Day 11: 20 Years of AWA


ruth-batson1Ruth Batson (1921- 2003) AWA ’98 was a civil rights and education leader, the first African American woman to serve on the Democratic National Committee and the first woman elected President of the NAACP’s New England Regional Conference. In 1966, she helped launch the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), the country’s longest running school desegregation program and a national model for fostering diversity in education.

Ruth founded the Ruth M. Batson Educational Fund in 1969, which continues to provide grants to help African American students pursue higher education. She earned her master’s in education from Boston University in 1976, and served as Director of the school’s desegregation research project from 1975 to 1981. From 1987 to 1990, she was President and Director of the Boston Museum of African American History.

In 2001, Northeastern University Press published Ruth’s remarkable 900 page manuscript, The Black Educational Movement in Boston: A Sequence of Events (1638-1975).