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Betty Neal Crutcher

Executive mentor Betty Neal Crutcher was born on November 21, 1949 in Tuskegee, Alabama to Rosea and Homer Neal. Crutcher graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School in 1967, and went on to receive her B.S. degree in sociology from the Tuskegee Institute in 1971 and her M.P.H. degree from the University of Michigan in 1973. Later, she earned her Ph.D. in educational administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 2006. Her dissertation is titled, “Cross-Cultural Mentoring: An Examination of the Perspective of Mentors,” and includes her creation of “The Three V’s: Values, Virtues, and Vision,” a special understanding into the heart of cross-cultural mentoring.

In 1980, Crutcher served as the assistant to the chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1987 Crutcher became the assistant to the president of Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. Crutcher moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1991, where she served as the first director of community relations at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. In 1994, Crutcher was hired as a community relations specialist at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, Crutcher returned to the Midwest where she was appointed community outreach coordinator for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. From 2004 through 2014, when her husband, Ronald Crutcher, became the president of Wheaton College, in Norton, Massachusetts, she served as Presidential Spouse and as a Senior Mentoring Consultant. In 2015, Crutcher became Presidential Spouse and Executive Mentor at the University of Richmond when her husband was appointed university president.

Throughout her career, Crutcher has played a cross-cultural mentoring role in health care and at various higher education institutions. She served as a senior fellow at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Society at Harvard University and as a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School Continuing Education Program. Crutcher served as one of the co-founders of the Sowing Seeds of Hope program, a Massachusetts cross-cultural mentoring initiative for high school and college students interested in the health care professions. She served as a faculty member at the 2014 American Association of Blacks in Higher Education (AABHE) Leadership and Mentoring Institute. Crutcher has authored several articles including “A Personal Connection,” Vital Speeches of the Day, January 2018, “Cross Cultural Mentoring: A Pathway to Making Excellence Inclusive,” Liberal Education, a journal of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), spring 2014; “Why Are We Here? Communal Bad Blood Perpetuates a Legacy of Mistrust,” Journal of Health Care, Science, and the Humanities, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2014, and co-authored the articles “Transforming the Negative Legacy of the Unethical United States Public Health Syphilis Study, Diversity and Democracy, summer 2018; “Transcending the Legacy of Silence and Shame Surrounding the Unethical Syphilis Study at Tuskegee,” Diverse Issues in Education, March 2017; and “The Impact of Cross-Cultural Interactions on Medical Students’ Preparedness to Care for Diverse Patients,” Academic Medicine, November 2012.

Crutcher and her husband, Ronald Crutcher, have one daughter, Sara.

Betty Neal Crutcher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 18, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.003

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/18/2018

Last Name

Crutcher

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

St. Joseph Catholic School

Tuskegee Institute High School

Miami University

University of Michigan

Tuskegee University

First Name

Betty

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

CRU05

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Berlin, Germany, Tuskegee, Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

Use Your Initiative.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Virginia

Birth Date

11/21/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Richmond

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Short Description

Executive mentor Betty Neal Crutcher (1949 - ) was an executive mentor at various higher education institutions including Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as well as first lady at Wheaton College and the University of Richmond.

Employment

University of Richmond

Wheaton College

Miami University

University of Texas at Austin

Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Guilford College

University of North Carolina

Favorite Color

Blue & Red

C. Virginia Fields

Legislator C. Virginia Fields was born on August 6, 1946 in Birmingham, Alabama to Peter Clark and Lucille Clark. Fields earned her B.A. degree in sociology from Knoxville College, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1967; and her M.S.W. degree in social work from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1969.

Fields was active in the Civil Rights Movement as a teenager and marched with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham and spent six days in jail. After graduating from Indiana University, Fields moved to New York in 1970 to pursue a career in social work. She began her political career in 1981, when she was elected as chair of the Community Board 10 in New York City. Fields held that position until 1983. Fields was first elected to the New York City Council in 1989 as a representative of the 5th District. She was then re-elected to the New York City Council in 1993 as a representative of the 9th District. Fields served two terms as the president of the Manhattan Borough and was only the second African American woman to hold that position. She was also the highest ranking African American elected official at the time. Fields remained as president of the Manhattan Borough until her term ended in 2005. After her term as president ended, Fields became the first African American woman to run for mayor of New York City in 2006, although she lost in the Democratic Primary.

In addition to her political career, Fields was also active in her community. In 2008, she was appointed as president and chief executive officer of The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. Fields also served on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Region II Health Equity Council after being appointed by Governor David A. Paterson in 2011. In 2014, she was appointed by Governor Anthony Cuomo to the New York State’s Ending the AIDS Epidemic Task Force. She has also served on the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, Policy Committee and Public Justice Project Steering Committee. Additionally, Fields is a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the Links Incorporated and Abyssinian Baptist Church.

C. Virginia Fields was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.086

Sex

Female

Interview Date

04/11/2017 |and| 12/8/2017

Last Name

Fields

Maker Category
Middle Name

Virginia

Occupation
Schools

Hudson Elementary School

George Washington Carver High School

Knoxville College

Indiana University School of Social Work

New York University

First Name

C.

Birth City, State, Country

Birmingham

HM ID

FIE04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Barbados

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

8/6/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Legislator C. Virginia Fields (1945 - )

Employment

National Black Leadership Commission On AIDS, Inc.

Office of Manhattan

New York City Council

Favorite Color

Pink

Virginia Edwards Maynor

Educator Virginia Edwards Maynor was born on April 1, 1945 in Savannah, Georgia to Freddie Mae Jones-Williams and John Roger Williams. She graduated from Alfred Ely Beach High School in 1963. Maynor earned her B.S. degree from Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia in 1968, her M.Ed. degree in history from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia in 1974, and her Ed.S. degree from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 1982. She also earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University’s Leadership Institute in 1985.

Maynor began her career in education as a third grade teacher in the Horry County School system. From 1969 to 1970, she taught in the Ridgeland South Carolina Public School system. Maynor then joined the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system as a teacher in 1970. She was promoted to the positions of assistant principal, principal, executive director of secondary schools, and deputy superintendent of instruction. In 1998, Maynor became the superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, where she remained until 2001. She was the school district’s first African American female superintendent. Maynor also represented the First Congressional District on the Georgia State Board of Education.

Maynor received the Outstanding Leadership Award from Savannah State University, the Omega Citizen of the Year Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Mu Phi Chapter, the Outstanding Educator Award from the Georgia Retired Educators Association, the Citizen of the Year Award from the Mutual Benevolent Society, Inc., an Award of Appreciation from Myers Middle School P.T.A., the Spirit of Education Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha, and the Civil Rights Museum Award from the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.

Maynor was a member of the Chatham Retired Educators Association, BAPS, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She also served as president of the Savannah Chapter of The Links, Inc. from 1995 to 2015, as fund development chair of Greenbriar Children’s Center, Inc. from 2000 to 2012, on the Board of Directors for the Telfair Museum from 2009 to 2011, and on the Board of Directors for Hospice Savannah from 2008 to 2011.

Virginia Edwards Maynor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.050

Sex

Female

Interview Date

02/10/2017

Last Name

Maynor

Maker Category
Middle Name

Edwards

Occupation
Schools

George W. DeRenne Middle School

Alfred Ely Beach High School

Savannah State University

Georgia Southern University-Armstrong Campus

Georgia Southern University

Harvard University

First Name

Virginia

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

MAY08

Favorite Season

Late Summer and Early Fall

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/1/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweets

Short Description

Educator Virginia Edwards Maynor (1945 - ) served in various positions in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School system for over thirty years. She was the school district’s first African American female superintendent, from 1998 to her retirement in 2001.

Employment

Horry County Schools

Ridgeland South Carolina Public School System

Savannah -Chatham County Public Schools

Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

Favorite Color

Pink

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Virginia Edwards Maynor's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the Cann Park neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the Cann Park neighborhood of Savannah, Georgia, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her extracurricular activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her influential teachers

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her early love of reading

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her family's Christmas traditions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the entertainment of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her experiences at Cuyler Junior High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her aspiration to become a psychologist

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers joining the Presbyterian church

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement at the Butler Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the construction of a middle school annex at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her social activities at Alfred E. Beach High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her prom

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls going to the movies at the Star Theatre in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers attending high school football games in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her decision to attend Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers registering to vote

Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about the civil rights leadership in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her experiences of hiring discrimination in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her start as a teacher in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her experiences at Armstrong State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her promotion to curriculum specialist

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers divorcing her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers filing a discrimination complaint against the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her transition from teaching to administration

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement with the Greenbriar Children's Center in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her civic activities

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her involvement with The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her book club

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes the MOLES organization

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her promotion to interim superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor recalls her challenges from the board of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her accomplishments in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her role as a mentor

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her mentorship of young educators

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Virginia Edwards Maynor talks about her second marriage

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Virginia Edwards Maynor describes her travels

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Virginia Edwards Maynor reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers the election of President Barack Obama

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Virginia Edwards Maynor reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Virginia Edwards Maynor shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Virginia Edwards Maynor narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$8

