Community activist Munir Muhammad (1950 - ) co-founded the Coalition for the Remembrance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) in 1987, and hosted The Munir Muhammad Show and Muhammad and Friends on C.R.O.E. TV.

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Charlene Carruthers

Community activist Charlene Carruthers was born on July 28, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois to Gwendolyn White and Charles Carruthers. After graduating from Senn High School in 2003, Carruthers went on to earn her B.A. degree in international studies and history in 2007. Carruthers then received her M.S.W. degree at Washington University in St. Louis in 2009.

In 2010, Carruthers became a program coordinator for the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. She then worked as an online organizing strategist for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. In 2011, she joined the Women’s Media Center, where she worked as a strategic initiatives manager. After working as a campaign manager for Color of Change in 2012, Carruthers returned to Chicago to work as the director of online engagement for the National People’s Action. In 2013, she co-founded and became the national director for the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP 100). Under her leadership, BYP 100 expanded to include eight local chapters, launched a campaign to reduce the criminalization of black youth, and formalized its Agenda to Build Black Futures project. Carruthers also organized a number of protests in Chicago after the shootings of Rekia Boyd and Laquan McDonald by Chicago police. In 2015, Carruthers served as a member of the Dream Defenders Palestine Delegation; and in 2018, she released her book entitled Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Our Movement. Carruthers also developed political training programs for several organizations, including the NAACP, the Center for Progressive Leadership, Young People For, and Wellstone Action.

Carruthers received several awards for her activism work, including the Movement Builder Award from the United States Students Association, and the New Organizing Institute 2015 Organizer of the Year Award. In 2017, Carruthers received the YWCA’s Dorothy I. Height Award. She served on the board of directors for SisterSong. Carruthers has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Reader, The Nation, as well as Ebony and Essence magazines. She has appeared on CNN, Democracy Now!, BBC and MSNBC. Carruthers has also written for The Root, Colorlines and the Boston Review.

Charlene Carruthers was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 4, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.092

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/4/2018

Last Name

Carruthers

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Charlene

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

CAR38

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Mexico City and Paris

Favorite Quote

Nobody's Free Until Everybody Is Free.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/28/1985

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Favorite Food

Spicy Food

Short Description

Community activist Charlene Carruthers (1985 - ) worked with nonprofit organizations like the Women’s Media Center, Color of Change, and the National People’s Action before serving as the founding national director of the Black Youth Project 100.

Favorite Color

Purple