April 7, 2017
Thank You to our Forum panelist
Dr. Cosmos George
Commissioner Tare Davis
Dr. Eric Cunningham
Dr. Walter Lowe
Moderator: Dr. Sylvia Alston
Ella Baker Day 2017 is now a wonderful memory for all who attended any of the events of the day! Over 200 attended the Civic Fair, Forum or viewing of "Fundi" at the Warren County Armory Civic Center
A Tremendous THANK YOU to all the 2017 exhibitors:
Warren County Library
Halifax & Northampton County Habitat for Humanity
Warren County NAACP
Coalition for Education and Economic Security
Halifax County NAACP
Roanoke Valley (NC) Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Warren County Schools
The John 3:16 Center
Halifax County Schools
The Ella Baker Educational Project of NC, Inc.
The documentary, “Fundi” is available free of charge for viewing with your group or organization. Contact us for more details about scheduling for your next event!
Check out these you tube links about Ella Baker:
Ella Baker Speaks! "The Voice that Says Life is More Sacred Than Property Must Be Heard!" April 24, 1968 https://youtu.be/zyHXG4y5Kjw
Ella's Song sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock https://youtu.be/ouHNPzr8IjI
A 21st Century education is all about digital learning. Digital learning provides the most up to date information available to students in all subjects that was once in textbooks that could be quickly out of date and costly to replace as frequently as the content changes. Therefore, no more textbooks. They are being replaced with desk top computers, lap top computer, tablets and chrome books. Many k-12 schools are making that transition. Most college campuses are already there, so new incoming students need to be ready! Instruction now includes You Tube videos for student to watch as the center of the lesson. Study chapters are now being “downloaded” for use at home. The students are making the adjustment quickly but it may be a challenge for parents that grew up using textbooks as the only way to learn and study. The temptation to resist the change is real but it will only set students further back if not encouraged or provided with the “new tools” for learning.
It’s time to make visits to the schools. Request parent workshops to present information about digital learning. Make sure your community has access and affordable broadband for everyone.
Ella J. Baker was the daughter of Georgia Anna Ross and Blake Baker of Elams, NC. She was born in Norfolk Virginia. The family returned to North Carolina when she was seven years old to a home on East End Avenue in the town of Littleton. Her home remains today and is maintained by family. She was a civil and human rights activist, affectionately known as the, "Fundi", a Swahili word meaning a person who teaches a craft to the next generation. She has quietly worked behind the scenes with Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall and alongside of Rosa Parks, Diane Nash and Stokely Carmichael. She graduated Valedictorian Class of 1927 from Shaw University and then moved on to New York City. Her activism included joining the NAACP to work on school desegregation and police brutality issues. She served two and a half years at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta before returning to the campus of Shaw University to organize college students for SNCC, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee with a focus on voter registration. There are several books about her but the one entitled, Ella Baker, Freedom Bound by Joanne Grant was made into the documentary, "Fundi", the Ella Baker Story. Her legacy continues at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights located in Oakland, California and at The Ella Baker School in Manhattan, N.Y. She is remembered in her hometown with the designation of the Historic Highway Marker and recognition of April 15th as Ella Baker Day.
The Ella Baker Educational Project of NC, Inc., evolved from in-depth research regarding the life and times of Ella Baker initiated in 2003 by historian, Florine Bell, while studying the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s at North Carolina State University. This research consisted of numerous invaluable interviews of Bakers relatives and friends, exploratory trips to her native home town of Norfolk, VA including childhood homes of Elam and Littleton, North Carolina. Countless hours of relentless research were conducted within community libraries, colleges, universities, register of deeds offices extending from NC to VA and other literary resources. In a quest to bring more awareness of Ella Baker, the granddaughter of slaves, and her accomplishments from behind the scenes to the forefront, an application was submitted in 2011 to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources for the North Carolina Historical Highway Marker in honor of Ms. Baker. The sign was approved with guidelines to be installed near Baker’s home place in the town of Littleton. An Ella Baker Historical Highway Marker Committee was organized in 2012 to oversee the dedication of the historic marker with the assistance of Baker’s cousin, Carolyn Ross-Holmes, and a host of Baker enthusiasts.
