EVENT ALERT: Salute to Regent Adelaide Sanford - Afrocentric Educator for All Times

By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

Hello All:

Big doings this week end as BEPAA plan to celebrate the 90th Birthday Anniversary of Dr. Adelaide Sanford.  I cannot say enough about this wonderful sister.  She has my utmost admiration - and I'm definitely not alone in this adulation.

I first met Dr. Sanford in 1985 - and I was totally in AWE!! Not only did she remind me of my favorite teacher in Oklahoma City, Ms. Lola B. Greer, but she even sounded like her.  She was elegant, confident, fashionable, large and in charge.  And an uncompromising advocate and activist for Black education.  What's not to like????

She is the epitome of African Consciousness in Education and lifestyle. 
 She is the founder of Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry (BEPAA) and co-founder of Clarke House in Harlem (named in honor of John Henrik Clarke).

Educator Adelaide L. Sanford is a retired teacher, principal and former Vice-Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents; throughout her long and distinguished career, she has consistently epitomized the values of character, courage, and commitment in her unwavering service to her students, colleagues, and community.

Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford was born on November 27, 1925, in Brooklyn, New York.  She earned a Bachelor of Education degree from Brooklyn College in 1947,  a Master of Education degree from Wellesley College in 1950; and a Ph.D. in Education from Fordham University in 1967.

Dr. Adelaide Sanford is  dedicated to the education and uplift of African American children.  Adelaide L. Sanford's illustrious 35-year career as an educator in New York City included service as an elementary school teacher, a guidance counselor, an assistant principal and a principal in New York City.

As principal of the Crispus Attucks school in Brooklyn she established her reputation for promoting excellence and achievement in underserved schools, gaining city-wide recognition for her school's dramatic improvements in student achievement, teacher morale and gifted programs. 

Upon her retirement in 1985, Adelaide L. Sanford was solicited by Assemblyman Al Vann to replace the retiring Kenneth Clark, to the Board of Regents.  He had served 21 years, she in turn also served 21 years.  She was  elected to two 7-year terms as a member-at-large on the New York State Board of Regents, and served two 3-year terms as its vice chancellor; unwavering in her concern for the welfare of New York's most vulnerable children, she was chairperson of the Regents' Committee on Low Performing Schools; and played a pivotal role in shaping new educational policies towards closing gaps in student performance among New York State's schools.  This was a non-paying position, so she footed her own bill. 

Adelaide L. Sanford's positive impact on the educational well-being of children extends beyond her work on the New York State Board of Regents; she served as a consultant for the boards of education in Niagara Falls, Connecticut, Indiana and New Jersey, worked on several national committees, including the advisory committee on multicultural education for the National Association of State Boards of Education; served on the board of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone UMEZ), and played an instrumental role in creating the John Henrik Clarke meetinghouse.

Adelaide L. Sanford has won numerous accolades and awards for her outstanding leadership, commitment and accomplishment; her honors  include distinguished alumna awards from Wellesley College and Brooklyn College, the Josephine Shaw Lowell Award, the Ellen Lurie Award, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Humanitarian Award. 

Curriculum of Inclusion was developed by Dr. Sanford, and adopted throughout the entire school system.  The Board of Regent controls the curriculum; and the researchers, per Dr. Sanford, must come from the original ethnic group that is impacted by the curriculum. Dr. Leonard Jeffries was the selected scholar for African Americans, and each of the other groups had their own representative.

As opposed to being just an advocate, Dr. Sanford was an activist as well.  She walked her talk utilizing her intellectual prowess - reaching out to people - Black people - from all levels of educational and economic standards.  

She has always advocated Afrocentricity as a human right in education.  It's not enough to just congratulate her for her wonderful accomplishments, it's also necessary to begin implementing what she began.  

Dr. Sanford and her husband established a monetary award for those who came to the Board of Regents who came up with the most innovative curriculum to be adopted in the school system, in the amount of $10,000.  Though the Board of Regents have dragged their feet on presenting the award, it is nevertheless still available.

I love Dr. Sanford because she does not bite her tongue when it comes to standing for Black people and quality education.  

