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10 Days Of Equality

Equality @ Spelman

blue-quote-left Spelman College is more than an educational institution;
to reach an ideal of equality, Spelman is a necessity. blue-quote-right

– Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell


Spelman College has a rich history of academic excellence and a lasting legacy of social activism. During the ten days preceding the inauguration of Spelman College's 10th president Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., accounts of Spelman constituents, who have contributed to the fight for equality locally and abroad, will be highlighted. Follow the initiative on social media using the hashtag, #10DaysofEquality to learn more about the Spelman heroes who have labored tirelessly and courageously to ensure equality for all.

10 Days of Equality

Equality Day 1

Atlanta Student Movement Leaders

Throughout the decade of the 1960s, Spelman women joined with students in the Atlanta University Center and others across the country to put an end to the inequalities of racial segregation and to secure full citizenship and human rights for all people. Propelled by the tenets laid out in “An Appeal for Human Rights,” Spelman women were a catalyst for the significant changes that were made in Atlanta and across the South, including the desegregation of public schools, the elimination of segregation in all public buildings and modes of transportation, theaters, hospitals, hotels and department stores. Today, we celebrate the spirit and tenacity of the alumnae of the Atlanta Student Movement who believed that it was within their power to change the world, so they did. Read More >>

    10 Days of Equality

    Marian Wright Edelman and Child Advocacy

    Marian Wright Edelman, C'60, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families. The Children's Defense Fund’s "Leave No Child Behind"® mission is to ensure every child a "Healthy Start," a "Head Start," a "Fair Start," a "Safe Start," and a "Moral Startin life; and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. Read More >>

    Equality Day 2

    10 Days of Equality

    Equality - Day 3

    Howard Zinn, Ph.D.

    In 1957, historian, professor and activist Howard Zinn visited the Georgia General Assembly with the Spelman Social Science Club and initiated an unplanned protest with students by sitting in the “white” section of the gallery. A year later, he and his students came back and stood in the “white” section of the gallery in silent protest. When the galley was desegregated in January 1963, Spelman students came back to celebrate the change. Read More >>

    10 Days of Equality

    Mattiwilda Dobbs

      One of the first African Americans to have an international operatic career, Mattiwilda Dobbs, C'46, staunchly believed in equality and refused to sing in segregated venues. Howard Zinn, a former Spelman professor, penned the following account: "Her father, John Wesly Dobbs, was one of Atlanta’s most distinguished citizens, a militant battler for equal rights and a great orator in the old Southern tradition. I heard him keep a crowd of thousands in an uproar one night in the Wheat Street Baptist Church. 'My Mattiwilda was asked to sing here in Atlanta,' he thundered at one point, 'but she said, 'No sir! Not while my daddy has to sit in the balcony'!”' Read More >>

    Equality Day 4

    10 Days of Equality

    10 Days of Equality

    Sophia B. Jones, M.D.

    Sophie Bethena Jones, M.D., a native of Chatham, Ontario, Canada, was born in 1857 to the activist family of James Munroe Jones and Emily Frances Jones. She  became a physician and the first Black faculty member at Spelman College in 1885. She also  established the College's nurse's training course before going on to practice medicine in St. Louis, Philadelphia and Kansas City. Read More >>


    Spelman’s Divestment from South Africa 

    The Spelman College campaign began in 1978. The leaders for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People encouraged students at Spelman to boycott the Davis Cup, a tennis tournament at Vanderbilt, because the South African team that was competing there had no Black players. This began a seven-year period during which Spelman students protested their school’s investments in South Africa. They used a variety of tactics, many of which were joint efforts with other members of the AUC, to convince the College’s administration to divest from South Africa. Read More >>

    Equality Day 6

    10 Days of Equality

    Equality Day 7

    MLK's Message of Love and Equality

    "I was fourteen years old when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize. I remember seeing the joy and delight on my father's face when he listened intently to Dr. King deliver these words in his acceptance speech "sooner or later, all people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. If it is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." The extraordinary eloquence of Dr. King's words and the divine essence that he exuded inspired my father in his leadership as a minister, and as a civil rights leader in the small Texas town where we lived . . . .my life would be forever changed. Read More >>
    10 Days of Equality

    Beverly Guy-Sheftall on Black Feminism

    "It is my black feminist politics that propels me always to think deeply about the human condition: global realities, especially as they affect people of color, women and children; and the urgency of our need to eliminate racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, religious intolerance, xenophobia and all other oppressions that plague humans wherever they live," Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., C'66, in "Black Feminism Is Alive In 2011, But Where Is It Heading?" Read More >>  
    (Image: Creative Commons/feministwomenshealthcenter)

    Beverly Guy Sheftall

    10 Days of Equality

    Equality Day 9

    Students Share What Equality Means to Them

    The 10 Days of Equality initiative highlights Spelman's commitment to equality and social activism. On Thursday, April 8, 2016, students celebrated the 135th Anniversary of the College's founding and the inauguration of President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., by expressing what Spelman has taught them about equality. Read More >>

    10 Days of Equality

    The Inauguration of Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.

    Equality is the theme of the inauguration for Spelman's 10th president. Equality honors the legacy left by Harriet E. Giles and Sophia B. Packard, two women – abolitionists, teachers and Baptist missionaries – who came to Atlanta from Massachusetts 135 years ago and, in the basement of Friendship Baptist Church, started a school for recently freed Black women. During a recent WABE interview, Dr. Campbell talked about equality and the future of Spelman College. Read More >>

    Equality Day 10