01/09/11 — Goldsboro native receives Freedom Award

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Goldsboro native receives Freedom Award

By From staff reports
Published in News on January 9, 2011 1:50 AM

Goldsboro native Dorothy Cotton recently received the National Freedom Award in Memphis, Tenn.

The Ithaca, N.Y., resident, now 80, was honored for her work in civil rights and social change.

She was the education director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1960 to 1968, working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders to direct the citizenship education program. In this position, Ms. Cotton was one of the highest-ranking women with the SCLC.

She accompanied Dr. King when he received the Nobel Prize in Norway and was at the Lorraine Motel April 4, 1968, next door to Dr. King's room the day of his assassination.

Ms. Cotton also served as vice president for field operations for the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, Ga., and southeastern regional director of ACTION from 1978 to 1981, the federal government's agency for volunteer programs.

She was director of student activities at Cornell University from 1982 to 1991.