NCNW’s Johnnetta Cole meets Spelman students at Parade of Roses

National Council of Negro Women President and Chair Johnnetta Betsch Cole. Ph.D., (center) posed at the 2020 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, with students from Spelman College, where she served as president for a decade. (Photo courtesy of Janice Mathis)

Nothing brings a smile to Johnnetta Betsch Cole‘s face or joy to her heart faster than encountering women who study at Spelman College, where she served as president from 1987 to 1997.

On Jan. 1, 2020, the dress rehearsal for the 2020 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, was long and tiring, but that did not dim Cole’s delight when meeting the winners of the 30th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament, America’s premier academic competition for HBCUs.

The winning Spelman team includes Jessika Agyepong, Maati McKinney, Naomi Steplight, and team captain Ariana Benson. The fact that the ladies from Spelman are the first all-female winning team made the providential encounter even sweeter for Cole, a principled feminist who currently serves as president and chair of the National Council of Negro Women.

The Spelman College team won a ride on the Honda Rose Parade float in addition to taking home the championship title and a $75,000 grant to the college.

Former Spelman College president Johnnetta Betsch Cole took time to speak with Spelman students at the 2020 Rose Parade. (Photo courtesy of Janice Mathis)

On New Year’s Day, Cole represented the National Council of Negro Women on the “Years of Hope, Years of Courage” Rose Parade float commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

janice mathis, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women

Rolling Out
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