Dorothy Ann Pryor Dobson Awarded 2017 Human Rights Medal
Dorothy Ann Pryor Dobson has been named the 2017 human rights medal recipient by North Carolina A&T state university.
The award was presented to Dobson during the 57th Sit-In Anniversary Breakfast at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017, at the Alumni Foundation Event Center on the campus of N.C. A&T.
The 1957 alumna, along with her husband James Dobson, had a dream to provide "humanity through housing" for families who were unable to secure decent and affordable housing in Rochester, New York.
The dream required lots of hands-on ground work and dedication, but the Dobson's were committed to their cause and believed that what they were fighting for was not only a just cause, but a necessary cause.
In 1971, the duo opened a 254-unit complex. From there, Dorothy began to establish various activities including a senior citizen's group and a Girl Scout Troop.
It was vitally important to Dobson to establish centers and opportunities for the residents of the complex and community to learn and develop employable skills. Under her leadership, a computer lab and the Neighborhood Networks Learning Center was established to help advance the educational skills of the residents.
Even after her husband's death, Dobson continued the fight for equality across humanity and remained an advocate for others. After years of managing the property, she concluded the time had come to sell the complex. After the sell, the building was renamed the James A. Dobson Apartments and the company pledged $100,000, which N.C. A&T matched, to an endowed scholarship in the Dobson’s name.
In 2014, proceeds from the sale of the complex were distributed to six nonprofits and 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities including an additional $100,000 to A&T.
The Human Rights Medal was established in honor of the 1960 courageous actions taken by Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond, better known as the A&T Four.
The award is given annually by N.C. A&T to recognize individuals who have endeavored to correct social injustice and have significantly contributed to the betterment of the world.