DATitle
Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers joining the Presbyterian church
Virginia Edwards Maynor remembers her accomplishments in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
Transcript
Were you in- involved in church? What church did you attend?$$Butler Presbyterian Church [Butler Memorial Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia] and what's interesting about that is, my family for years were Methodist, A.M.E. [African Methodist Episcopal], when they were on the Eastside. When they moved to the Westside, it changed. My family decided to become Catholic. I didn't want to be a Catholic, and I started attending Butler Presbyterian Church, which was in our neighborhood [Cann Park, Savannah, Georgia], actually, with some of my friends at school, Sunday school, and church was a church that welcomed young people and had quite a number of activities for young people, and I enjoyed the spiritual climate in the church. So I asked my mother [Freddie Mae Jones Williams] if I could become a Presbyterian, and they agreed that I could. So I became Presbyterian while they converted to Catholicism.$$And what were some of the activities that you were involved in at your church?$$Bible school, summer camp. I was chosen by our church to be one of the representatives to go to a summer retreat (clears throat) for--it was an interracial group. And in fact, it was not far from my mother's hometown, in--outside of Burke County [Georgia], Boggs Academy [Keysville, Georgia] (clears throat), excuse me, and that was the first experience I had in terms of any interracial interaction with the young people, and the white kids came to us from Indiana, and the interesting thing was, and this was another incident that stayed with me, was in Louisville, Georgia, was a slave market where slaves were tr- traded and the group, they planned a field trip and when we gathered for the field trip, outside of Boggs Academy we could not ride together. All the white kids had to be in one car and the black kids had to be in another car and, of course, we got to be friends, and we couldn't understand, well, why we can't ride together. You know, kids can't ride together, and they said we would be arrested. So, you know, those were hard things to fathom without developing (clears throat) some feelings of hate, you know, and that's where our parents came in to help us understand that you don't get anything accomplished by hating. You learn to think and plan and, so, you know.$Let's talk about as--let's just step back a little bit and because you're first deputy superintendent [of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System] and I want you to talk about what it was that you accomplished in that position, if you might?$$One of the things I accomplished was im- implementing a reading warranty that guaranteed that the students would be reading by third grade. Some of that was happening at the time I became superintendent but it was dismissed, you know, because that--it was a political thing, you know, so the other is, I think, that principals felt supported and that I was a superintendent that was for the best benefit of the schools and as a deputy superintendent I worked to accomplish that. I also worked to train school leaders. We had an in- internal school leadership program. In fact I have a little plaque in there that some of the graduates, when they finished, remembered a lecture that I gave and they summarized it about tips on being a leader. I think my greatest contribution as a leader was being, setting a good example for what leadership was all about because programs come and go and they can be very political and the impact this made is actually in the schools with the principals and with the students and I think that the reading warranty was one of the things that we im- that was impacted and also I--we implemented the, what's it, the early childhood education program where we had family advocates for children in the kindergarten program. We--that was implemented. It was successful, too, because it helped to guaranty that kids would be ready to start school, first grade. Let me see. I think those would be two of the things that I would point to.$$Okay. So even though you've had a challenging term as superintendent, what are you most proud of as superintendent?$$I would say I'm most proud of the fact that I did not lose my dignity nor did I compromise my principles while I tried to do--and I won't say try, why I did the best for the schools in the school district and the children. There were gains made, there were accomplishments and I think I, not think, I walked away feeling that there were lessons learned and as--one of the things that stood out was when I was, I took the oath. The headline in the paper was "Dream the Impossible Dream" and I think that that was an impossible dream (laughter), a dream that I didn't think was possible and to walk away with, one, no money mismanaged, no scandals, the only thing that could be said is that there were some that just did not get along with Virginia Edwardss [HistoryMaker Virginia Edwardss Maynor] at the time and to me that--the most important thing was to leave that--a position as contentious as being a superin- and as political as being a superintendent. When you can walk out the door with your dignity intact, that's an accomplishment as far as I'm concerned because you have to live beyond that.

Margot Copeland

Corporate executive Margot James Copeland was born on December 4, 1951 in Richmond, Virginia. She was the only child to her parents, Reverend William Lloyd Garrison James, a Baptist minister, and Thelma Taylor James, an eighth grade math teacher. Copeland earned her B.S. degree in physics from Hampton University, and her M.A. degree in educational research and statistics from The Ohio State University.

Copeland began her corporate career at Xerox Corporation, Polaroid, and Picker International. In 1992, she was hired as executive director for Leadership Cleveland, a program of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association that develops community leaders. After seven years at Leadership Cleveland, Copeland became president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Roundtable, a nonprofit organization founded to improve multicultural and multiracial relations in the Cleveland area. She joined KeyCorp in 2001, and served as executive vice president - director, corporate diversity and philanthropy and as an executive council member. KeyCorp is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies and, within her position as chair and CEO of the KeyBank Foundation, she managed the company’s annual $20 million philanthropic investment program and oversaw diversity initiatives. KeyCorp has been included in DiversityInc magazine’s list of 50 Top Companies for Diversity in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and ranked 13th among the most generous cash giving companies in America in a 2003 list published by BusinessWeek. In 2013, the KeyBank Foundation was recognized as a Civic 50 Company by the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light and Bloomberg LP.

Copeland has participated in a number of community organizations and boards. In 2010, she became the fifteenth president of The Links, Inc. She has also served as the president of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., sat on the Kent State University board of trustees, acted as Mentor/Protégé Program Advisor for Morehouse College, and is a member of the Business School Advisory board at Hampton University.

Copeland was listed as one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Cleveland” by New Cleveland Woman magazine, and in 2012, Savoy magazine included her in a list of the “100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.” She is also the recipient of the YWCA Career Woman of Achievement Award; was the 2006 Black Professional of the Year as recognized by Black Professionals Association Charitable Foundation; received the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Community Service Award; and the W.O. Walker Excellence in Community Service Award, sponsored by the Call and Post newspaper. Copeland also received the distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 2013 from Hampton University.

Copeland lives in Cleveland, Ohio and has three children, Reverend Kimberley, Dr. Garrison, and Michael Copeland.

Copeland was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 10, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.045

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/10/2014

Last Name

Copeland

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

Marietta

Occupation
Schools

Hampton University

The Ohio State University

Matoaca High School

Giles B. Cook Elementary School

Westview Early Childhood Education Center

First Name

Margot

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

COP01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Cry Out Of One Eye.$

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Ohio

Birth Date

12/4/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cleveland

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Blue Crab

Short Description

Corporate executive Margot Copeland (1951 - ) served as the executive vice president of diversity and chair of the foundation at KeyCorp from 2001. She was also national president of The Links, Incorporated.

Employment

Xerox Corporation

Polaroid Corporation

Picker International

Leadership Cleveland

Greater Cleveland Roundtable

KeyCorp

KeyBank Foundation

Ohio State Legislature

Ameritrust Bank

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Margot Copeland's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland talks about the role of Petersburg, Virginia in the Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's upbringing in Petersburg, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland describes her mother's involvement with The Links

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her paternal grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her father's upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her father's career as a minister

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her community in Petersburg, Virginia, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her early experiences of religion

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the racial tensions at Matoaca High School, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her elementary school education

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland talks about her early interest in science

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers her time at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland remembers her astrophysics courses at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about the environment at historically black colleges

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her admission to The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her graduate programs at The Ohio State University

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland recalls her graduate math courses

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers working for state legislator William L. Mallory, Sr.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers joining the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland talks about her role at the Xerox Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers her transition to the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland talks about her maternal uncle, Theodore Taylor

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland remembers the economic boycott of Richmond, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland recalls her father's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes her work at the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers leaving the Polaroid Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland talks about her early community involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the history of The Links

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland describes The Links' organizational structure

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about her involvement in The Links, Incorporated, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland recalls her start in the Junior League

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland describes her philosophy of organizational leadership

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland remembers her presidency of the Junior League of Cleveland, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland remembers hosting a gang leader as a guest speaker at Leadership Cleveland

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to women's prisons in Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland remembers taking leaders to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland remembers her involvement on the Cleveland Bicentennial Commission

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland remembers the Cleveland Browns' departure from Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Margot Copeland talks about Michael R. White's mayoralty of Cleveland, Ohio

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the Greater Cleveland Roundtable

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Margot Copeland talks about her previous positions

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Margot Copeland describes her work with the KeyBank Foundation

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Margot Copeland describes the KeyBank Classrooms for STEM Education program

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Margot Copeland describes the role of civic engagement at KeyCorp

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Margot Copeland describes her plans for the future

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Margot Copeland talks about the importance of community service

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Margot Copeland recalls her mentorship of an aspiring biomedical engineer

