Jun 26, 2018 / E-news
On June 10, civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton passed away. She spent her life fighting for civil rights alongside leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young, and Jesse Jackson.
Cotton played a crucial role in leading marches and organizing for civil rights, teaching people about the U.S. Constitution, and encouraging nonviolent protest. She worked as the educational director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference beginning in the 1960s and developed its citizenship education program for twelve years. Her work encouraged African American people to use their citizenship by exercising the right to vote.
From 2002–2010, she worked with the Center for Civic Education at the We the People Birmingham Seminars, influencing hundreds of teachers from classrooms all over America. Teacher David Alcox reminisces, “[I] still use many of the quotes she said while addressing us at the McNair art studio in Birmingham. One of my favorites was her saying, ‘Many times people ask where are our Founding Fathers today? The Jeffersons, the Madisons, the Washingtons? I tell them, they’re right there, in your classroom.’”