Granddaughter of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune leads campaign for the legacy of her memory

1-21-14 Dr. Bethune addresses Rotary Club of NSB 2
1-21-14 Dr. Bethune addresses Rotary Club of NSB 2
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - Jan. 22, 2014 - PRLog -- Dr. Evelyn Bethune, granddaughter of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and CEO of the Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Preservation Institute addressed the members of the Rotary Club of New Smyrna Beach at a recent luncheon meeting held at the New Smyrna Yacht Club.

Dr. Bethune’s wove several insightful stories of her heritage.  One of these stories focused on her great grandfather who, as a slave, managed to convince his owner to purchase the woman he loved and eventually married.  The quiet persistence and resoluteness in spirit had an effect on her grandmother who also very quietly made a significant difference in our modern society.

She was a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt and together they tackle issues such as the integration of the American Red Cross and the formation of the Tuskegee Airmen. Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune developed institutions for higher learning, Bethune-Cookman University, worked for world peace (sat with the United Nations founding body) and founded organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women to organize and train women in leadership and planning strategies to improve their communities across the country.

Dr. Evelyn Bethune noted that more than anything else, the legacy of her grandmother was in education.  “Education was the first step in her remarkable journey” she stated.  She went to say that “education equates to freedom.”

In the past 3 years, Dr. Bethune has been organizing a signature event to celebrate her grandmother’s work and provide an opportunity for the public at large to learn more of this remarkable woman.  The event known as the Mary McLeod Bethune Cultural Heritage Arts Festival will take place from April 6 to the 13, 214 in Daytona Beach.

Carlos H Giraldo

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