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Margot Copeland reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Margot Copeland describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Margott Copeland narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Margot Copeland remembers attending a pre-college program at the Hampton Institute, pt. 2
Margot Copeland recalls serving as executive director of Leadership Cleveland
Transcript
I go down to pre-college and on the way down to Hampton [Virginia], you would've thought somebody was taking our family to a funeral. I'm in the back seat of the car crying, my father's in the front seat crying. He and I are both softhearted so that was natural. When my mother [Thelma Taylor James] started to cry, then I knew something was wrong. My mother was not a crier (laughter). But--so it was an emotional time taking your child even though it was pre-college and Hampton is much closer to Petersburg [Virginia] than going to Raleigh [North Carolina] to go to school--I mean not Raleigh, Durham [North Carolina] to go to school. But anyway we got over the sepera- we got through the separation if you will. And within about forty-eight hours I'd become quite acclimated to being not only away from home but to be in that beautiful Hampton Institute [Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia] at that time although I was not gonna be matriculating there for the fall. Well in the middle of the six week period, I got a note to come over to the registrar's office which I did, and I spoke to one of the admissions directors and he said that--he complimented me on how well I was doing. I was taking freshman level math and English, and what have you. He said I was doing well midterm, I was doing quite well and what have you, wanted to know if I 'wanna think about, you know, staying and going to Hampton for undergrad versus going to North Carolina [North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina]. And I was flattered, and I said wow, and I thought about it for a while, and my dad being a minister his big day off was always on Monday. So of course when I was in Hampton every Monday my father was in Hampton. He would drive on down there--he'd come and spend Monday afternoon with me anyway, so I don't know what day I was talking to this gentlemen. But all I know is the second meeting said, well my father will be here on Monday. Can I get him involved in this conversation? That's before cell phones, computers, and text, you know, and so daddy came and we went back to see the man and he told him, "Reverend James [William James], your daughter's done so well we would love to see her come here." And I began to ask him some questions about, you know, scholarship I said I had you know, I didn't have a big scholarship to North Carolina--if I had a nice one, you know it was recognizing my academic ability. And I said I've got a scholarship here, you know, what can you do help us do this. My father was so struck by the fact that he sat in that conversation and was proud of me--of how I negotiated getting money to go to school at Hampton, not a complete scholarship but a nice complement to what my parents were gonna have to pay. Anyway, he went back home and told mom, "Well it looks like she's gonna go to Hampton because she's done all these things, she's negotiated her money, got a little bit more money than I got to North Carolina." And my mother just revolted to him, she said, "She's not old enough to make a decision like that, how dare she decide--she's going to UN- North Carolina Central." And he said, "Margot's [HistoryMaker Margot Copeland] going to Hampton, because she has already committed. That's where it is," and my mother did call me, and there was a--one telephone booth on the floor that all these girls in the dorm had to share, and you could barely get a call through. But of course that call came through and my mom and I talked and I was very clear. I used the clarity I learned from her, I was very clear that this was gonna be my choice, and I said, "I don't wanna go to another place and get adjusted all over again." I said, "I'm adjusted, I like it." I said, "It's a topped named HBCU [historically black colleges and universities], you know, everybody's going to Howard [Howard University, Washington, D.C.], I'm going to Hampton." And so, and so that's what where--so Hampton chose me. Hampton pulled me back in and there are a lot of things in life, if you look back and you'd like to do over, or change, or adjust, the best decision, best decision in my life was going to Hampton. It was just incredible.$$We spent like the last two years interviewing black scientists. And we spent a lot of time at Hampton, now people who are there now undoubtedly were not there when you were there.$$Right.$$But they are associated with the Jefferson National Accelerator [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, Virginia] over there and a lot of things going on at Hampton. The physics department is re- is really, you know, doing things.$Now during the same period of time, here comes Leadership Cleveland you go (laughter), you're like building steam.$$Yeah, yeah, yeah. Leadership Cleveland really came as a result of my presidency with the Junior League [Junior League of Cleveland, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio]. So as--when I was president elect, I was a member of the Leadership Cleveland class of 1991. Boy is this documentary dating me and--but anyway I was a member of the class and again a great set of peers that I got to know and meet. And then I was president from '91 [1991] to '92 [1992]. By the time I was a past president of the league, my active days as a Junior League member began to wane, because you know, you've been the president and I be- once you turn forty you can become an alum. So I, I applied for alumni status. I'd already actively served about fifteen years in the league so it was time. It was time to begin replenishing ourselves. We have younger women coming in and others, you know, moving on. I don't believe in older women, you know, holding up all the--holding all the top jobs so the younger women can't advance and move forward. I'm a real proponent of bringing along younger people. But anyway so Leadership Cleveland came in my life as a--first as a participant in the class of '91 [1991] and by the fall of '92 [1992] I found myself in the job. I'd taken a leave of absence from Picker International [Picker International, Inc.], had--with all their support. And when it was time for that year to come back, I remember my manager calling me, he said, "Okay you got your year back." He literally--it wasn't that he held the job for me, but he had a place for me at Picker and invited me to, you know, come back and, and come back and regain, you know, the te- be a part of the team at Picker. And during that time, the directorship for Leadership Cleveland had opened. God lines up all the stars. He has a plan and I tossed my hat in the ring as the director, executive director of Leadership Cleveland. Great mentor of mine, probably the mentor. I've had many along the way, Carole Hoover. Carole Hoover was a senior executive with the Greater Cleveland Growth Association [Greater Cleveland Partnership], which at that time was the chamber of commerce for greater Cleveland that Leadership Cleveland program reported up through to her and with her encouragement and the encouragement of others, I was selected as the executive director, Leadership Cleveland, becoming the first black director of Leadership Cleveland. And I ran that program for about eight years from '92 [1992], my last class was a class of '99 [1999] and in a class it was always fun putting those classes together. You would have CEOs or you would have clergy and head of the labor union and, and somebody who works in the social services or in the arts world or what have you. There was one meeting where I had this, this--the COO of Lincoln Electric [Lincoln Electric Company] and the CEO of the Midnight Basketball League and at the opening dinner I placed everybody where they were gonna be I sat them together. Where else would the two of them come together and meet. So and the learning, the learning that you would get, you know from that sort of thing. There was one session in Leadership Cleveland where you know, you can go and listen to the practitioners talk about, you know, issues. I like to demonstrate the issues, you know, for that the community had. These are established accomplished leaders so they don't need me to introduce them to problems (unclear) has the whole bombard of--of barrage of speakers coming talking about topics. I wanted to--them to actually touch and feel and see. So we had a session around quality of life. And I had them all arrive that morning around 6:30 A.M., most of them are up and moving, these are powerful folks, they're up early anyway. But it was a December, it was freezing cold outside, and I--we told them to leave their coats in the car. And when they got to the church where we were having this session, the door was locked and they were all lined up in the cold. And this real gruff, wiry looking man came out, pushing a cart and gave each one a pa- a brown paper bag, with a carton of milk, a Twinkie and a banana in their bag, well that was their breakfast. They were accustomed to coming into a place and getting a nice warm cup of coffee or tea and having continental breakfast. That was their breakfast and we made them stan- they were pounding on the door--they were so upset with me and we inside church looking at them pou- because they were freezing and we made 'em do that for thirty minutes and they were not happy. But the demonstration was this is what it feels like to be a homeless person getting ready to start their day on a December cold morning. They got it, they got the point. Same thing I took them to the Hospice of the Western Reserve [Cleveland, Ohio] so they--so the hospice was not just something that you heard about or maybe unfortunately experienced. But at least--you actually talk to people who are in--going through the process or families going through the process with a loved one.

Clarice Dibble Walker

Professor and commissioner of social services, Clarice Dibble Walker was born on March 31, 1936 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She is the granddaughter of Robert Robinson Taylor, and the daughter of Helen Taylor Dibble, and Dr. Eugene Heriot Dibble, Jr. Walker is the youngest of five children. Her grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor was born on June 8, 1868. He was the first African American to graduate with a degree in architecture from MIT in 1892. Taylor worked with Booker T. Washington as an architect at Tuskegee University from 1890 until 1930. He has designed several of Tuskegee’s most prominent buildings such as the science buildings, dormitories and the school's chapel. Helen Annetta Taylor was born on October 15, 1901 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She attended Fisk University and graduated with her B.A. in music. Walker’s father Dr. Eugene Heriot Dibble Jr., attended Atlanta University and Howard medical school. He was the head of John Andrew Hospital and served in World War II as Colonel.

Walker attended Chambliss Childrens School in Tuskegee, Alabama and Northfield High School in Massachusetts. She received her B.S. degree from Sarah Lawrence College in Westchester County, New York in 1957. Walker later obtained her M.A. degree from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. In 1992, she served as Commissioner of Social Services for the Government of the District of Columbia. Walker has worked at Howard University as professor and department chair in the Graduate School of Social Work, Program Development in the Child Development Center, Department of Pediatrics, and the College of Medicine. She has served as visiting lecturer at Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research. In addition, she has worked as a psychiatric social worker at the University of Montreal General Hospital in Montreal Canada.

Walker has served as Chair of the Distribution Committee of the Survivors Fund, the Research Committee of Prevent Child Abuse America and the Board of Safe Shores. She has also served as Trustee for the Seed Public Charter School, Sarah Lawrence College and Howard University.
Walker is married to George H. Walker, and they have four children together.

Accession Number

A2012.065

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/1/2012

Last Name

Walker

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Dibble

Schools

Chambliss Children's House at Tuskegee Institute

St. Joseph Catholic School

Sarah Lawrence College

Columbia University

Northfield Mount Hermon School

Tuskegee Institute High School

First Name

Clarice

Birth City, State, Country

Tuskegee

HM ID

WAL18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Beaches

Favorite Quote

Let's Move It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

3/31/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Social work researcher Clarice Dibble Walker (1936 - ) was known for her research on socio-cultural factors involving children and families in urban environments.

