Betty Geer

When the Civil Rights Movement came to North Carolina, Betty Baldwin Geer was ready for it. She was raised in Chapel Hill with a strong sense of responsibility to her community, pride in herself, and dedication to do what’s right. These values were instilled by her parents and reinforced by her church, St. Joseph Christian Methodist Church, where Ms. Geer …

Anna Richards

Although Anna Richards came to Chapel Hill later in life, she has been a major organizing force for equality in the community. As president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, Richards has pushed the organization to advocate for education equality, police reform, voter education and a number of other issues affecting marginalized groups locally. Ms. Richards was raised with a commitment …

Collene R. Rogers

Collene R. Rogers grew up in Chapel Hill, and remembers the walkouts staged by Lincoln High School students to protest their under-resourced science labs. In 1965 she moved north to take a job with B. Altman & Company in the accounting department. In April of 1968 she accepted a job with First National City Bank in New York City from …

Alice Battle

Alice Battle always knew she wanted to be a teacher. “I didn’t take education just in case. ‘Cause I always wanted to be a teacher. My sister was a teacher, Aunt Frances was a teacher, Aunt Pearl was a teacher. I had all those role models and I wanted to be a teacher too.” Inspired by the women who came …

Bonita Joyce

Bonita Joyce started organizing around community education when she came to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a freshman. She became involved with a group of students interested in creating a community-based program about Black history and culture. In 1992 the group formed the Communiversity Youth Program, a Saturday school aimed to educate, empower and expose youth to …

Coretta Sharpless

Mrs. Coretta Sharpless was named the principal of Northside Elementary School in August of 2015 after serving as the assistant principal. Mrs. Sharpless is an experienced educational leader who truly celebrates both the past and the future of Northside – she grew up in the same neighborhood and now has a chance to return in a state of the art …

Carolyn B. Jefferson

Carolyn Jefferson began working at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in 1959, when the hospital was still relatively new. She had recently graduated from North Carolina A&T State University, and although her baccalaureate degree in nursing made her an appealing candidate for hire, the hospital’s segregationist policies limited her advancement throughout much of her career there. Ms. Jefferson was recognized by …

Pearl Cole

When Annie B. Hargett began working at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in 1961, the facility was almost completely segregated. She recalls floors of the hospital segregated by race and Black nurses being required to go to the basement to eat. Ms. Hargett was one of the few Black nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing at the time. She graduated …

Patricia Mason

When Annie B. Hargett began working at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in 1961, the facility was almost completely segregated. She recalls floors of the hospital segregated by race and Black nurses being required to go to the basement to eat. Ms. Hargett was one of the few Black nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing at the time. She graduated …

Nettie P. Burnette

When Annie B. Hargett began working at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in 1961, the facility was almost completely segregated. She recalls floors of the hospital segregated by race and Black nurses being required to go to the basement to eat. Ms. Hargett was one of the few Black nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing at the time. She graduated …