Dorothy Stewart Samuel
Founder & 1st President
"Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness." - Leo Tolstoy
Educator, Historian, Cultural Activist, Political Organizer, Advocate, Consultant, and Special Events Coordinator:
Dorothy Thompson was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi on January 25, 1938 to King David (KD) and Mable Woods Thompson. She grew up in Clinton, Mississippi and was an active member of Pleasant Green Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Amos Peterson. She also was an active member of the Sunday School program at Holy Ghost Baptist Church in Clinton.
Mrs. Dorothy Stewart Samuel's light of leadership was ignited by her parents, teachers, and mentors who believed that education and commitment to excellence were essential for success. Dorothy’s parents believed that education was the backbone of success and thus they worked hard to see that she obtained the best education possible at that time. They made the sacrifices to send her to the Holy Ghost Catholic High School. At Holy Ghost she was an excellent student, graduating as the salutatorian, class president, yearbook editor and graduation speaker of her senior class. Her academic achievement brought her several offers of scholarships, but Dorothy chose the offer from Jackson State College for that would allow her to stay home and assist in the care of her disabled young brother, Carl. Her teachers and mentors at Jackson College fueled the fires of learning and serving. She was an excellent student and leader; a member of the Dunbar Dramatics Guild, the Social Science Society, the Student Government Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Pan-Hellenic Council. She graduated as a magna cum laude honor student, Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society member, and was listed in Who's Who Among College and Universities Students.
While a student at a Jackson State College she met her first husband, Peter Stewart, they married on June 12, 1960 and to this union three children, Angela, Monica, and Peter were born. After graduating Jackson State College in 1960 she became an active member of Farish Street Baptist Church where she served as Centennial Celebration chair, E.B. Topp Circle Leader, Black History Month Celebration chair, Woman’s Missionary Society President and Girl Scout leader. Farish Street Baptist Church honored her as their Woman of the Year recipient and the Girl Scouts awarded her their Green Angel award.
Her pursuit for excellence in education and her profession led her to several universities. She participated in institutes and fellowships at the following institutions: The University of Mississippi in Oxford; Mississippi College in Clinton; Clark University in Worchester, Massachusetts; and San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. An award of distinction was her selection as a Fulbright Fellow by the Hays-Fulbright Foundation. As a Fulbright Fellow, she attended the Universidad de Nationale of Mexico to study the history and culture of Mexico.
She held with distinction two master’s degrees: one in History and another in Guidance/Counseling (Academic and Vocational Certification). She held the following Mississippi Certifications: AAA Certification in History and Social Studies and Certification in Academics and Vocational Counseling. She taught in the Jackson Public Schools for over thirty years teaching at Lanier High School, Callaway High School, Enoch Junior High School, Provine High School and Bailey Magnet School. She touched the lives of her students many became life-long friends.
She founded Women for Progress of Mississippi of Mississippi, Inc. in 1978 and the light of Mrs. Samuel's creative leadership helped to make the organization a major agent of change in the State of Mississippi. She has used her talents in many facets of the community. She was a founding board member on the Jackson Urban League Guild, the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, the New Hope Foundation, and Mission Mississippi. She served on the Board of the Margaret Walker Center and the Farish Street/Main Street Project. She was a charter/founding member of the Jackson Jewels Modeling Group. Along with Lavaree Jones and Dr. Josephine Kelly they formed a Consulting Agency by the name of LaDotJo which kept them busy collaboration around Jackson.
Mrs. Samuel’s honors and activities include: inclusion in the “Phenomenonally She”: Women of Mississippi exhibit at Smith-Robertson Museum, National Council of Negro Women’s Jessie Mosley Award, charter member of the Martin Luther King Birthday Commission, recipient of the Thelma Sanders Milestone Award. She also received the Fannie Lou Hamer Institute Humanitarian Award, Jackson Advocate’s Woman of Year Award, and the New Hope Baptist Church Mississippi Living Legend Award.
Increasing cultural awareness in her community motivated Mrs. Dorothy Stewart Samuel, through Women for Progress, to initiate the observance of Kwanzaa in the State. The growth of this celebration and the African Marketplace of the African American Art Exhibition at Farish Street Baptist Church have been her most rewarding activities.
Mrs. Dorothy Stewart Samuel commented: "I have said 'yes' to most challenges and tasks assigned to me by my mentors and leaders, and I attribute my success to their support and confidence in me. I give honor to God, to my parents, and to those wonderful mentors who have encouraged me to strive to be my best. Other than my parents I will thank My Aunt Claudia, Dr. Margaret Walker Alexander, Mrs. Claire Collins Harvey and Dr. Jessie B. Mosley, for saying 'Baby, you can do it'."
On October 5, 2017 she married her childhood sweetheart Eugene Samuel who comforted her and made her final months very happy. They celebrated their union at reception on December 28, 2017 where she shared her love for family and friends.
She was preceded death by her parents K.D. and Mable Thompson and her brothers, Clarence “Sonny” Thompson and Carl Milton Thompson.
She is proud to leave a legacy of service, commitment and love to her adoring husband, Eugene Samuel and her three children, Angela Daphne Stewart, Monica (Russel) Wilson, Peter Anthony Carl (Patti) Stewart and her grandchildren: Brandon Hines, Megan Dorothy Stewart, Amber Nichelle Stewart, David Russel Wilson, Grace Elisabeth Wilson, Rachel Camille Wilson, Paige Marie Angie Stewart, Paris Marie D’Ella Stewart, Stadford Mace(deceased) and Anthony Smith and loving and supportive family and friends.
Meet The Team
Willie Jones, President
Angela Stewart, Vice-President
Irene German, Secretary/Treasurer
Juanita Brown, VP, Public Relations, Exec Producer, WFP Radio
Monica Stewart Wilson, Co-Director, Membership Development
Mary Williams, Co-Director, Membership Development
Theresa Kennedy, Organizational Executive Liaison
Pastor Tonya Ware, Chaplain
Legislative Liasion: Zakiya Summers
Angela Grayson, Exec Director, Political Action Committee (PAC)
Dr. Flonzie Brown Wright
Mary DeVaul Levy
Judge Patricia Wise
Judge Crystal Wise Martin
Regina Quinn May
Jennifer Riley Collins
Dr. Erica Thompson
Dr. Mary Nelums
Dr. Wilma Mosley Clopton
Dr. Kimberly Hilliard