Employment

District of Columbia

Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research

Howard University

Montreal General Hospital

United Planning Organization

University of Chicago

Capital Head Start, Inc.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Clarice Dibble Walker's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her maternal grandfather, Robert Robinson Taylor

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls the notable families at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her mother's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her maternal grandparents' grocery store

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her father's education and profession

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her paternal aunts and uncles, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her paternal aunts and uncles, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers the sense of community in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls the segregation of Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' travels with Robert Russa Moton, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' travels with Robert Russa Moton, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the John A. Andrew Clinical Society, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the John A. Andrew Clinical Society, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her parents' careers

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers Tuskegee, Alabama's notable families

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at Chambliss Children's House School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her early interest in music

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls Tuskegee Institute's entertainment series

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her teachers at the Tuskegee Institute High School in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at the Northfield School for Girls in Gill, Massachusetts

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her chores at the Northfield School for Girls

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the Tuskegee Airmen

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers singing in the choir at Northfield School for Girls

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her experiences at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her experiences with segregation in the South

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her major at Sarah Lawrence College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her time at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her field placements at Columbia University in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers working with the City of New York Department of Welfare

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her first marriage and move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers meeting her second husband, George H. Walker III

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls protesting against Benjamin C. Willis in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about moving to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her work with Capital Head Start, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes her role as director of Capital Head Start, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers the Washington, D.C. riots of 1968

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her professorship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker remembers her students at Howard University

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her experiences at Howard University and Tuskegee Institute

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about the National Black Child Development Institute

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls her work with the SEED School of Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her career at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Clarice Dibble Walker recalls becoming the commissioner of the Commission on Social Services

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about September 11, 2001

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her father's legacy at the John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her children

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Clarice Dibble Walker reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Clarice Dibble Walker describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$7

DAStory

2$1

DATitle
Clarice Dibble Walker talks about her field placements at Columbia University in New York City
Clarice Dibble Walker recalls becoming the commissioner of the Commission on Social Services
Transcript
So, you graduated in--from Sarah Lawrence [Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York] in, what's it--$$Nineteen fifty-seven [1957].$$Fifty-seven [1957], okay.$$Um-hm.$$And so you went--did you go immediately to graduate school afterwards?$$Yes.$$Okay. All right.$$I went to Columbia [Columbia University].$$Okay. So, this is where you go to Columbia in New York City [New York, New York] and so what was your major?$$I went into psychiatric social work.$$Okay.$$And I did a field placement first year in public welfare in New York City, which was very different. I learned to go all over the Bronx [New York] and everywhere. And my field placement was the first year in the department of welfare [City of New York Department of Welfare; City of New York Department of Social Services], so that meant I was in the home visiting and working with people who were on welfare. And then my second year, I was at the Columbia University Presbyterian Hospital [Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York] in the Department of Psychiatry.$$Now, were these--I mean, was it hard to adjust to New York City and, and the, the--you know, the, the real deep urban problems of New York City all at once? 'Cause you, you grew up in Tuskegee [Alabama] in a family like atmosphere, you go to New England to bucolic colleges (laughter), and then you go--you--all, all of the sudden you're in--$$In New York City.$$Yeah.$$Yeah, it was, although I had--you know, I knew a little bit about New York City because we'd go from Bronxville [New York] into New York on the train and we'd go back and forth a lot 'cause it was a short trip. But it, it was very much--it was different for me when I went to Columbia and had my field placement in public housing. And by public housing, I was really trying to work with people who didn't have jobs and, of course, being in New York making home visits is very different in the sense that you may be going to twelve, fifteen story walkup buildings. So, it was difficult but I enjoyed it. And--I shouldn't say I enjoyed it, but I, I learned a lot about the people. I became friends with some of them. And when I say friends, I don't mean I was--I was friends in the sense of they viewed me as being a person that wanted to help. Sometimes they didn't want my help because it meant they'd have to go back to work and that sometimes was problematic. But, I learned a lot. It was a totally new experience as you point out, you know, being in this big city after I'd been in small towns and so forth. But, I, I enjoyed my work very much and I learned a lot.$$Okay. So, did you have--were there any particular instructors or people you met along the way in the, the department of welfare that guided you?$$Yes and I'm--well, I had that first year in, in public welfare and then the second year--right now, I can't think of the names of my two people who were supervising me, but in the second year, I was in the Department of Psychiatry at--they've changed the name of the hospital, but it's the big Columbia University hospital. And I learned a lot and I enjoyed being in an interdisciplinary area because we worked a lot with different disciplines in the hospital.$$Okay.$$And, of course, I was familiar with hospitals since I'd (laughter) grown up in one practically [John A. Andrew Memorial Hospital, Tuskegee, Alabama], but this was a much, much bigger place.$Well, go, go ahead and tell us about that, the, the 9/11 [September 11, 2001] victims of (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I was just gonna say that volunteer life has been a very big part of my life, and I have worked on numerous boards here in the city and I will tell you that another experience that we haven't talked about is the fact that, before I get to 9/11, is that I went on loan from Howard University [Washington, D.C.] to be the commissioner of social services in the District of Columbia [Washington, D.C.].$$Okay. And what, what year is this? Do you remember?$$I'll think about it. I'll tell you in a minute. I was at Howard and there was a lawsuit brought against the District of Columbia called LaShawn v. the District of Columbia [sic.], and it was filed by the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union], and the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asked me to serve as an expert witness in their case in the courts of the district, which I did, and I testified against the District of Columbia, and the lawsuit was won. Subsequently, the mayor of the district called me and said since I had been so vehement about the problems of the system, would I accept a job of commissioner of social services?$$Now, who was the mayor at that--$$Sharon Pratt Kelly [HistoryMaker Sharon Pratt].$$Okay.$$And I did that. And I went to, to this--to the child welfare division even though I had responsibilities for other services in the commission [Commission on Social Services], and it was really worse than I imagined it would be. But, we worked on it, worked on it, and worked on it, and it's still in progress, a work in progress. But, I did do that for three years. And while I was there, I was contacted by Freddie Mac [Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation], the corporation Leland Brendsel [Leland C. Brendsel], who said that they were interested in working with us and what could they do. And we established a partnership with Freddie Mac. The agency was in total disarray. They not only contributed funding for us, but actually put staff in the commission in order to help us just find out where children were, who they were, who their parents were, and so we established a terrific partnership with Freddie Mac, the Freddie Mac Foundation. And when I left the commission, they asked me to join the board of the Freddie Mac Foundation, and I have served on that board ever since.$$Okay. So, so how long--how long have you been on the board of Freddie, Freddie Mac Foundation? Do, do you know or do you have a--$$Since I left the commission--$$Okay.$$--which must've been ten years now.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$So that's about two- 2002, I guess or so, about the time you retired from Howard, I guess, just about, yeah. Okay (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah.$$What--$$So--$$Oh--$$--that has continued.

Paula McClain

Political science professor and public policy professor Paula D. McClain was born on January 3, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky to Mabel T. Molock and Robert Landis McClain. After graduating from East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska in 1968, McClain enrolled at Howard University. In 1970, McClain served as a program coordinator for the National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse Education and Information. She interned in 1971 with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Compliance where she briefed and researched violations of discrimination in the utility of industry. McClain received her B.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 1972. She went on to pursue graduate education at Howard University, finishing her M.A. degree in political science in 1974.

McClain then worked as a consultant for Adaptive Systems in Annapolis, Maryland and the Social Science Research Center at Howard University. By 1977, she had also completed her Ph.D. degree from Howard University, and began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in political science studies and African American Studies. McClain published her first book Alienation and Resistance: The Political Behavior of Afro-Canadians while at UWM. McClain received a postdoctoral fellowship and worked as a research associate in the Analysis Center at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1980-81 academic year. She then began teaching at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona in the School of Public Affairs. By 1990, McClain was serving as the acting director for the Doctorate of Public Administration Program. Also in 1990, McClain and Harold M. Rose released Race, Place, and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America. The book was awarded the National Conference of Black Political Scientists' Best Book Award for a previously published book that has made a substantial and continuing contribution. In 1991, McClain joined the faculty at the University of Virginia as a professor of government and foreign affairs. She served as department chair from 1994-1997. In 1995, McClain released the first edition of Can We All Get Along? Racial and Ethnic Minorities in American Politics, which won the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights in North America Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Subject of Intolerance.

In 2000 McClain joined the faculty at Duke University as a professor of political science and professor or public policy. In 2001, she began The Durham Pilot Project, examining racial attitudes among blacks, whites and Latinos in the South. While working on this project, she became the third woman and the first African American elected to serve as Chair of Academic Council at Duke University (2007-2009). Since 2004, she has served as co-director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. She also is the director the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, a program of the American Political Science Association that is hosted by Duke and funded by the National Science Foundation. McClain and her husband Paul Jacobson have two daughters, Kristina L. McClain-Jacobson Ragland and Jessica A. McClain-Jacobson.

Paula McClain was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 22, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.069

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/22/2012

Last Name

McClain

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

East Anchorage High School

Colonel Young Elementary School

Colonel Johnson Middle School

Buena High School

University of Michigan

Howard University

First Name

Paula

Birth City, State, Country

Louisville

HM ID

MCC13

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Kentucky

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

North Carolina

Birth Date

1/3/1950

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Durham

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Political science professor and public policy professor Paula McClain (1950 - ) was a professor at Duke University, where she founded the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences. Her publications included the popular textbook 'American Government in Black and White.'

