Rita Jackson Samuels Named
Woman Of The Year 2010 By The Informer
Rita Jackson Samuels has been named Woman of the Year for 2010 by The Informer newspaper and will be honored at The Informer's Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Ceremony held on Saturday, January 15, 2010 at 12 noon at St. Luke Baptist Church located at 1180 Haywood Road in Macon, Georgia.
Samuels is a lifelong civil rights activist and successful businesswoman, working alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1964 as the Secretary for the SCLC's (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) Operation Breadbasket Department. In 1971, Samuels was a member of then Governor Jimmy Carter's personal staff, the first African American woman in modern Georgia history to hold such a position. In 1977, she served as a White House Consultant and later, as Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of Community Services Administration during the Carter Presidency. In 1992, Samuels served as Director of Community and Citizens Affairs during Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young’s Administration, continuing her service to public affairs.
Samuels founded the Georgia Coalition of Black Women, Inc. in 1981 and successfully advocated for the creation of the Georgia Commission on Women in 1991 and the Atlanta Commission on Women in 2001. She is also a co-founder of the Georgia Coalition for the People's Agenda, convened by the Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. In 2005, Samuels co-founded Women Flying High, LLC, a 100% female-owned business enterprise that is dedicated to increasing women’s share of public and private sector contracts.
The founder of "The Ballot Power" of Women Voters Lecture Series, the Women in Government Internship and the producer of "Sisterhood Voices" On the Air Radio Show, Samuels is the National Chair for Women’s History Month and Women's Equality Day Celebrations.
Dedicated to equality for women (and all people) everywhere, Samuels is a Rosalyn Carter Fellow at the Institute of Women Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and in 2010, her footprints were inducted in the prestigious International Walk of Fame, located in Atlanta at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic site.
Dr. Joseph Lowery described Rita Jackson Samuels as a "civil rights and women's rights activist addict" and The Informer is pleased to honor Samuels as its Woman of the Year for 2010.