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Alumnae Stories

Remembering Roslyn Pope, Ph.D., C'60

February 2023

Roslyn PopeIn honor of Black History Month, Spelman College honors the life and legacy of civil rights icon and alumna Rosalyn Pope, Ph.D., C’60. Her highly acclaimed work, "An Appeal for Human Rights," became the official manifesto of the Atlanta Student Movement and was instrumental in advancing efforts to end segregation.

Before writing the heartbeat of the Atlanta Student Movement – which was influenced by her time in Paris, France as a Spelman College student – Dr. Pope gained her original interest in activism when she was appointed as the president of Spelman’s Student Government Association. More than 60 years later, she became a staple of the Civil Rights Movement and continued to shape the goals and strategies of a new generation of student activists throughout the nation and the world.

Dr. Pope’s rich legacy continues to resonate, and she never underestimated the value of being a Spelman woman.

"We should never underestimate the great fortune that has befallen us in being a part of the Spelman family," Dr. Pope said in a 2016 interview. "The Spelman story is one of the country’s most inspired sagas, especially as it relates to women of color. It is to be cherished; it is to be told and retold."

Dr. Pope passed away January 18, 2023, at the age of 84.

To learn more about the life and legacy of Dr. Pope, visit Spelman’s News and Events page.