Employment

Duke University

Arizona State University

University of Virginia

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Howard Pollock Congressional Office

Birch Bayh Senatorial Office

National Coordinating Council on Drug Abuse

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Wharton School Analysis Center

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paula McClain's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paula McClain lists her favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her paternal family's connection to Houston A. Baker, Jr.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paula McClain recalls her father's service in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her time in Anchorage, Alaska

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paula McClain remembers her schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her early mentors

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paula McClain describes the African American community in Anchorage, Alaska

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her decision to enroll at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers the assassination of Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paula McClain talks about her family's religious affiliations

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls her internships on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers her internship at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paula McClain remembers the visiting speakers at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paula McClain remembers her professors at Howard University, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree at Howard University

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paula McClain describes her master's thesis

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the black community in Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paula McClain recalls the politics of the early 1970s

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paula McClain remembers the Watergate scandal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her graduation from Howard University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Paula McClain recalls her position at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her studies at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her associate professorship at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about the prevention of black on black crime

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paula McClain describes her reasons for leaving Arizona State University

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about her publications at the University of Virginia

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her membership in the American Political Science Association

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her experiences at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the Durham Pilot Program

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paula McClain talks about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paula McClain talks about her book, 'American Government in Black and White,' pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Paula McClain talks about the history of democracy in Native American cultures

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paula McClain talks about her current research projects

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paula McClain describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paula McClain talks about the economic disparity within the African American community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paula McClain reflects upon the status of black women in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paula McClain reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paula McClain reflects upon her life

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paula McClain talks about her family

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paula McClain shares her advice to women in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paula McClain describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

4$5

DATitle
Paula McClain talks about her book, 'Race, Place, and Risk,' pt. 1
Paula McClain talks about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences
Transcript
All right so, '89 [1989], let's see, okay with, with Harold Rose you released 'Race, Place, and Risk' (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, 'And Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America' ['Race, Place, and Risk: Black Homicide in Urban America,' Paula D. McClain and Harold Rose].$$Okay$$It was the first, well what--among the first in depth studies of black on black homicide, and we used five or six different cities; it was Detroit [Michigan], St. Louis [Missouri], Houston [Texas], L.A. [Los Angeles, California], but there were six cities, I'm blanking on, St. Louis, did I say St. Louis? But the causes and the factors that contributed to what we were seeing at that point was an increase on black on black violence and we had a lot of different--Harold as a res- Harold is just a creative researcher. We started with a, with a sample of victims which we got by ordering data from public health departments in the cities, the study ran from 1960 through '85 [1985], I believe, so we had about twenty-five years' worth of data and we ordered death certificates based on the health departments names and numbers of who died, I mean there's a difference, we didn't use the FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] statistics because if, if you look at 'em you have, you come up with two different numbers because the FBI has statistics on everybody who died within the city, and we were only interested in residents and county health departments only keep the stats of resident deaths I mean in terms of the ones that they report. So by starting with the city or county health department, then ordering death certificates for all of the people and then identifying the black victims, I mean it was just a real lot of detective work to kind of get to, once we got the victims sample, then we were able to find out whether anyone was ever arrested for the homicide and if they were what the dep- disposition of the case was. And so we had victim data, we got, if we could identify the offender and if they were incarcerated we got interviews, there, I actually did a series of interviews in, it's coming back to me, Jackson, which is the women's prison up in Michigan. Then once we, you know, then got data on the offenders, we got school data on the victims, I mean it was, it was just a massive effort and, an incr- an incredible study that really kind of talked about the various factors of why some cities looked like they were high homicide cities in the aggregate like Atlanta [Georgia]. But basically in Atlanta most of the homicides were domestic, so unless you were in that particular household, your risk of being a homicide victim was a lot lower than in a place like St. Louis where it was mostly unknown and on the street. So we identified all of these differences in the rate of black homicide and the factors that contributed to it.$$Is there a generalization that, that can be extrapolated from that research that could characterize black on black crime in--?$$I don't think, given the fact that we found differences among cities that there's one generalization that one can identify. But, what our work it was it spawned a lot of other work, you know? And there's lots of people now, lots of scholars who have done more work on black homicide and I no longer do that, I think the last piece Harold and I wrote was an update in '95 [1995], I believe on the cities--$$Okay.$$--that we had looked at.$Well tell us about the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender in the Social Sciences (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sciences. My colleague, Kerry Haynie [Kerry L. Haynie], and I are the founding directors of the center, it's part of the Social Science Research Institute. And the focus is race and then ethnicity, because Latinos are not considered a race they can be of any race, but the [U.S.] Census Bureau considers them an ethnic group as opposed to a race, but even within the Asian American population, we use that broad term but there are various ethnic groups, various different groupings within the Latino population and even increasingly among the black population in the United States. With immigration it's still primarily like 94 percent slave descendent, but there's this increasing proportion of the black population of the United States that are Caribbean or of various African origins. And so that's the race and ethnicity in terms of the research, the gender is the intersection of race and gender, in literature, sociology is a little bit better, but in political science or whatever, when you talk about women in politics, all the research is on white women, when we talk about race, ethnicity and politics and we're talking about elected officials who are black or Latino, it's mostly male, research on black women in politics in, in organization, Latino women just get dropped out. So the gender in our center is about this interaction for women of color within these groups. So that the, the issues related to white women are not central to our study of gender but it's the gender of women of color, women of color interacting because that's where there's just a paucity of research.$$Okay.$$And we have a number of graduate students that are fellows in the center, we have a post doc [postdoctoral fellowship], we just had our distinguished lecture which was Ed Ayers [Edward L. Ayers], who's a civil, who's a historian, he's president of the University of Richmond [Richmond, Virginia], but he gave us, his lecture was on February 10th because this is, this is like the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and running up to the Emancipation Proclamation, and one of the things that that Ed was saying is that we really shouldn't separate the beginning of the Civil War from this emancipation because from the very beginning blacks were emancipating themselves whenever they knew that federal troops or anything were close that they would, they would take off. So we think about the Emancipation Proclamation as being some beginning point when in reality--$$Um-hm.$$--it was all part of the Civil War, you know. So, and we've got a number of visiting scholars that, that come to spend time. We've had a graduate student from France who spent a year with us, 'cause France doesn't identify issues of race. They've got a lot of racial issues, but they don't collect racial data, they don't wanna talk about it, there's no courses. So she came over here for a year and took some courses and wrote her master's [degree] thesis when she was with us so.$$Okay so, so does the future seem bright for the center?$$I hope so, I mean, you know, you're always--we go through three year budget cycles and so my hope is that in 2013 we'll get another three year budget cycle, you know, but right now things are good.$$Now there is, there has been some talk in academia and some action about rolling back such centers and African American studies departments and women's studies even and that sort of thing, especially with the tightening of budgets and--$$Um-hm.$$--you know, so that's, that's not a problem at, at Duke [Duke University, Durham, North Carolina] I don't think at this time?$$I don't think right now.$$Yeah.$$I think our centers are strong, the Department of African and African American Studies here is quite strong, it's got some very, very important and very solid scholars. So I think that national trend has not affected Duke, you know, but there's always issues, you're always concerned about protecting and making sure that commitment to these things doesn't fall through, you know, the cracks at Duke. And we've got a very active black faculty organization, the Black Faculty Caucus that tries to stay on top of these issues.

Alma Dodd

Insurance executive Alma Leola Dodd was born on September 5, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois, to George and Velma Roberts. Dodd received her B.S. degree in education from Northern Illinois University in 1966. She received her M.S. degree and completed her post graduate work in education with a focus on special education, learning disabilities, and administration & supervision from Chicago State University in 1974.

Dodd began her career in education as a teacher at Woodson North Elementary School in Chicago, where she taught from 1967 through 1970. She then worked as a language arts teacher at Dixon Elementary School in Chicago from 1970 to 1975. From 1975 to 1979, she worked at Victor F. Lawson School, Center for Learning Disabilities as a teacher of reading. From 1979 to 1981, she taught reading at Gillespie Elementary School, Center for Learning Disabilities. Dodd then worked as an instructional intervention teacher for the District 17 Learning Disabilities Program in Chicago from 1981 to 1985. Dodd was promoted to District 17 Supervisor, a position in which she coordinated Chapter One Programs, and supervised 42 Chapter One programs in area schools between 1985 and 1988.

In 1988, Dodd began a new career in the insurance industry when she became part owner and operator of an Allstate Insurance Company in Calumet City, Illinois. From 1990 through 1994, her agency was recognized as the Top Allstate Insurance Agency in Illinois. Dodd is a charter member of the Windy City Chapter of The Links, Inc., and is a former chapter president. Dodd also serves on the board of directors for ETA Creative Arts Foundation, Black Creativity, The HistoryMakers, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Dodd has been honored as an outstanding member of the community. The organization 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc., honored Dodd for her exemplary support of youth. In addition, Chicago Magazine recognized her as an outstanding leader in the Chicago community as part of the Marshall Field’s Project Imagine.

Dodd is married to fellow insurance agent Louis Dodd. They have three children: Robert Dodd, Kimberly Yelverton, and Courtney Dodd.

Accession Number

A2008.139

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/21/2008

Last Name

Dodd

Maker Category
Middle Name

Leola

Occupation
Schools

Oakland School

Holy Angels Catholic School

St. Elizabeth Catholic School

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Northeastern Illinois University

Chicago State University

First Name

Alma

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DOD02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

Service Is The Price You Pay For Occupying Your Space On Earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/5/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Greens

Short Description

Insurance executive Alma Dodd (1944 - ) worked twenty-one years in Chicago public schools, ending as a district supervisor. Then she became part owner and operator of Dodd’s Insurance Agency, recognized as the best in the state from 1990 to 1994. Dodd was a charter member of the Windy City Chapter of The Links, Inc., and has been honored for her services to the community.

