Lynn Walker Huntley: A Tribute To Women In Education Leadership

The Southern Education Foundation honors the work and legacy of the late President Emerita, Lynn Walker Huntley, who sadly passed away on August 30th, 2015. Lynn’s impact on the Foundation was tremendous.  She came to SEF in 1995 from the Ford Foundation and directed the Comparative Human Relations Initiative, which examined strategies for improving race relations in Brazil, South Africa and the United States.  She would later become SEF’s first female president, and build out a number of important initiatives that included: No Time to Lose, Still Striving, Miles to Go, New Majority, and the Southern Education Leadership Initiative.  Her powerful voice and thinking were present in the numerous publications, videos and convening efforts developed during her tenure, all aimed at ensuring low-income students and students of color had equitable opportunities to learn and contribute to the common good.  

As her former colleagues and friends have shared from the Ford Foundation, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and in the press, among many others, her career accomplishments as a civil rights attorney, advocate, researcher and philanthropist were truly incredible and inspired so many that came after her.  She was first to lead the charge on critical issues here in the American South, in the US, and abroad related to human rights, racism, and equity.  And through all this she was most notably humble.  Lynn’s SEF colleagues remember her dedication to helping those most in need, her mentorship, and her fearlessness to tell it like it is.  She did all this important and daunting work somehow with a smile, and often a chuckle, that was infectious to everyone around her.  



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