Southwest Tennessee Community College

January 28, 2005

CONTACTS: Kimberly Stark, (901) 333-4023 / Pat O’Brien, (901) 333-4021


Southwest Tennessee Community College will confer its annual Carter Godwin Woodson Award on Allegra Turner, prominent civic, civil rights and social activist, and author of two books, at a ceremony Tuesday, February 1, at 10:45 a.m. at the College’s Union Avenue Campus theater.

Prominent in her own right, Allegra Turner was a lifelong supporter of her husband, Jesse H. Turner Sr., civil rights champion, longtime treasurer of the national NAACP organization, and president of Tri-State Bank. Allegra Turner is being specially honored on the publication of her new book, Except by Grace: The Life of Jesse H. Turner.

A graduate of Southern University and the University of Chicago, Turner taught in junior high, high school and college in Memphis. She was an advisor for 20 years to the Youth Council of the NAACP and president of the Catholic Human Relations Council of Memphis, one of the earliest interracial groups in the city.

Presenting the award will be Dr. Cynthia B. Calhoun, chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Southwest and advisor to the Southwest chapter of the NAACP.

The Carter G. Woodson Award has been presented by the College since 1989. The award recognizes individuals, groups or agencies that have contributed to and promoted the African American presence in America in support of Dr. Woodson’s historical legacy. A Harvard graduate, historian and student of the Sorbonne, Dr. Woodson founded “Negro History Day,” now Black History Month, celebrated in February each year.

The program will be hosted by Clarence Christian, director of the College’s Honors Academy and associate professor of sociology. Music will be provided by the Southwest Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Charles Pender.

The award ceremony is free and the public is invited.