Employment

Woodson North Elementary School

Arthur Dixon Elementary School

Victor F. Lawson School

Gillespie Elementary School

Instructional Intervention Teacher

Dodd's Insurance Agency

Favorite Color

Yellow

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alma Dodd's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alma Dodd lists her favorites

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

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

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alma Dodd talks about her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alma Dodd describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Alma Dodd describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Alma Dodd lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Alma Dodd describes her likeness to her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Alma Dodd describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Alma Dodd recalls the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alma Dodd recalls the Ida B. Wells Homes in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alma Dodd describes her activities at the South Side YWCA

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alma Dodd describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alma Dodd remembers her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alma Dodd recalls her mentors in school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alma Dodd remembers her scholarship to Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alma Dodd describes her experiences at Northern Illinois University, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alma Dodd describes her experiences at Northern Illinois University, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Alma Dodd remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Alma Dodd recalls her involvement with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Alma Dodd describes the role of religion in her upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alma Dodd remembers her first student teaching assignment

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alma Dodd remembers her first teaching position

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alma Dodd recalls her challenges as a teacher, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alma Dodd recalls her challenges as a teacher, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alma Dodd remembers Arthur Dixon Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alma Dodd remembers earning a master's degree at Chicago State University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alma Dodd describes her work at reading clinics

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alma Dodd talks about the graduation rates at disadvantaged schools, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alma Dodd talks about the graduation rates at disadvantaged schools, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alma Dodd describes her role as an instructional intervention teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Alma Dodd recalls Harold Washington's mayoral campaign in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alma Dodd recalls the corruption in the Chicago Public Schools

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alma Dodd describes her decision to leave the teaching profession

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alma Dodd remembers meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alma Dodd describes her decision to enter the insurance industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alma Dodd describes Dodd's Insurance Agency

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alma Dodd remembers a life insurance policy she sold

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alma Dodd describes the role of life insurance in the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alma Dodd talks about the clientele of her insurance agency

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Alma Dodd describes her role at The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Alma Dodd talks about her family's hospitality business

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alma Dodd talks about her community involvement

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alma Dodd describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alma Dodd reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alma Dodd reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alma Dodd talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alma Dodd describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$9

DATitle
Alma Dodd recalls Harold Washington's mayoral campaign in Chicago, Illinois
Alma Dodd describes her role at The Links, Incorporated
Transcript
Now this is the, the Harold Washington era, too. Did, did you get active in the campaign?$$Very much so (laughter).$$I know a lot of teachers were active.$$Right. Very much so, and I can remember, you know, it was like a feeling in the air that you knew that, because I lived in the city at that time and you just, I don't want to go into politics but you just knew that some kind of change had to come. I lived through the big snow, I lived through not being able to drive to work, my husband [HistoryMaker Louis Dodd] had to take the kids to my mother's [Velma Morrison Young] and I had to just make it the best way I can, because you couldn't even get down the street for weeks at a time, and so we just knew that a change had come and I could remember that I took off work three days of the week that he, I took off Friday, Monday, and then Tuesday was the election. We made calls, we had, the office was set up on 47th Street, where the South Center [Chicago, Illinois] was, and so we would make calls to the people in the neighborhood and set up ways to have them picked up and brought to the election, et cetera. And I still knew a lot of the people in the community because I had taught down there and I still had a lot of teachers down there so we really worked with getting the parents out to come out and vote, and so on, and I knew that Harold was particularly interested in coming in and making a difference with the schools. He came in, he put Dr. Manford Byrd [HistoryMaker Manford Byrd, Jr.] in, our first black superintendent, you know. Just a lot of the changes, and I knew Manford had been there. He had been sitting there as assistant for so long. He knew the ins and outs of how to keep the system going, what we needed to do, where our emphasis should be in terms of the reading, the math programs, and so on. So, I think that's why it was important to, I just looked at it from the perspective of the educational viewpoint more so than overall city and all of that. I just knew that Harold could make a difference to help us on the South Side [Chicago, Illinois], and he did, you know. The streets changed, the schools changed, money went into the schools. At one time, as nice as Dixon [Arthur Dixon Elementary School, Chicago, Illinois] was, I could remember it snowing in my classroom, you know? So, it wasn't like it was all gravy. When Harold came in, the money went into those schools on the South Side. And, it did make a difference.$(Simultaneous) Now you've mentioned eta [eta Creative Arts Foundation, Chicago, Illinois], Parkway Community House [Chicago, Illinois], the well (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Um-hm. The bulk of my time now is with The Links organization [The Links, Incorporated]. Have you heard of The Links? It's probably one of the premiere women's organizations, about twelve thousand membership and it's an international organization, you know. We're in South Africa, the Bahamas, Germany, as well as the U.S., and I've done a lot of work with them over the years, but right now I am what you call the national program coordinator, so with 270 chapters, all chapters have to do some kind of service for their respective communities and as the national program coordinator, I'm responsible for helping to set the program agenda, really being out there supporting the chapters, helping them to design programs, working with the business community to bring in funds to finance the programs, and so on. It takes a lot of travel. I just came back from South Africa. Earlier this year we built fifty-five schools in South Africa, so I've been working with them. We're working with the women of Rwanda. You know, in the aftermath of the genocide, there were so many orphan children and the society was almost 70 percent women for a while and so they took on an entrepreneurial project of basket weaving, and from the work with their basket weaving, they've been able to turn around that economy, the education, the hospitalization. They've done a lot of things. So I've been working a lot with them, and then there are a lot of domestic things that we're doing. We're working with HIV AIDS [human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome], teen pregnancy, you name it, we're out there, and I'm kind of sitting in the driver's seat in terms of working with the chapters, the presidents, and the executive consult of our organization.$$Okay. Is Chicago [Illinois] the national headquarters for the Links--$$Washington, D.C., um-hm (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Washington, D.C., okay, all right.$$Yeah, we're sixty-one years, sixty-two years old.

Julia Purnell

The 16th International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Sorority, Inc. (1962 – 1966) Julia Brogdon Purnell was born on March 19, 1916 in Belton, South Carolina. Purnell and her two sisters, Sadie Brogdon Blackwell and the late Christine Brogdon Gilchrist (both AKA Sorority members), were born to the Reverend and Mrs. Richard E. Brogdon Purnell. Under Purnell’s leadership, the AKA Sorority, Inc. opened its first National Program Office in Washington, D.C. Purnell’s administration also secured a $4 million contract to operate the first federal Job Corps Center for women.

Purnell completed her B.A. degree with honors with a major in psychology and a minor in education at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina and went on to receive her M.A. degree in educational psychology from Atlanta University in 1942. Afterwards, she pursued advanced work at several other universities and earned her specialist teaching certificate in reading from Colorado State College of Education. Since then, Purnell has been the recipient of eight honorary degrees.

Purnell’s lifelong service to the AKA Sorority began with her initiation into the Beta Zeta Omega Chapter in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She fulfilled many leadership roles in her home chapter, including Chapter President, Vice President, Parliamentarian, advisor to the Undergraduate chapter and Recording Secretary. She also served as the South Eastern Regional Director.

Purnell was elected as the 16th International President of the Sorority in 1962 at the Sorority’s national convention in Detroit, Michigan, succeeding Marjorie H. Parker in office. One of her first challenges as president was the implementation of the recommended changes outlined by the Sorority’s Study Commission Report. The result was the creation of new manuals and handbooks that continue to influence the Sorority’s structure and operation. Other highlights of Purnell’s term included obtaining a multi-million dollar contract for the establishment of a Residential Job Corps Center for Women in Cleveland, Ohio. She played a significant role in the effort for civil rights as a participant at the invitation of President Kennedy in the “White House Conference of Three Hundred Women,” and in 1964, she mustered national support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act. Under Purnell’s leadership, a program office was set-up in Washington, D.C.; the second chapter of the Sorority was established outside of the United States in Nassau, Bahamas, and in 1965, she convened the first Undergraduate Leadership School held in Zion, Illinois.

Purnell is a well-respected professor, having spent more than two decades at Southern University in Baton Rouge before her retirement in 1986.

Purnell has long been dedicated to community service and launched, with her late sister Christine, a Service Center at Bethel A.M.E. Church. As a member of the AKA Sorority and the Links, Inc., she holds the distinction of being the only African American female to have been president of both organizations. She is also a life member of the National Council of Negro Women and the NAACP. She has further served her community through the Baton Rouge YWCA, Women in Politics, the League of Women Voters, The Blundon Home for Orphans, the local Girl Scouts’ Executive Board and the Steering Committee of the Status of Women in Louisiana.

Purnell is the widow of Clifton A. Purnell, Sr., long-time athletic director at Capitol Senior High School in Baton Rouge, she has one son, Clifton, Jr. and two grandchildren. She continues to live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she has been honored by several local and national organizations including the Women’s Greater Council of Baton Rouge.

Purnell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 28, 2008 as part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Centennial Boulé 2008 celebration. Segments of these interviews were used in a DVD entitled A.K.A. Sorority: A Legacy of Supreme Service.

Accession Number

A2008.066

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/28/2008

Last Name

Purnell

Maker Category
Schools

Howard High School

Allen University

University of Michigan

Clark Atlanta University

Waverly Elementary School

First Name

Julia

Birth City, State, Country

Belton

HM ID

PUR03

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Alpha Kappa Alpha

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

3/19/1916

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Baton Rouge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

10/21/2013

Short Description

Association chief executive and education professor Julia Purnell (1916 - 2013 ) was the sixteen president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Purnell was also the president of The Links, Inc., and served as a Southern University professor for two decades.

