"A Kinder, Gentler, Fairer Place"


On September 25, 1957, nine students first integrated into my alma mater, Little Rock Central High School. Today, exactly 60 years later, I decided to flip through Southwest: The Magazine while flying to Baltimore only to find an article on Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton entitled "Homecoming." One of the first black students to graduate from Central High School, Dr. Hampton couldn’t wait to leave the city. But it turned out Little Rock wasn’t done with her.


She started at Central High School in 1959, exactly 40 years before I first entered its doors as a student. Later, in 1996 she became the president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, exactly 20 years before I entered its doors as an employee. In "Homecoming" Dr. Hampton was quoted: "You rarely hear anything about the foot soldiers, and that's okay. Some of you will do wonderful things in your lives that nobody will know anything about, and that's okay. The important thing is that we all do our part in order to make the world a kinder, gentler, fairer place."

I'm thankful for the foot soldiers who walked before me.

Learn More about Social Justice Leader Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton


Last December, the Little Rock Central High School Tiger Foundation presented Dr. Sybil Jordan Hampton its Award of Excellence. This award was given in recognition of Dr. Hampton's commitment of time, talent, and resources throughout her life and career to advance social justice in Arkansas and the nation.