Art enthusiast, educator, former Bennett College and Spellman College President and current President of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) Dr. Johnetta Cole has been making women’s history for over three decades and is continuing to do so with her work and actions.

In 1987 Dr. Cole became the seventh president of Spellman College and the first Black woman to lead the institution in its history.  From 2002 to 2007 Cole served as president of Bennett College, where she founded an art gallery for students.  After retirement in 2007, she continued to serve in Atlanta as the chair of the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute in Atlanta.

Dr. Johnetta Cole is a celebrated trailblazer who led prestigious colleges and organizations before taking on her new role as president of the National Council of Negro Women in 2018. (Courtesy Photo)

Her appreciation for art led her to serve as the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in 2009.

Now Cole serves as President of the National Council of Negro Women, where she was appointed in 2018 at the 58th Biennial Convention in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve accepted this role because of the times that we are in.  I can certainly say as a Black woman, and I know many of us can say, we have known worse than this, but we’ve never known the specificity of this,” Cole told the AFRO in a previous interview.  “I think we’ve never experienced the kind of divisiveness in our country.  The sense in which some folk feel emboldened to deny the humanity of others.”

With her new role Cole continues to uplift Black women and push for forward movement for their community as a whole and abroad.