Employment

Southern University

Morris College

Colored Normal, Industrial, Agricultural and Mechanical College of South Carolina

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Black

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Julia Purnell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell recalls becoming the supreme basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell talks about her leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell talks about her leadership of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell describes the legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes the legacy of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell lists her favorites

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell describes her mother's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell describes her mother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell describes her father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell talks about her father's education

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell lists her sisters

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell describes her home life

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell describes racial discrimination in South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell remembers her early education

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell remembers her elementary school education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell describes lessons from her father

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell remembers Howard High School in Georgetown, South Carolina, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell remembers Howard High School in Georgetown, South Carolina, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell describes Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell remembers early forms of entertainment

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell recalls experiencing color discrimination in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell talks about color discrimination within the black community

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell remembers pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell remembers Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell remembers W.E.B. Du Bois

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Julia Purnell talks about her Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Julia Purnell recalls the start of her career at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Julia Purnell reflects upon her teaching career

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Julia Purnell remembers her experiences in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Julia Purnell describes her presidency of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Julia Purnell talks about her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Julia Purnell describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Julia Purnell reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Julia Purnell talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Julia Purnell narrates her photographs

Dorothy Cowser Yancy

Johnson C. Smith University President Dorothy Cowser Yancy was born on April 18, 1944 in Cherokee County, Alabama to Linnie Bell Covington Cowser and Howard Cowser, a farmer. She was raised on the family farm once owned by her great-great grandfather. Upon graduation from Hatcher High School in 1960, Yancy entered Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was a student activist in the Civil Rights Movement, holding memberships in the SGA, SCLC, and SNCC. She graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in 1964 with her B.A. degree in history. In 1964, Yancy entered the University of Massachusetts where she earned her M.A. degree in history. Simultaneously, she received a certificate in management development from Harvard University. In 1968, Yancy married Robert James Yancy, and in 1974, she entered the doctoral program in political science at Atlanta University where she became an accomplished scholar.

After receiving her Ph.D. degree from Atlanta University, Yancy sought post-graduate work at a variety of institutions including the University of Singapore, Hampton University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northwestern University, Georgia Tech University and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Yancy became a tenure-track professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1972 and served as professor of history, technology, and society and management. She became the first African American professor to be promoted and tenured as a full professor. She also served as Associate Director of the School of Social Sciences, and she remained at Georgia Tech until 1994, when she became the first female president of Johnson C. Smith University.

As president, Yancy doubled the University endowment to approximately $57 million and increased applications 300%. She also upgraded the technical capabilities of the school by ensuring that each undergraduate student receives an IBM Thinkpad upon entry through a lease program. During her presidency, Yancy became the first female board president of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Yancy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 20, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.180

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/20/2007

Last Name

Yancy

Maker Category
Middle Name

Cowser

Schools

Hatcher High School

Savage Wood Elementary School

Johnson C. Smith University

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Clark Atlanta University

Northwestern University

Northeastern University

First Name

Dorothy

Birth City, State, Country

Cherokee County

HM ID

COW01

Favorite Season

Christmas, Thanksgiving

State

Alabama

Favorite Vacation Destination

Spas

Favorite Quote

No Good Deed Will Go Unpunished.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

4/18/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

String Beans, Barbeque Ribs

Short Description

Political science professor and university president Dorothy Cowser Yancy (1944 - ) was the first female president of Johnson C. Smith University.

Employment

Johnson C. Smith University

Georgia Institute of Technology

Albany State College

Barat College

Hampton Institute

Favorite Color

Bright, Dark Colors

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Cowser Yancy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her parents' roots in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her white relatives

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her family's land in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her early interest in literature

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls segregation in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her parents' professions and siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her sister's role at Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the racial tensions in Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her experiences at Hatcher High School in Centre, Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the segregation of schools in Alabama

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her paternal relatives who passed as white

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her arrival at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the civil rights activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her experiences at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recall her aspiration to attend graduate school

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her arrival at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her summer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her decision to become a teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her teaching position at Albany State College in Albany, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her husband and daughter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls her doctoral studies at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her courses at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her work with the labor unions in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls the impact of desegregation and the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls integrating the tenured faculty of the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her social life in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her role as an associate director at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about The Links chapter in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her holiday celebrations

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy recalls how she became the president of Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers her mentors at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her capital campaign at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the laptop program at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the use of technology at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the security system at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the international studies programs at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy remembers working with her former professors at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon the traditions at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her fundraising strategies

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the social activities at Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about Johnson C. Smith University's donors

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about the Smith family's contribution to Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her decision to retire from Johnson C. Smith University

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about her involvement with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her role at the United Negro College Fund

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy talks about returning home to Cherokee County, Alabama

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dorothy Cowser Yancy reflects upon her legacy

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DATitle
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes the civil rights activities at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her capital campaign at Johnson C. Smith University
Dorothy Cowser Yancy describes her early interest in literature
Transcript
You had mentioned the Civil Rights Movement, so when you got to Johnson C. Smith [Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina] how did that manifest on campus?$$Well, you know, you have to remember now I came out of Alabama where the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] was illegal. We had had the Montgomery Bus Boycott, but in north Alabama, nothing had happened, not in the north Alabama where I lived. After I left home, there was a movement in Gadsden, Alabama and my cousins were involved in it and then my cousins integrated the Cherokee County High School [Centre, Alabama] after I left home. And eventually my sister [Evelyn Cowser] taught at the white high school. But when I left home, everything was still segregated. And so when I came here, and, and, and I knew about the sit-ins, I immediately began to participate 'cause it made a lot of sense to me.$$What were the organizations?$$Well, we just had a student government here on campus. And I remember Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], you know, SNCCs [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee], S--SCLC [Southern Christian Leadership Conference], SNCC and stuff like that. But we had a student organization. But see, I, I don't remember too much the stu- the, the SNCC and all that. I remember Dr. Hawkins [Reginald Hawkins]. There was a man here in town who was a dentist, who also had graduated from Johnson C. Smith Seminary [Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, Atlanta, Georgia] and graduated from undergraduate school here. He led the movement in this town of students. And then we had student leaders, and I remember we had to go through this nonviolent training in the auditorium downstairs because you weren't supposed to spit back or hit back or anything like that. So I remember going through all of that before you went downtown to protest. But we used to go on Tuesdays and Thursdays, those were light teaching days. And the boys from Davidson [Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina] would come over sometimes. But the Queens girls [Queens College; Queens University of Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina], I don't ever remember seeing them, although now they say they were in the movement. But I don't know anything about them. But I do remember the Davidson boys coming over. And we were--we were very active. We had Charlie Jones [Charles Jones] who was involved in SCL- was involved in SNCC, and Charlie ha- went on down to the protest in Mississippi and went on down to Albany, Georgia and places like that. And there were a few fellas out of the seminary, 'cause Charlie was in the seminary. It was--his mother was my English teacher. And Charlie used to write back letters telling us what was going on in the various southern towns that he was going, going through. And she would--we would go over them in class, in English class. And she would teach that along with 'The Iliad' [Homer] and 'The Odyssey' [Homer]. How she did it I will never know. Well, Ms. Jones was a wonder woman. She was considered to be a little fickle, you know, and quite avant garde, but she was one of the more exciting teachers I ever had. And she was fun and I kept her for two years of English, and I've always had the upmost respect for her.$$But she would teach the classics and then she would teach?$$And, and, and she would read Charlie's letters and somehow it would bring it into human rights and social justice. And we had--we had a teacher in religion whose name was Dr. Steele who believed that the Civil Rights Movement was sort of like God ordained. You know, if God was here, if Jesus was here he'd be in the movement too. And we had some very interesting religious--religion classes on social justice and the social gospel. Johnson C. Smith had an interesting social gospel that they taught at the seminary. And there's been a dissertation written on it about the social gospel that was taught in the seminary at Johnson C. Smith led by Algernon O. Steele. And it was--it was quite interesting because we knew that we were doing what God would've wanted us to do when we were protesting. And it was supported by the president and the faculty and everybody.$So, what was your plan of action when you got here, what did you wanna do?$$Well, the pla- when I got here, I walked into a capital campaign and the goal was $50 million. And so I had to raise the money. So I walked in and went to the capital campaign meeting and Ed Crutchfield who was the biggest banker in town head of First Union Bank [First Union Corporation; Wells Fargo and Company], and John Stedman [John B. Stedman, Jr.] who was the guru of fundraising here in town and the head of Duke Energy [Duke Energy Corporation] and Duke Power [Duke Power Company, Charlotte, North Carolina] at the time, and the head of the newspaper and the head of Lance [Lance, Inc.; Snyder's-Lance, Inc.]. That was my operating committee. I mean here are all these big dogs, you know, and here I am this kid who just walked out of the classroom. And so I'll never forget my first meeting. The--Ed Crutchfield was late. You know, Presbyterians are always on time. And then he looked at me and he says, "Well I don't know how we gonna tell the Johnson C. Smith story since Bob Albright [Robert Albright] has gone." And I remember looking at him, by now I'm really seething. I said, "Well I don't know what you are talking about, I am the damn story. And if I can't tell it, it can't be told. Bob Albright didn't go to Johnson C. Smith [Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, North Carolina]." And he and I hit it off just like that. And we've been friends ever since. And he helped--we work together. We met every three months and we raised that money.$$How long did it take you (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) We had sixty-three--in--in '98 [1998] we ended the campaign at $63.8 million. That's right.$$And you had more than doubled the endowment or?$$The endowment has gone from when I came here it was 13 something, and a few weeks ago it was 53 million, 'cause we just finished an--another campaign. It was 75 million and we've hit 80.6 million. So it's, it's, it's been interesting. So what you see around the campus, the new library, the new technology center, the renovation of this building, the track and academic complex, the renovation of the buildings, the air conditioning of all the dormitories. You know, the, the gr- I mean all the things you see around here are the things that we've done and the infrastructure. We've tried to, to improve upon what we found and just create a very good learning community, a place where students can come and learn and go out and be, be successful and main--major contributors to, to, to the universe. I mean, we, we wanna raise global students and I think we do that with our technology. I don't think our students would know what to do without having a laptop. They've all had one individually since 2000. And I think that's probably the, the connections that they made with the world is probably the best contribution or the major contributions of, of something I've given to them.$What was your favorite subject in school?$$Well, I liked math and I liked--I, I loved to read, that was, that was my favorite thing.$$What did you like to read, what books?$$Well, I loved to read anything. And I remember my favorite set of books, and you're probably gonna think I'm really nerdy now, was this set of Childcraft that the school [Savage Wood Elemenatary School, Cherokee County, Alabama] had. The little school had a set of Childcraft, I don't know who bought them. But when the school closed and my father [Howard Cowser] bought the school, we ended up with the whole set of Childcraft. And we used--I used to read all of the fairy tales and all of the stories. And then we would have, you know, they had that big long one, what volume thirteen and fourteen were the big long skinny ones, remember. And they had the--had all the wild animals and all this kind of stuff in it. And it was a really exciting book. And of course the story--the stories you don't tell those kind of stories to children anymore because the people got eaten up, you know. They had to--had to sort of make them socially acceptable in recent years. But I still--we still have that set in my parents' ho- house. But I used to just love to read anything. And then my mother [Linnie Covington Cowser] used to get Progressive Farmer, I know that's not gonna float your boat, but we used to--I used to read The Progressive Farmer, I used to read Reader's Digest, and then Reader's Digest had the books, novels that you could get. And then we use to get all the magazines and stuff. I, I, I would just read anything. But my favorite person that I loved to read about that my mother had difficulty with was Billie Holiday. I loved Billie Holiday. I thought she had the most beautiful voice in the world, but it was about the time that she was on drugs and my mother was just incensed that I wanted to read about this woman. So I would hide and read everything I could about Billie Holiday.

