About the #BEENBOSS Series: In honor of Black History Month, Walker’s Legacy is proud to launch its #BEENBOSS video and profile series designed to an in-depth look into the contributions of Black women in fields of education, politics, health, and business. Each featured profile draws a present-day connection to historical trailblazers such as Mary Jane McLeod Bethune, Shirley Chisholm, Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner, Dr. Joyce Ladner, and Madam C.J. Walker and explores strategies for success for aspiring and established women.
It is extremely important that we have diversity at the highest level of science and technology in this country.
Meet Dr. N. Joyce Payne, Founder, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Dr. N. Joyce Payne founded the nationally recognized Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) in 1987. The TMCF is designed exclusively for exceptional students at the nation’s 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Dr. Payne discusses the legacy of Mary Jane McLeod Bethune and how education is a critical tool for the advancement of the multicultural community. Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator and activist. She is most known for founding Bethune Cookman College and founding the National Council of Negro Women.
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Want to know more about these featured bosses? Check out their detailed biographies below.
Dr. N. Joyce Payne, Founder, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
Dr. N. Joyce Payne founded the nationally recognized Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 1987. The TMCF is designed exclusively for exceptional students at the nation’s 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 2008-2009, she served as Executive Director of the National Alliance for Public Trust, a new organization committed to advancing principled leadership in American institutions. She accepted this position following her retirement as Vice President, Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges and Council of Student Affairs of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) in cooperation with the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU). An authority on women’s issues in relation to higher education and labor force participation, Payne has published and presented a number of papers on the pursuit of equality for women and African-Americans in higher education. Payne received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from the former District of Columbia Teachers College and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the former Atlanta University.
Mary Jane McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune was an educator and activist, serving as president of the National Association of Colored Women and founding the National Council of Negro Women. Born on July 10, 1875, in Mayesville, South Carolina, Mary McLeod Bethune was a child of former slaves. Believing that education provided the key to racial advancement, Bethune founded the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Negro Girls in Daytona, Florida, in 1904, that later became known as the Bethune-Cookman College. The college was one of the few places that African-American students could pursue a college degree. She founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. In 1924, Bethune became the organization’s national leader. In 1935, Bethune became a special advisor to President Roosevelt on minority affairs. In 1936, she became the director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration. One of her main concerns in this position was helping young people find job opportunities.
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