Cotton, Dorothy, 1930-


Dorothy Lee Foreman was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina. After her mother's death when she was only three years old, she and her three sisters were raised by their father, Claude Daniel Foreman, a tobacco factory worker. Dorothy remained with her father until leaving to attend Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she supported herself by working as housekeeper to the university president. She transferred and followed her employer when he took the presidency of Virginia State College in Petersburg, Virginia, the college from which she later graduated with a degree in English and Library Science. After graduation, Dorothy married George Cotton, whom she had met in college. She later enrolled at Boston University where she received her master's degree in Speech Therapy in 1960. While completing work for her master's, she became active in the Civil Rights Movement. For the next twelve years she held the position of Education Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The only female member of his executive staff, Dorothy became one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s closest confidantes. While at SCLC, Dorothy ran the Citizenship Education Program, training the disenfranchised on the importance of political participation, voter registration, and nonviolent protest. Dorothy continued at the SCLC after Dr. King's assassination in 1968 and later became Southern Regional Director for ACTION, the federal agency for volunteer programs. She also worked briefly at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for NonViolent Change. After more than two decades of intense involvement in civil rights activities, Dorothy dedicated ten years to Cornell University, serving as Director of Student Activities. She later founded her own consulting company, Dorothy Cotton & Associates, which conducts seminars on leadership development, individual empowerment, and social change. Dorothy is also one of the founding members of the National Citizenship School. From:

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Foreman, Dorothy, 1930-

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