Shirley James

Shirley James was born in Georgetown, South Carolina on September 5, 1946. Her mother, Camille Barber, was a schoolteacher and her father, Eli Baxter Barber, was a mail porter. In 1964, James graduated from Howard High School. She continued her education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received her B.A. degree in psychology in 1968. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in education from Harvard University in 1970.

In 1971, James became a counselor and administrator for Savannah State University. She also held positions as Director of Testing, Vice President of Student Affairs and Counselor Orientation Director. During her tenure, James developed Peer Counselors, a committee to support the students of Savannah State University.

James also became a publisher and editor for The Tribune, a weekly newspaper founded by James’ husband, Robert Earl James, that focuses on the issues of African Americans.

In 2002, James left her position at Savannah State University to become the Coordinator of the Savannah Black Heritage Festival. Between 2004 and 2005, she served on the Board of Directors of the Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and in 2005, she was appointed to a five year term for Savannah’s Airport Commission. James is a member of several professional organizations as well as owner of the Education Testing Services in Savannah.

James and her husband Robert live in Savannah, Georgia. They have three adult children.

James was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 17, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.013

Sex

Female

Interview Date

1/17/2007

Last Name

James

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Howard High School

Howard Adult Center & Optional School

Spelman College

Harvard Graduate School of Education

J.B. Beck Middle School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Shirley

Birth City, State, Country

Georgetown

HM ID

JAM02

Favorite Season

Fall

State

South Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

You Live, You Learn, And You Pass It On.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/5/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Bread

Short Description

Academic administrator and newspaper publishing chief executive Shirley James (1946 - ) was the owner and former publisher and editor of the Savannah Tribune. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, James held positions as Director of Testing, Vice President of Student Affairs and Counselor-Orientation Director at Savannah State University.

Employment

Savannah State University

The Savannah Tribune

Favorite Color

Winter White

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Shirley James' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Shirley James lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Shirley James describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Shirley James describes her maternal grandmother, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Shirley James describes the history of her family's home

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Shirley James remembers her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Shirley James describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Shirley James describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Shirley James remembers her father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Shirley James describes her older brother

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Shirley James talks about her brother's U.S. Army career

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Shirley James remembers her younger brother

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Shirley James describes her earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Shirley James remembers her community in Georgetown, South Carolina

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Shirley James describes her grade school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Shirley James describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Shirley James recalls her activities during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Shirley James remembers President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Shirley James describes her early work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Shirley James remembers applying to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Shirley James describes her experiences at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Shirley James recalls her influences at Spelman College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Shirley James remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Shirley James recalls participating in a student exchange program

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Shirley James describes her experiences of racial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Shirley James describes her social activities at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Shirley James recalls her activities after graduation from Spelman College

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Shirley James recalls becoming a counselor at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Shirley James describes the peer counseling program at Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Shirley James remembers retiring from Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Shirley James describes the history of The Savannah Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Shirley James talks about her presidency of The Savannah Tribune

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Shirley James talks about Jack and Jill of America, Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Shirley James describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Shirley James talks about her activities during retirement

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Shirley James shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Shirley James describes her children and their professions

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Shirley James talks about her husband and grandchildren

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Shirley James recalls becoming a counselor at Savannah State College in Savannah, Georgia
Shirley James describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
Transcript
Both you and your husband [HistoryMaker Robert James] graduate in 1970 from Harvard [Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and you moved to Atlanta [Georgia], is that right?$$Yes.$$Okay. And how long did you stay in Atlanta?$$We were in Atlanta approximately a year. Right after graduation in June we moved here and he worked for a year at Citizens and Southern Bank [The Citizens and Southern National Bank of Georgia]. I got to be a housewife and a mom, and then we moved to Savannah [Georgia] in August of '71 [1971].$$Okay. And you took a position, administrative counseling position at Savannah State University [Savannah State College; Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia] (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yes, I did.$$So, tell me about that position.$$Well, something that I loved, because that counseling, you know, was my area, my field, and Dr. Prince A. Jackson [HistoryMaker Prince Jackson, Jr.] was president at Savannah State University at the time, and he actually hired me. During that period I was probably the first trained counselor that they had on the campus, and as a result of that, he kind of challenged me within about a year or, within the first year, and it was twofold. One was to look at establishing or getting a grant together to establish a counseling center, because that was not anything that we had had. I worked initially out of what you call a student affairs office with the dean. His name was Nelson Freeman, so student affairs you know, encompasses everything that's outside of the academic area, and, but we didn't have anything specifically to address, like a center for counselors, so that was one of the challenges, and he paired me with Hinton Thomas [ph.], a person who was working in one of the, a federal funded program that had been housed at Savannah State University at the time, and the two of us got together and wrote the grant through Title III, so by 1972, we were able to get the counseling center started, and the second challenge that he had given me was to start an organization where students could be almost like paraprofessional peer counselors, because there was Dr. Lucy Cutlive [ph.]. I'm not sure what her married name is, her name now, but at the time it was Lucy Cutlive, and she was at Tennessee State University [Nashville, Tennessee].$$Cutlive? How do you spell that (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Cutlive. I think it's C-U-T-L-I-V-E.$$Okay.$$But I'll have to check that to be sure.$$Okay.$$But she did an address at Savannah State and talked about the students helping students at Tennessee State, and Dr. Jackson heard and he said, "Oh, this is something I'd like to have happen at Savannah State," so as a result of that, I was able to put together what we call a peer counseling program, which they served as student leaders during orientation, but they also served as peers and student-to-student counselors like throughout the year, so you selected upper classmen and we paired them, well not paired them, they would work with groups of new students coming in, so they may have two or twenty-five students that they were kind of responsible for, assisting through that first year of college to help them become acclimated to what college was about, so they would help him academically from a social side just all the way around. So, to this day and it is now 19--2007, the peer counseling program is still thriving at Savannah State University.$When you think about growing up, what sounds, sights, and smells come to your mind?$$(Laughter) The smells would be the smell of the International Paper Company; (laughter) the odor from that. I don't know if you've grown around, grown up in a town where you get this odor from pulp and from paper being made, so that is a pungent kind of sound, smell, and even to this day if you're driving into Georgetown [South Carolina], you know, even with all the new things with the environment and trying to control the atmosphere and all that, there's still that little thing that's there, so that's one of them. The other is like Christmastime; the kind of smells, you know, from making fruitcake and hog head cheese, turkey and dressing, you know, those kinds of smells, just from the kitchen, are things that I still can relate to or reminisce about and seemingly can still, you know, kind of smell chitlins (laughter), which I do love. Okay. You talk about sights. One of them is the beach, because we went to Pawleys Island [South Carolina] and to Atlantic Beach [South Carolina], but on Pawleys there was a beach called Frank's beach [McKenzie Beach], which was specifically for African Americans, and so it was kind of very well developed for that period of time and in the summers we would go to Frank's Beach for swimming. After we got older my Uncle Freddie [Fredrick Bessellieu], who grew up on Pawleys Island and from that area, would take us crabbing and clam hunting, and whatever we caught, you know, a lot of times we would eat it at the creek, eat a certain amount of it at the creek and then the rest of it we had to take back to the block to the neighborhood, because then we had this crab boil at night. Whatever, you know, we got we shared it with the neighbors, and so just the sight of the beach was one thing, and just the neighborhood, really. You know, just the sight of my neighborhood, really, was a good thing. Sound? That's kind of difficult, but what comes to mind right now that I'm thinking of is high school with the band and the orchestra, because I was able to participate in both; in the marching band, and we also had an orchestra. I played clarinet and I was able to ascend to first clarinet, so I'm listening to some of the things that we played as an orchestra, and going, like to state band competitions and actually winning. You know, a little school in Georgetown, South Carolina, Howard High School, but the band instructor that we had there, Mr. Ephraim [ph.], really just did so much for us and carried us so far and helped us to appreciate a lot of classical music. I still remember some of the symphonies and some of the parts that the clarinet would play in the symphonies and when I hear them now, I said, oh, you know, it's a good thing (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) And remember.$$Um-hm.