Johnnetta B. Cole
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|Johnnetta B. Cole|
|Born||October 19, 1936
|Institutions||National Museum of African Art
|Alma mater||Oberlin College (B.A)
Northwestern University (M.A.) (PhD)
Johnnetta Betsch Cole (born October 19, 1936) is an American academic. Cole was the first African-American female president of Spelman College from 1987 to 1997. She was president of Bennett College from 2002 to 2007. She is currently director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art. In 2013, the Winston-Salem Chronicle described Cole as a distinguished educator, cultural anthropologist, and humanitarian.
Cole is the grand daughter of Florida's first black millionaire Abraham Lincoln Lewis and Mary Kingsley Sammis, the great granddaughter of Zephaniah Kingsley, a slave trader and slave owner, and his wife and former slave Anna Madgigine Jai, originally from current Senegal, whose Fort George Island home is protected as Kingsley Plantation. Cole enrolled in Fisk University at age 15, but transferred to Oberlin College, where she completed a B.A. in anthropology in 1957. She did field research in Liberia, West Africa in 1960-61. She attended graduate school at Northwestern University, earning her masters (1959) and Ph.D. (1967) in anthropology. Cole received honorary degrees from Williams College and Bates College in 1989, Mount Holyoke College in 1998, Mills College in 1999, Howard University and North Carolina A&T State University in 2009.
Cole taught briefly at UCLA (1964) and directed the Black Studies program at Washington State University at Pullman (1969-70) before teaching in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1970-83), where she also served as provost of undergraduate education from 1981 to 1983. While at the University of Massachusetts, she played a pivotal role in the development of the university's W.E.B. Du Bois Department of African-American Studies. In 1983, she joined the faculty of Hunter College, where she directed the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program. Cole also taught in the Anthropology department of Emory University where she is now Presidential Distinguished Professor Emerita.
Cole has been a director of Merck & Co. since 1994. She is the first woman elected to the board of Coca Cola. From 2004 to 2006, Cole was the Chair of the Board of Trustees of United Way of America and is on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Greater Greensboro. in the year of 2002
Cole is currently the Chair of the The Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute founded at Bennett College for Women. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
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I pose that question to myself, why, in the 107 years of the history of this historically Black college for women, there has not been an African-American woman president.—Johnnetta B. Cole
This is a nation whose spoken and written vision is chillingly beautiful.—Johnnetta B. Cole
The more we pull together toward a new day, the less it matters what pushed us apart in the past—Johnnetta B. Cole
We are for difference: for respecting difference for allowing difference, for encouraging difference, until difference no longer makes a difference.—Johnnetta B. Cole
The ultimate expression of generosity is not in giving of what you have, but in giving of who you are.—Johnnetta B. Cole
- "Johnnetta B. Cole, PhD" at the Academy of Achievement
- Trescott, Jacqueline (February 10, 2009). "Johnnetta Cole Named New Director of the National Museum of African Art". The Washington Post, accessed October 5, 2011.
- "Sit-in museum to present awards". The Winston-Salem Chronicle. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- Jackson, Antoinette; Burns, Allan (January 2006). Ethnohistorical Study of the Kingsley Plantation Community, National Park Service, p. 24.
- Mezger, Roger (September 05, 2008). Workplace diversity: Numbers aren't enough, speaker says. The Plain Dealer, accessed October 05, 2011.
- "Dr. Johnnetta Cole". United Way of America, accessed October 07, 2011.
- "Shifting Paradigms: Progressive Pathways to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion?". Ohio State University, accessed October 07, 2011.
- "Keys to Success - The American Dream". Academy of Achievement. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "State of the City Address, Mayor Shirley Franklin". City of Atlanta Online. 2004-01-05. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "Volunteer Opportunities". Sandiego.gov, accessed October 05, 2011.
- Gale biography
- Voices from the Gaps biography`
- 1998 commencement speech, Mount Holyoke College
- 2009 State-of-the-College Address, Oberlin College
- Johnnetta Cole Video produced by Makers: Women Who Make America
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