Join Speakers Constance Harris (president of the Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Museum) and G. Chandler Vaughan (Juanita Craft’s executor) as they discuss two iconic Dallas activists.
Kathlyn Joy Christian Gilliam, civil rights activist and the first African American woman to serve on the Dallas Independent School District’s (DISD) board of trustees. Gilliam played an active role in the fight for civil rights in Dallas, especially in the realm of education. The city of Dallas designated the Gilliam’s House as a historical landmark in 2015, and it was turned into a museum and resource center later that same year. The museum is a historical landmark that serves as a center to train children in Southern Dallas to become future leaders by providing computer literacy courses, reading camps and a debate center. Since her passing in 2011, Gilliam’s vision to improve the lives of African Americans throughout the city through productive dialogue and educational opportunities lives on.
Upon her passing in 1985, Juanita Jewel Craft was perhaps Dallas’ most beloved public figure. Broadly recognized locally for her local activism, grace and fair-mindedness, she was a long-time NAACP organizer and Youth Council advisor, Goals for Dallas participant, Linz Award winner, State Democrat committeewoman and national delegate, preservationist, Dallas city councilwoman and community-based humanitarian. She had a profound record of sustained acts of kindness in both the South Dallas and greater communities.