Dr. Sanford lives now between New York and Philadelphia, PA.  Interestingly enough, when I was serving on the committee to transform Germantown High School into a Charter School (it was one of the 30 schools that had been shut down by Tom Corbett, former governor of Pennsylvania) and the organization was looking for advisors, I recommended Dr. Sanford.  One of the members of the organization stated that she would not "be acceptable because of the scandal of a charter school that had been named after her being forced to close."  How ignorant and ignominious!!! The issue of the school had absolutely nothing to do with the brilliance of this wonderful woman, who devoted her entire life to educating Black students, their parents and the educators who were responsible for educating them.  In point of fact, with the sorry state of the School District of Philadelphia, they should all be rolling out the red carpet to her door and begging her to come and help them turn this mess around.   When you have royalty in your midst, and you don't have the appropriate respect or understanding, yours is the greater loss (Hint to Philadelphia - uh, duh!!)
Not only should there be a full curriculum based on the combined philosophies of Dr. Adelaide Sanford and Carter G. Woodson, but it should be mandatory for all so-called educators to master them if they are going to be teaching in predominantly Black schools - and guess what folks - Philadelphia is 68% Black (Again Philly - uh, duh!!)

Political machinations aside, it makes good sense, if you are trying to grow a world class city, to provide world class education for ALL your citizens.  And you can't do that playing russian roulette with the quality and standards.  It's like shooting yourself in the foot and expecting to continue to tap dance.  Can't be done.

But, I digress (on purpose)  Dr. Sanford makes many of us half her age look dowdy - she wears some of the most beautiful Afrocentric clothes, jewelry, and hair styles - befitting a woman of elegance, charm, grace and style.  I have always marveled at the fact that she looks and acts much younger than many of us who.  She's not stodgy, she has a marvelous sense of humor and candor that is unforgettable.  

If you can't attend her Birthday Anniversary Celebration, at least take the time to learn about this wonderful woman; and begin to demand that educators going forward know and emulate this great woman of soul.  That would be the greatest tribute of all.




To: Goat BrownJr <goatbrownjr@gmail.com>

                                   2. ELDERS HOUSE IN SELMA ALABAMA

The credit card invitation can be found at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/dr-adelaide-l-hines-sanfords-90th-birthday-celebration-tickets-18993837078
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Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford's 90th Birthday Celebration!

The Adelaide L. Sanford Institute, The Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry (BEPAA) and The Elders' House

Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)

Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford's 90th Birthday...
Ticket Information
Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
General Admission Nov 2, 2015 $125.00 $0.00
Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford's 90th Birthday Celebration!
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Event Details

Please join us as we celebrate our beloved educator, Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford, Vice Chancellor Emerita on the occasion of her 90th birthday!  Dr. Sanford earned degrees from Brooklyn College, Wellesley College, and Fordham University.  In addition, she has also received four honorary doctoral degrees.  Dr. Sanford became principal, at the inner city school, Crispus Attucks in Brooklyn, NY.  It was there that she earned an outstanding reputation for promoting cultural and educational excellence in student achievement. In 1986, Sanford won unanimous election to the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.  As Chairperson of the Regents' Committee on Low Performing Schools, Dr. Sanford played an instrumental role in shaping new educational policies that sought to close the gap of student performance among schools.  She was elected to the position of Vice Chancellor in 2001 and re-elected in 2004.  Many honors and awards have been bestowed upon Dr. Sanford for her work.  She received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's humanitarian award, and distinguished alumna awards from Wellesley College and Brooklyn College.  Her legacy continues to flourish nationally and internationally through the work of The Dr. John Henrik Clarke House, Elders’ House “The Elders’ Gift to the Children” and The Adelaide Sanford Institute.
We look forward to seeing you in November.  

When & Where

MIST Harlem
46 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10026
Saturday, November 21, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM (EST) 

The Adelaide L. Sanford Institute, The Board for the Education of People of African Ancestry (BEPAA) and The Elders' House

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Dr. Adelaide L. Hines Sanford's 90th Birthday Celebration! New York, NY Events Party Charity & Causes


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