Additional honorary measures evolved with requests to the Littleton and Halifax County Commissioners respective of 2015-2016 for an annual day in observance of Ella Bakers legacy. The Commissioners responded with proclamations for an annual 15th day of April in recognition of the Littleton civil rights activist legacy. The official date was considered due to its significance of the Student Non-Violent Movement and beginning of the early student sit-ins undertaken by Ella Baker and hundreds of students during the week of Easter, April 15-18, 1964 at the campus of Shaw University, Baker’s alma-mater.
The Annual Ella Baker Day Committee immediately organized leading to the first Ella Baker Day event occurring on April 15, 2016 in the town of Littleton. Attendees included Ella Baker's great niece, Dr. Carolyn Brockington, along with a host of other relatives, staff of the Ella Baker School of The Julia Richman Education Complex of Midtown Manhattan of New York and hundreds of other guests from as far away as Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, and other areas of the nation. The Annual Ella Baker Day Committee has since developed into the Ella Baker Day Educational Project of NC, Inc.
The Ella Baker Educational Project of NC, Inc., is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Dr. Sylvia Alston, Chairperson
Cheryl Ross-Cogdell, Vice Chair
Ophelia Gould-Faison, Secretary
John Espenshade, Treasurer
Florine Bell, Founding Advisor
Dr. Carolyn Brockington
Dr. Lenora Taitt-Magubane
Carolyn Ross-Holmes, Executive Director
Educational project to promote awareness regarding the life and legacy of civil rights activist, Ella J. Baker for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. Foster awareness and understanding of cultural enlightenment and diversity appreciation. Providing internships or volunteer opportunities to facilitate community engagement.
Members of the Ella Baker Planning Committee accepted an invitation from Laura Garcia, Principal of the Ella Baker School in Manhattan, New York to visit the school for the celebration of their name sake Ella Baker's birthday in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the school. Members, Florine Bell, Ophelia Gould-Faison and Carolyn Ross-Holmes made the trip for the December 13th celebration. Ella Baker’s great-niece, Dr. Carolyn Brockington, also joined us. The Ella Baker School is one of New York City Public Schools located on the east side of Manhattan, not far from Central Park. During the 1990’s school reform in the city decided that smaller schools would be better for children. But it’s not your typical neighborhood school. Children that attend are from all parts of the city because one factor taken in consideration for enrollment is where do your parents work! That consideration makes it easier for parents to visit the school and broadens the diversity of race and cultural attending the school. There are children of hospital workers, hotels and retailers that are all in walking distance to their children. We gathered in the principal’s office for a brief overview of the day before joining parents for coffee, danish and great conversations. We were excited about visiting a school named after Ella Baker. They were just as excited to have folks from her hometown and a shared understanding of what Ella Baker represented and stood for in her activism during the civil rights movement. It was a day of mutual admiration. After coffee talk, we proceeded to the auditorium for the birthday celebration assembly. As we walked the halls it was wonderful to see the artistic talent of the students on display in murals on the walls, academic work and accomplishments visually celebrated. Principal Garcia proudly shared about the philosophy embraced by staff to create environments of learning that encouraged collaboration, questioning, reasoning, in finding solutions and to form rationale to support a point of view. That same philosophy was used by Ella Baker when organizing college students during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. The assembly was clearly a labor of love for the teachers in guiding the students as they performed spoken word, and dance by students of all grades. Principal Garcia along with 2 members of her staff visited North Carolina last year for our first Ella Baker Day. Our visit north was just as fulfilling. The alliance that has been established is like finding a long lost relative, thank you Ella Baker.
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Please make checks payable to: EBEP of NC
Ella Baker Book Donations, please email details about the books
Carolyn Ross-Holmes, Executive Director