Somebody Had To Do It: First Children in School Desegregation

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Founding Project Team

Millicent E. Brown
Millicent E. Brown is a historian, and recently retired professor from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her scholarly work focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century U.S. history, with an emphasis on the twentieth century civil rights movement. She has served as the project director of Somebody Had To Do It since 2008. Notably, Brown is the daughter of former South Carolina NAACP President J. Arthur Brown, and was one of the first of eleven students to desegregate schools in the Charleston County School District 20. Brown currently resides in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and works on various projects with the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. Also, she consults on issues related to social and human justice transformation.

Constance Curry 
Constance Curry has authored or co-written four books on leading figures in the U.S. civil rights movement, and edited a volume on the role of White women in the civil rights movement. She is also the producer of The Intolerable Burden (2003), a film about Mae Bertha and Matthew Carter, Black sharecroppers who sent their children to White schools in 1965 in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Curry was the first White person on the Executive Commission of the Student Nonviolence Coordinating Committee (SNCC), southern field secretary of the American Friends Service Committee for eleven years, and spent twelve years as the Director of Human Services for the City of Atlanta. Her work currently focuses on issues of re-segregation in public education and high rates of incarceration of youth of color.

Paula Quick Hall
Paula Quick Hall earned her doctorate in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998, specializing in Public Administration and Public Policy. In 1999 she co-founded the African American Education & Research Organization (AAERO). Her research and writing has drawn attention to issues of educational equity, racial discrimination in desegregated schools, and opportunities for groups underrepresented in science careers. Hall served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and has worked more than fifteen years in not-for-profit organizations, including the College Board and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She also worked at the Niagara Falls Board of Education, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A&T State University, and for Research and Evaluation Associates, Inc. on several projects addressing issues such as disproportionate confinement of minority youth in the juvenile justice system and childcare provider training.

Vanessa Jackson
Vanessa Jackson is a licensed clinical social worker and owner of Healing Circles, Inc., a personal and professional development consulting practice. Jackson earned a Master Degree from Washington University-George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Ms. Jackson is the author of In Our Own Voice: African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery in Mental Health Systems and Separate and Unequal: The Legacy of Racially Segregated Psychiatric Hospitals. Additional publications on the history of African American psychiatric experiences include, "Surviving My Sister’s Suicide: A Journey Through Griefin Living Beyond Loss: Death in the Family (Monica McGoldrick and Froma Walsh, Eds.), "Robbing Peter to Pay Paul: Feminist Reflections on Therapy with Low-wage Earning Women" in Psychotherapy with Women: Exploring Diverse Contexts and Identities (Marsha P. Mirkin, et al, eds.), and "Families of African Origin: An Overview" with L. Black in Ethnicity and Family Therapy, 3rd Edition (Monica McGoldrick, et al, eds.). She is currently working on a book with Elaine Pinderhughes, MSW and Patricia Romney, Ph.D. on power in clinical and community settings. Jackson is a former member of the Georgia Governor’s Advisory Council on Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse and former Board Member of the National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral Health. Jackson is a nationally recognized speaker on mental health issues, with a focus on culturally conscious therapy and therapy with marginalized populations. She has developed a concept, “fiscal trauma,” which served as the foundation for an economic empowerment recovery program for survivors of domestic violence. Jackson’s passion is supporting activists in creating healthy and balanced lives. She offers an Activists Assistance Program to provide politically conscious and clinically sound counseling and healing workshops to Atlanta-area feminist non-profit organizations.

Benetta Standly is the Principal Consultant of Standly Solutions Consulting LLC, which specializes in infrastructure development and capacity building for non-profit and community based organizations. Consulting projects range from: securing 501c3/tax exemption, creating accounting systems, strategic planning, developing human resources departments, establishing board of directors and advisory committees, writing organizational policies and procedures to personnel administration, executive coaching, fundraising, grant writing, and legislative advocacy. Standly’s clients are all social justice non-profits led by people of color, serving people of color, and focusing on civil rights, racial, economic, and reproductive justice. Standly previously served as the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of the Nation’s Capital. Prior to that she serves as the Director of the Northeast Region for the ACLU of Florida. She previously served as the Statewide Organizer then Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Georgia. Standly received both her Bachelors of Science in Public Health Administration, and Masters in Public Policy & Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Additional Credits
Kenneth Cooper
Michael Farewell
Charmaine McKissick-Melton
Chea Prince