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Since 1864, each state has been able to send two statues of distinguished citizens to represent it in the U.S. Capitol, constituting the National Statuary Hall collection. Since 2000, states have been able to remove and replace existing statues with new ones. A handful of states have done so, but none of those new additions depicted Black Americans until July 13, 2022.
Mary McLeod Bethune was an American educator, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist, and civil rights activist.
When Vice-President of the United States Kamala Harris delivered her 2020 Democratic National Convention nominee acceptance speech, she stated, "These women inspired us to pick up the torch, and fight on. Women like Mary Church Terrell, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Diane Nash, Constance Baker Motley, and the great Shirley Chisholm. We are not often taught their stories. But as Americans, we all stand on their shoulders." Unfortunately, for many, these names were unfamiliar and their historical significance unknown.
This program highlights how Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune's remarkable feats - founder of the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training Institute for Negro Girls, advisor to four sitting U.S. Presidents, the only woman of color at the founding conference of the United Nations, founder of the National Council of Negro Women, co-founder of the United Negro College Fund, the longest serving president of the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc., and Director of the Division of Negro Affairs, which at that time represented the highest federal appointment ever held by an African American woman - link our past, present and future.
Presenter: Dr. Clarissa West-White is the University Archivist, Assistant Professor at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. A native of Quincy, Florida, she has degrees in Creative Writing, Curriculum and Instruction English Education and Information from Florida State University. Dr. West-White has experience as a middle and high school English teacher, program
coordinator, adult literacy director, university English department chair, and assistant professor and adjunct at a number of public and private universities in the state of Florida and online. She has completed archival projects and served as an education consultant with the U.S. and Florida Department of Education. She has received fellowships and scholarships, including: Robert
Frederick Smith Internship, National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian Institute; Teacher and Librarian Scholarship Recipient, Key West Literary Seminar; National Information Standard Organization (NISO) Plus Scholarship Recipient; Preserving digital Objects With Restricted Resources Institute Recipient; Fulbright-Hays, Turkey. Her areas of research have shifted yet remain close to those formed at the start of her graduate career: Intersections of race and education, information and technology. She enjoys marrying community activism with literature, art and or education. Since transitioning to the library, she has become more involved in grant writing and able to secure and or serve as Principal Investigator on several grants. She was most recently elected President-Elect of the Florida
Association of College aand Research Libraries.
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