November 24, 2005 – Vol. 41, No. 15

Ellen Jackson, founded desegregation program

Yawu Miller

Lifelong civil rights activist Dr. Ellen Swepson Jackson died Sunday, November 20.

Jackson is known for her community work locally and nationally. In 1965, Jackson founded the first black grassroots organization in Boston, Operation Exodus, an inner-city program that bused students out to less crowded schools. She then worked as the national director of the Black Women’s Community Development Foundation in Washington D.C. between 1969 and 1974.

Jackson attended Harvard University, where she earned a master’s degree in education. The Ellen S. Jackson Fellowship was established in her honor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1975.

She also served as the dean and director of affirmative action at Northeastern University for almost two decades and her memoirs are included in a collection known as the Black Women’s Oral History Project at Radcliffe College.

Jackson has received numerous awards including the 2000 Mary Hudson Onley Achievement Award, and has also received honorary doctorates from Northeastern University, University of Massachusetts, Wheelock College and Bridgewater State College. She is survived by her children Ronica Jackson of Cambridge, Darryl Jackson of New York, Troy Jackson of New Bedford, Sheryl Jackson-Holliday and Stephanie Jackson of Boston. She also leaves a host of friends and other family members, including grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The funeral service is Saturday at noon at the Historic Charles St. AME Church, 551 Warren St., Dorchester. Visiting with the family will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the church, and the burial will be at Forest Hills Cemetery.





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